Short stories revolving around a bar and a hotel in Recife, unveil a mosaic of exotic characters living in the Brazilian underground: a butcher married with an evangelical woman, a ... See full summary »
Brazilian baroque. The young son that ran from his dominant family, descends into decadence and then returns to the nest. With melodramatic themes of tyrannical fathers, incest, fierce ... See full summary »
Luiz Fernando Carvalho
Juliana Carneiro da Cunha
In tropical Recife, in northeastern Brazil, temperatures drop to impossible lows and the inhabitants have to adapt. This 'mockumentary' gradually turns critical, looking at the climate, ... See full summary »
A pawn shop proprietor buys used goods from desperate locals--as much to play perverse power games as for his own livelihood, but when the perfect rump and a backed-up toilet enter his life, he loses all control.
Following a newspaper ad, ordinary women tell part of their life stories to director Eduardo Coutinho, which are then re-enacted by actresses, blurring the barriers between truth, fiction and interpretation.
Macabea has just moved to the big city after her aunt, who raised her, died. She gets a job as a typist and moves into a boarding house with three other women. In her spare time she listens... See full summary »
A story inspired by the life of one of the most remarkable figures in Brazilian popular culture, João Francisco dos Santos (1900-1976). In turn, bandit, transvestite, street fighter, brothel cook, convict and father to seven adopted children, dos Santos--better known as Madame Satã--was also a notorious gay performer who pushed social boundaries in a volatile time. The story begins in 1932, in Rio de Janeiro's bohemian Lapa district, when João Francisco is about to achieve his dream: becoming a stage star. In the sordid yet lively world of Lapa--populated by pimps, prostitutes and other denizens of Rio's underworld--João battles the streets and presides over a surrogate family that includes the charming prostitute Laurita, and her baby daughter whom everyone dotes on; the flamboyant hustler Taboo; João's teenage lover, Renatinho; and Amador, the owner of the Blue Danube club which is their second home. It is at the Blue Danube that street tough João begins to sing, and the mythic drag... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The names of the major characters and the performers portraying them and the roles and names of the major contributors (director, etc) are shown in gold and red sequins respectively, interspersed with scenes of Madame Sata performing. Once the credits reach the minor performers and contributors the credits revert to a standard scrolling format, albeit with an unusual font, on a red/ black background. See more »
I found this movie mesmerizing, both due to the lead performance and the depiction of a time and place previously unfamiliar to me. A previous user comment said that Jaoa is heterosexual and that Lorita's baby is his. Just for clarification, he is not, and neither is the baby. I don't know how accurate this bio-pic really is in portraying the life of Jaoa Francisco vos Santos. But the character is a perplexing and complex mixture of violence and tenderness, talent and self-destruction. Clearly a victim of internalized homophobia and brutal class hierarchy, Jaoa knows he is destined for greatness, but can't keep his underlying rage from exploding all over everyone, friend and foe. It's dog eat dog in the slums of Rio, but Jaoa creates a family with a female prostitute named Lorita, her baby(on whom Jaoa dotes sweetly), and the greatly put-upon and abused servant, Tabu. Jaoa takes one step forward, then two steps back--straight in to prison, over and over. The real Jaoa Francisco vos Santos was a highly celebrated female impersonator and lived to the ripe old age of 76, despite an extremely punishing existence. I think the film reveals naked humanity, sometimes the viewer is horrified but can't stop peering into the wreckage.
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