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Chico Xavier (2010)
A great opportunity to get to know who was Chico Xavier, a man called love!
It's a quite hard work to portrait the essence of Chico Xavier's life. Although he lived 92 years and psycho-graphed more than 400 books, Chico Xavier's life was, above all superlatives, an example of charity, love to his fellowman, resignation, patience and true Christian humbleness. Not even his written works are more important than his example as a good man.
The movie, based on Marcel Souto Maior's best-seller As Vidas de Chico Xavier (The Lives of Chico Xavier), portraits his life from the age of 9 (performed by the incredible boy-actor Matheus Costa) until his adulthood. Ângelo Antonio performs Chico Xavier as young man and Nelson Xavier (no parenthood, by the way) performs the character as a mature/old man. It's quite poignant to see how Chico Xavier was misunderstood during his childhood and and throughout his life. As a boy he was called "the haunted kid", lunatic and lier. Such "fame" would result in terrible beatings by his father and godmother (who took care of him after the death of his beloved mother). As a young man he was persecuted and accused of mystification, despite having given his entire life to ease the pain of many families who lost their loved ones.
Daniel Filho's direction is discreet. He opted to tell the story without special effects (had all reasons to use them) or great cinematographic tricks. His direction is secure, almost linear, but resulted in a great effect, since it never conflicts or steals the spotlights from the most important figure of the movie, Chico Xavier itself. Egbert Gismonti's musical score is superb, fusing traditional religious songs with sounds of nature, involving the scenes with a magical and emotional atmosphere at the same time. Marcos Bernstein's screenplay is correct but fails a bit when leaves many important facts out of the final script. Nonato Estrela's cinematography is good, although a little dark in many sequences of the movie.
Concerning the cast, the movie has the amazing performance of Nelson Xavier, which resemblance to the character itself is creepy. He gives the character a suave/humorous flavor, without exaggerating in any time. Ângelo Antonio shows an insecure and naive Chico Xavier in his younger days and Matheus Costa plays the role with all its suffering and feeling of incomprehension. Ana Rosa as Carmen shows how to make bigger a bit participation. Tony Ramos and Cristine Torloni are pure emotion, André Dias as Emmanuel (Chico Xavier's spiritual guide) plays his role with great dignity and Pedro Paulo Rangel as Father Scarzelo gives a show-stopping performance making his character to explode on the silver screen.
For all those above reasons I do recommend the movie. For those who, like me, met him in person and for those who still do not know him, this movie is a great opportunity to get to know who was Chico Xavier, a man called love!
Meu Primeiro Baile (1972)
A woman finds her first ball card and tries to find the boys who danced with her on that night.
Meu Primeiro Baile (My Frist Ball) was aired on Brazilian TV on March 31st. 1972. It was a short story that was part of a weekly TV show called Caso Especial. It was a special featured show because it was the very first Brazilian TV show produced and aired in color. That 31st. of March was the day Brazilian military authorities determined to Brazilian's debut in regular color broadcasting. In spite of this dictatorial detail, Meu Primeiro Baile was a beautiful TV show, showing a glamorous Glória Menezes performing a mature woman who asks her best friend (Sérgio Cardoso in one of his last appearance before his death) to help her finding the boys who danced with her on that unforgettable night. Her journey into past brings her bitter and sweet facts, concerning the destiny of each of those boys, now adults and their lives, some happy, some funny and some tragic. Talented cast, beautiful production.
O Bem-Amado (1973)
First soap-opera aired in living colors in Brazil. An unforgettable masterpiece from Dias Gomes.
O Bem Amado is one of the most amazing soap-operas aired in Brazilian TV. Not only for the quality of Dias Gomes' genius story, but also because it was the first soap-opera presented in living color in Brazil. A masterpiece that, unfortunately, is not re-runned since 1979 (it's a 1972/73 production).
It tells the story of Odorico Paraguassú, the mayor of the Brazilian country-sided city of Sucupira, located at Bahia and his ultimated aim to inaugurate the city's cemetery, since until that time all sucupirians had to be interred in other cities. Due to some unusual reason, no inhabitant of Sucupira died since the cemetery was built by the mayor Paraguassú. The Mayor, in an act of despair, decided to hire a renowned professional killer (known as Zeca Diabo) for that he killed someone and finally the cemetery would be inaugurated with pomp and circumstance.
All the story line rotates around the villainies and tricks of the corrupt Odorico Paraguassú and his obsession in inaugurate the cemetery. The author, Dias Gomes, does in this way, a biting criticism to the Brazilian's politics and politicians since Brazil lived the boom of the military dictatorship that was establish in 1964 . At the end of the story, the cemetery is finally inaugurated... by the own mayor, that ends up being dead by the own Zeca Diabo, when he is informed about the mayor's ambush to incriminate him.
A wonderful and unforgettable soap-opera.