Alexandre Stockler – Cama de Gato AKA Cat’s Cradle (2002)

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Three young hedonistic sociopaths find themselves in deep, deep trouble in Alexandre Stockler’s ugly 2002 teen drama Cat’s Cradle. Longtime pals and recent high school graduates Gabriel (Cainan Baladez), Cristiano (Caio Blat), and Francisco (Rodrigo Bolzan) are all from privileged Sao Paulo households, and as such, spend the vast majority of their time seeking entertainment in any way, shape, or form. The depths of their depravity become fully apparent when the trio captures and gang rapes a young woman — who dies in the midst of this horrific crime. In a panic, the gang of rapists/murderers try to cover up their crime and quickly discover that the cover-up is oftentimes more egregious than the initial crime, with more death and mayhem following suit. Cat’s Cradle marked the first film of the newly formed TRAUMA (Trying to Realize Anything Urgently and with a Minimum of Audacity) school of filmmaking, a so-called “ironic Latin American response to Dogma 95” co-founded by director Stockler. ~ Ryan Shriver, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Marcel Camus – Orfeu Negro AKA Black Orpheus [+Extras] (1959)

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Quote:
Screen: Legend Retold; ‘Black Orpheus’ Bows at the Plaza
By BOSLEY CROWTHER
Published: December 22, 1959

ALL tangled up in the madness of a Rio de Janeiro carnival, full of intoxicating samba music, frenzied dancing and violent costumes, the Frenchman Marcel Camus presents us a melancholy tale in his color film, “Black Orpheus” (“Orfeu Negro”), which came to the Plaza yesterday.

It is a tragic story of a Negro chap and a Negro girl who meet at the time of the annual blowout, fall suddenly and rapturously in love, whirl through the night in a furious revel and fall off a cliff in the dawn. At least, the fellow falls off the cliff, holding the dead body of the girl in his arms. She has been killed the previous evening while trying to escape a scoundrel in a skeleton costume. Continue reading

Walter Hugo Khouri – O Palácio dos Anjos aka The Palace of Angels (1970)

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Synopsis:

In São Paulo, the greedy Bárbara is not happy with her work in a loan and investment company. When her boss Ricardo invites Bárbara for a meeting at his apartment, he harasses her first and then he fires her. When Bárbara is walking on the sidewalk, a stranger offers a ride to downtown for her. While driving, the driver Rose offers a job in a brothel to Bárbara promising a very high income to her. When Bárbara arrives home, she tells the offer she had to her friends Mariazinha and Ana Lúcia. The trio decides to visit the place but they do not like the situation of being treated like objects. They decide to steal the database of the wealthy clients of Ricardo and offer their services in the own apartment. Sooner Bárbara invests a large amount improving the location that is known as “The Palace of the Angels”. Along the days they raise lots of money satisfying the fantasies of their clients but Mariazinha can’t stand the situation and returns to her hometown. Now Bárbara and Ana Lúcia
— Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (IMDb). Continue reading

Júlio Bressane – Filme de Amor (2003)

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Quote:
Two Girls and a Guy meets An Affair of Love in this erotic melodrama from the venerable Brazilian auteur Julio Bressane. The aptly-titled A Love Movie focuses on three philandering characters in Rio de Janerio who gather to discuss and philosophize on the subject of love, occasionally putting their theories into practice over the course of various trysts. Shot in black-and-white and color, A Love Movie premiered in the Director’s Fortnight segment of the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.~ Michael Hastings Continue reading