Júlio Bressane – Filme de Amor (2003)

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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

Júlio Bressane – O Anjo Nasceu (1969)

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Santamaria and Urtigo are two bandits on the run, one is white, the other black. Santamaria is a mystical visionary and believes in the imminent coming of a purifying angel. Urtiga, his inseparable companion, is a simple-minded and ingenious man who follows Santamaria around and participates in the crimes he commits. The two bandits take over a house after kidnapping its owner and his girlfriend. The film’s finale is classic, with music by the singer Luis Gonzaga and the “endless” shot of an empty road. “When I made O Anjo Nasceu I thought I had made my most difficult film, a completely irresponsible film, that space, that vacuum, that nothing. It was a devastating experience for me, a shock. Much, much more than Matou a Família e Foi ao Cinema, which was a well-received film. I think O Anjo Nasceu is still unknown territory, even for me” (J. Bressane).link Continue reading

Sérgio Ricardo – Juliana do Amor Perdido AKA Lost Love Juliana (1968)

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A beautiful young woman living in an isolated fishing community on an island falls in love with an outsider, a train machinist. But her father, a violent religious fanatic interferes. Continue reading

Hilton Lacerda – Tatuagem AKA Tatoo (2013)

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Hilton Lacerda’s film debut is a lively take on the conflict between the straight establishment and the gay avant garde in late ’70s Brazil, and won a clutch of awards at the recent Rio festival.

The spirit of Fassbinder lives on in Hilton Lacerda’s Tattoo, at once an homage to the anarchist theater scene in late 1970s Brazil, a portrait of a society on the edge of change, and a punchy critique of Latin American homophobia. As drama, Tattoo tells an often-told story, but it does achieve a distinctive air of controlled chaos, managing to be both bouncy and thought-provoking in an unsubtle kind of way. Having picked up several awards in Rio, Tattoo should go on to leave its mark at festivals where the gay and the political meet. Its five Rio awards included best actor and best supporting actor. Continue reading

José Padilha & Felipe Lacerda – Ônibus 174 AKA Bus 174 [+Extras] (2002)

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Review (by Jamie Russell,) :

Life is cheap in this searing Brazilian documentary about the real-life hijacking of a bus in Rio de Janeiro in June 2000 by a homeless, drug-addicted street kid named Sandro do Nascimento. Broadcast live on Brazilian television, the four-hour stand-off let the nation watch as its incompetent, poorly trained police force struggled to contain the explosive situation. A stunning indictment of Brazil’s social meltdown, this startling documentary plays like City Of God – except this time the bullets are real.

The hijacking itself is a catalogue of errors: the police failed to seal off the bus, letting camera crews and Joe Public wander within inches of its windows while Sandro stalked around inside with a .38 revolver. As a result, SWAT team snipers were told not to shoot because the event was being broadcast live on national television.
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