Thanks fucking God that some fresh new flesh and blood has been pumped into brazilian cinema in recent years… making a Hollywood-feature about finding meaning and a sense of direction in your own life, that would be entering onto a mine field of clichées and studio-dictated storytelling-tricks…
Last year brazilian director Beto Brant followed up his feverous social thriller O Invasor (The Trespasser) with Cão Sem Dono, a slow-moving, psychological drama with convincing characters. I just saw this film, and while it does not really drop any bombs on us, artistically or socially (like O Invasor did; and let us not even talk about the nuclear-explosive-type-level of City Of God or Tropa de Elite), it is a bit much saying that it is all about “romantic, ‘f**k-the-world, no-one-understands-me’ self-pitying monophony” , since it is exactly a such life-Geist that the film is trying to undermine, and overcome.
Other brazilian films to watch are the gritty Cidade Baixa, the low key police film Achados e Perdidos, and the extreme, low budget, family-drama Contra Todos.
Bicho de Sete Cabeças tells us the medicated hell of Brazilian mental institutions. Carandiru is a funny, warm, and shocking episode-like account of some inmates at the infamous Brazilian prison, where 111 men were killed in a 1992-riot.
O Homem da Capa Preta, the biographical feature of the renegade working class-politician and Brazilian congressman Tenório Cavalcanti, is the shit. It reminds me of Scarface… the same kind of myth-making storytelling, and the same verbal violence and unstoppable, iron-hard motivation that pedals the main character through the story (although with a distinctly different dream in their eyes), the same high density of hot scenes, the same dramatic duels and shoot outs, the same underdog, outsider perspectives, the same dope eighties music and far-out camera work. All of the movies mentioned are good quick looks into Brazilian society, but especially this one gives you a very nice introduction to the extremes of Brazilian politics.
- Say hello… to my little friend!