A semi-documentary on the people of Rio de Janeiro. The camera follows boys from a hillside shanty town who sell peanuts at Copacabana, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and a soccer game. Various ... See full summary »
The story of a young boy, Apu, and life in his small Indian village. His parents are quite poor - his father Harihar, a writer and poet, gave away the family's fruit orchard to settle his ... See full summary »
Period piece about a Brazil that is no more. This movie is the sequel to "God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun" (Deus e o diabo na terra do sol), and takes place 29 years after Antonio ... See full summary »
Maurício do Valle,
Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (whom Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »
Gabriel de Gravone
A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.
A semi-documentary on the people of Rio de Janeiro. The camera follows boys from a hillside shanty town who sell peanuts at Copacabana, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and a soccer game. Various subplots, involving characters they meet along the way, are interspersed. Written by
This is pretty exciting stuff. Historically important perhaps, but I'll let the scholar take that up and dust it.
I'm interested in how the cinematic eye is tethered to a world, how space reveals soul, what we call soul. This is Brazilian, it aims to capture ordinary life, ordinary people going about their unvarnished routine around Rio, the routine unmediated by the camera and presented to us 'as it is'.
The ripples of the Italian realist school can be felt, and as with those films the artifice now of course shows. I can tell that it's acted and scripted, that it all ebbs towards story and climax. That most characters are stereotype insertions: the favela orphan, the Copacabana playboy, the lecherous politician that everyone fawns over for a favor.
But through the artifice a fundamental perception shows, it is a wonderful tapestry of life that it weaves. The characters for one must be rooted in real life, they are ways to approach ranges of life. The story is so we can have dilemmas that plagued Brazilians then: marriage, money, status, well-being. This is one reason to see this, as a snapshot of a society.
A more exciting reason to visit however is how the film takes us through that perception of what must have been ordinary problems that either troubled or amused Brazilians.
The film is threaded around and follows many characters over a single day in Rio with the temperature bringing passions to a boil. It quickly jumps from one life to the one next to it, never bogged down. It moves and dances about without undue suffering. Even when the subject is dire poverty, it keeps a generous spirit that recognizes it can wander from it without forgetting. There are difficulties galore, but somehow it works out, the football underdog scores for his team in the last minute; this can be seen as movie artifice but it springs naturally.
Watch this if you can find it, watch it like you would Altman. It will take you through the Copacabana on a scorching morning, take you on a cable car to the statue of Christ, the Maracana in the middle of a packed derby, a favela where there's sickness and poverty. But it will quickly urge you on, life is dance, it is moving on through the day.
It ends with two rivals for the affections of a girl meeting at night in the middle of a samba rehearsal for the next Carnival, it turns out they know each other and embrace, laughing it off. Samba music sweeps us up into the night where a lone mother watches.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?