While in the hospital, after being run over, Alaíde thinks about her life, specially after the moment she'd found the diary of Madame Clessy, in the house where her family had moved in, which was a former bordello.
In 1942, in Rio de Janeiro, the twenty-five years old Alaíde is run over while crossing Carioca Street. She arrives in coma in the hospital, and while being submitted to an emergency surgery, she recalls her life since her family moved to a former brothel, mixing hallucination, reality and memory. In her surrealistic daydream, she meets Madame Clessy, the owner of the bordello that died in 1905, killed by her seventeen years old lover, and she tells a passionate and tragic love story between her husband Pedro, her jealous sister Lúcia and herself, and how Madame Clessy died.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Stick to the Paulo José version, which urgently needs to be re-released
Joffre Rodrigues succeeded in what seemed almost impossible: massacring what is perhaps the best theater play ever written in Portuguese, his father Nelson Rodrigues' 'Wedding dress.' Absolutely incredible! The script (of Joffre's own authorship) is ludicrous, simply ignoring and therefore spoiling the Pirandellian dimensions of the original text. Let me explain it to those who are unfamiliar newcomers to Nelson's work: the play takes place in several different dimensions (the stage is actually divided in a number of Pirandellian spaces). Joffre leveled everything down to a series of present scenes and flashbacks mixed up with apparitions. I wonder if anybody at all who has not read the play can understand anything about the action which is going on. As to his directorial abilities, none at all. An incredibly amateur. Even good players like Pera and Froes are pathetic. The sound is poor. Words are hard to understand. Brazilian movies used to lack a minimum sound quality in the old days, but that technical problem has been largely resolved in the latter decades. Not for Joffre and his crew. The cinematography is mediocre. ANother minus. I'm sorry, I couldn't believe at first why the critics had been so harsh. Having rented the DVD, I can. Let's go back to the Antunes Filho version made for TV Cultura in videotape format (in the 70s) and especially to the memorable Paulo José version (shortened, though) starring lovely Tonia CArrero, made for TV Globo in 1983.
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