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22 reviews in total 
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Pixote (1981)
30 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
Horror, 16 March 2005

"Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco" deals with what is perhaps the greatest of all Brazilian themes: poverty. And along with poverty the other unnatural feelings and actions it brings; prostitution, violence, crime, rape and murder.

Brazil is the country of paradoxes, and its social problems are present everywhere. The difference between the rich and the poor; the beautiful and the ugly; happiness and the most profound human decay.

"Pixote" is one of the films that dare to touch and open these so painful wounds, and does it without the slightest glimmer of hope, in an honest portrayal of a country that, like Pixote himself, is already lost.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A Song for Freedom, 3 March 2005

"Ganga Zumba" is, to this very day, one of the greatest films ever made about slavery and the formation of African-based cultures on the Americas. Its brutally honest and poetic style are drenched in respect and admiration for the African people, in a nostalgic, hopeful way.

It's unfortunate that director Carlos Diegues went on to produce increasingly worse films with each new of his outings, for this one has stood the test of time like a fine black diamond.

Along with "Black God, White Devil" and "Barren Lives" this is a Brazilian Classic from the now legendary art movement "Cinema Novo", yet for some unknown reason this film is seldom talked about or remembered. A fact that does not diminish its astounding quality, easily on-par with the titles mentioned above.


Ângela (1951)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Enchantment and Emotion, 2 March 2005

"Angela" is regarded by Brazilian film critics one of the gems the now legendary Brazilian studio Vera Cruz produced in the 1950's.

The film was an attempt to create a luscious, enchanting and visually stunning romance story about the classic love themes of loss and redemption.

While this style of Cinema, free from the social issues that usually permeate South American films, was deemed unworthy by many, today most critics rightfully agree that it represented a now-lost period in the country's history; of great innocence and hope, times when things were simpler and lives safer.

Despite having an ordinary story, the film's visuals continue to impress, specially the nearly-perfect cinematography, well above average even by today's standards.

Ultimately, "Angela" is a very entertaining film, with captivating performances and beautiful scenery. A naive classic of a Brazil that may or may not have existed only in dreams.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A Cry for Justice, 28 February 2005

"The Case of the Naves Brothers" fills an important gap in the many genres of Brazilian Cinema - the trial movie.

The story - based on true events - follows the injustices suffered by two innocent brothers in a small Brazilian town, in which both are tortured for months by corrupt and despicable police officers.

While being expertly directed and written, the film is unfortunately dated on a technical level, yet its themes are more contemporary than ever, specially when one considers the constant violations of human rights in Third World countries such as Brazil.

Overall a very important, brave and honest film. A remake would be most interesting, specially in view of the rebirth of Brazilian Cinema.

A film that not should not be forgotten.


19 out of 41 people found the following review useful:
A Masterpiece., 1 November 2004

I lack words to express how impressed I was with Argentina's "La Niña Santa". It's easily of one of the best South American films in recent history, along with "City of God" and "Amores Perros".

The film follows a very simple plot: an attractive single mother lives in a hotel with her teenage daughter, and they are currently having many guests over for a science committee. Among the guests is Doctor Jano, a reserved and mysterious middle-aged man.

The film then proceeds to analyze and dissect the relationship between the three in an incredibly haunting and uncompromising manner. Seldom can a moviegoer be treated to such exquisite work in writing, cinematography and acting as with "La Niña Santa".

In addition to that, the relationship between the two teenage girls, Amalia and Josefina is one of the most realistic and beautiful portrays of adolescent life I have ever seen.

Simply the greatest film of 2004 and one of the best of this decade so far.

2 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Pre-fabricated melodrama from Quebec., 23 October 2004

Thirty-something woman finds video camera on the street and decides to ask people what they think happiness is.

While she's at it she takes her time to act "cute", "lost" and complain for two hours about how miserable her life is. We, the audience, have to endure this experience in a DV shot film, with an irritating actress and supporting cast.

We are witness to ridiculous statements from the people she interviews, such as a lonely man, a drug addict and other stereotypical characters of urban life. The main character takes her time and gives the most irritating laughs in recent cinema.

Another "sad bastard" movie.

Avoid it.

14 out of 41 people found the following review useful:
Goodbye, Wim Wenders, 21 October 2004

"Land of Plenty" is not a film. It is a tombstone for the directorial career of German Director Wim Wenders.

Many felt it in "The Million Dollar Hotel" and now "Land of Plenty" makes it perfectly clear; not only has Wenders lost it, he's actually turned into a BAD director, creating horribly weak and superficial stories and scenes.

One might argue that the "time you lose it" comes for every director, but Wenders' case is extreme. It's as if he completely forget everything he knew about cinema and started all over again - only to get sloppish results.

In a few words, this film does not deserve your time.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
The greatest romance film of the 1990's., 19 October 2004

From the ways things are going, "Happy Together" is going to remain director Wong Kar-Wai's most beautiful, visually-rich and significative film.

Here we have the story of two young men, lovers, that travel to Argentina only to find their relationship coming and going, while facing financial difficulties and increasing loneliness and isolation.

This is, of course, the theme of all WKW films. What sets this one apart is that unlike in "Fallen Angels" or "Chungking Express" where his impressionistic and expressive style of film-making constantly feels unnecessary and shallow, here the style conveys an incredibly rich and desperately beautiful array of feelings and moods, much more than in his following work "In the Mood for Love".

"Happy Together" is a landmark in the Cinema of the 1990's, and easily one of the best romance films of that decade. But unlike "traditional" romance films, HP is a lot more: a true testament to how it feels being lost in a foreign land; being young and in love, and feeling that mixture of pain and happiness that marks our lives; not knowing who you will meet around the corner.

Every frame of this film is filled with beauty, love, and an urgent sense of magic. Watch it, treasure it. Because WKW's gonna have a hard time making one better than this baby.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great Production Values. Bad Movie., 26 September 2004

"A Hora Mágica" is based in one of the works of the great Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar, but it does little to add anything to its literary source.

The acting is stilted, unnatural, always distant and sloppy. The Director is often pretentious, displaying an incomprehensible screenplay that alienates the audience every change it gets.

The annoying repetition of the dubbing of the actors was maddening at times, and it's hard to believe they actually thought anyone would like that.

The neo-noir style, while effective, does little to save the shipwreck of a screenplay this film has. Watch it for the cinematography and production values alone.


5 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Good Directing. Bad Acting., 24 September 2004

"Cama de Gato" shot with practically no money, is the first feature lenght film from director Alexandre Stockler, and it covers one wild night in the life of three teenagers and the terrible consequences arisen from their what they consider "fun".

While the necessity of such a film is dire, and it its pacing and mise én scene works remarkably well for such a small picture, the lack of preparation the actors had great hurts the experience.

The portrayal of the three teenagers is stereotyped, bi-dimensional, unrealistic and even childish at times. The three are rarely believable, including the experienced Caio Blat.

One again, this film shows us how Brazil is filled with courageous and creative Directors, who unfortunately don't pay enough attention to the acting in their films. This is a prime example of why "City of God" appealed to so many and why other films don't.

Overall, a worthy attempt. I shall be patiently waiting for other films related to the TRAUMA manifesto.


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