Tomás Gutiérrez-Alea was considered to be Cuba's greatest director; internationally, he was noted for his versatility and for pointing out the foibles of Cuban society. He received formal training at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Rome and was initially heavily influenced by the Italian neorealist movement. Upon his return to Cuba in the early 1950s, Gutiérrez-Alea joined "Nuestro Tiempo," a radical cultural society, and worked heavily in the film section. He and filmmaker Julio García Espinosa co-directed a controversial documentary short, El Mégano, in 1955. The film was considered subversive by the Batista government and was confiscated by police. Following the Cuban Revolution, Gutiérrez-Alea helped found the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC) in 1959. It is a filmmaking collective devoted to making revolutionary films, and he was one of the organization's most influential members. The following year, he made his directorial debut with his neorealist chronicle of the recent revolution in the film Historias de la Revolución. On the international scene, his best known historical film is La Última Cena (1976) which uses music and literary conventions to chronicle a major slave uprising in the 18th century. Though he worked with a variety of themes, much of Gutiérrez-Alea's work was centered on the Revolution and its effects on diverse members of society. In addition to his historical films, he also created social satires that make fun of the classes in contemporary Cuba. His 1993 film Fresas y Chocolate was considered quite controversial in Cuba and was the first Cuban film to receive a Best Foreign Film nomination at the American Academy Awards. It is the tale of the friendship between a politically idealistic heterosexual man and an decadently anarchistic homosexual. Gutiérrez-Alea has also done straight dramas, and in 1988, he tried his hand at a period romance with Cartas del Parque. His final film, the comedy Guantanamera (1995) poked gentle fun at economic conditions in Cuba while recounting the story of three people trying to return to the home village of a recently deceased woman so they may bury her in accordance with the law. In addition to writing or co-writing most of his films, Gutiérrez-Alea also actively worked as an advisor for other filmmakers. In 1982, the great director published a book on film theory, Dialéctica del Espectador.