4.9/10
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4 user 2 critic

The Champagne Club (2002)

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-HORROR (2003) Based on the letters written by Jonathan Hacke, an artist and mental patient at a psychiatric institution.

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Tim Miles
Sara Rinde ...
May Donahue
Robert Ripley ...
Bruce Wallace
Jacqueline Meyer ...
Connie Vandercliff
Thais Lopes ...
Maid
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Sebastian DeVicente ...
Jean Pierre
Gabe Fiscale ...
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Chico Ribeiro ...
Dinner party guest
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-HORROR (2003) Based on the letters written by Jonathan Hacke, an artist and mental patient at a psychiatric institution.

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Madness is Priceless

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Horror

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December 2005 (USA)  »

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Crazy Credits

Engeneering of Truth by Sebastian DeVicente See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tall, proud, and alone...
2 June 2002 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Most film directors spend a lifetime honing their skills in order to create cinematic visuals with the power to instill deep feelings in the audience. Then, and only then, a select few take the film medium a step further and attempt to transcend all that has been done before, to create what has never been created. It is then, that filmgoers are graced with a few masterpieces that are bound to stand tall, proud, and alone in the history of cinema. Kubrick, Ferreri, Pasolini, Welles, Bertolucci, Polanski, Antonioni, Truffaut, Lynch, these are some of the men who have accomplished this feat.

Well, add another name to your list. At the tender age of 24, director Joao Machado makes his feature film debut and delivers an unparalleled masterpiece: "The Champagne Club."

"Madness is Priceless" as the film's tag line states so appropriately, is exactly what this cinematic experience is all about. At a recent showing in Brasilia a respectable older woman stood up mid-screening, looked straight into the projector and yelled out at the top of her lungs: "Tyrant!" At another showing in Los Angeles an audience member couldn't help but to track down the director, spit on his face, and exclaim: "Pervert!" Weeks after watching the film, people of different backgrounds, religions, and races seem to have similar statements. This is what one woman said: "When I saw the film I didn't like it. It was an incredibly unpleasant experience. I decided to dismiss it, but as the days went by I couldn't stop thinking about it. It entered my dreams and it haunted my days. Now, I don't know, I just don't know..."

Why are the reactions so strong? That is hard to answer. Perhaps because writer-director Joao Machado dares to look at things from the other side of the spectrum. To take a Devil's advocate stance and examine thoughts and wishes that most would like to leave unexamined. But perhaps it's something else altogether, perhaps this kind of honesty and openness in film is simply way ahead of its time, and we, the unprepared moviegoers are just that, unprepared for it.

Either way, one thing is certain: "The Champagne Club", a film by Joao Machado, will stand tall, proud, and alone, in a dark and glorious corner reserved for those who are unafraid to take their place in the history of film. Bravo!


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