NY Brings The Cutting Edge of Brazilian Film

Brazilian film Cabra-Cega (Playing in the Dark)Premiere Brazil!/New York introduces recent Brazilian films and the three principal award-winners from the 2004 Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival: Almost Brothers, Estamira and Diary of a Provincial Girl.

Lúcia Murat’s powerful Almost Brothers will have a week’s run at MoMA. The engrossing documentary Estamira, made by the talented team behind Bus 174 (2003) and Helena Solberg’s audience-award winner, Diary of a Provincial Girl will also be offered.


Toni Venturi’s politically astute thriller Playing in the Dark, and Marcelo Gomes’s marvelous first feature – recently seen at Un Certain Regard in the Cannes International Film Festival – Cinema, Aspirin, and Vultures, further attest to the accomplishments of an emerging generation of Brazilian filmmakers.


Two illuminating documentaries on Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the popular Brazilian President, are screened, and one of the most recognizable and popular men in the world, Pelé, will present a recent documentary – Pelé Forever – on his life and times.


To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Carmen Miranda’s death, it will be screened Alô Alô Carnaval (1936), the only major film the popular actress made in her native country before going to Hollywood. The movie will be introduced by independent curator Fabiano Canosa.


MoMA’s extensive 1998 exhibition, the 70-title Cinema Novo and Beyond, was the most comprehensive series of Brazilian films ever screened in the United States.


Since then, a number of factors have combined to elevate the profile of Brazilian cinema worldwide: state-supported financial incentives to encourage local film production; the increased popularity of Festival do Rio/ Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival; the emergence of several new talents with great immediate international exposure; and the consolidation of the reputation of other, more established directors.


Premiere Brazil!/New York casts a wide net with respect to genre and style but all the films are prime examples of the newly revitalized energy pulsating through the Brazilian film industry on all levels – production, distribution, and financing. All films are either world, U.S. or New York premieres.


The exhibition was organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film and Media, The Museum of Modern Art; and Ilda Santiago, Director, The Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.


Screening Schedule


Friday, July 1


7:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). 2004. Brazil. Written and directed by Lúcia Murat. With Caco Ciocler, Flavio Bauraqui.


This film about two friends, in present-day a senator and a powerful drug dealer, begins with their childhood in the 1950s and follows their shared time in prison in the 1970s.


The movie provides a fascinating portrait – marked by popular music and recent political history – of the relationship between Rio de Janeiro’s middle class and its favelas. 103 min.


Saturday, July 2


2:00 p.m. Entreatos (Intermissions). 2004. Brazil. Directed by João Moreira Salles. Salles and his crew followed Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the months leading up to his presidential election in the fall of 2002.


Granted astonishing access, the filmmakers uncover behind-the-scenes details, including Lula’s unguarded conversations and private moments. 107 min.


4:15 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.


6:30 p.m. Alô Alô Carnaval. 1936. Brazil. Directed by Adhemar Gonzaga, Wallace Downey. With Carmen Miranda, Aurora Miranda, Jayme Costa.


Carmen Miranda’s only Brazilian film, and the one that made her famous. Screened to mark the 50th anniversary of her death, this musical displays what came to define the actress: lively, clever eyes, a sexy look, and a beautiful voice. And who can forget those costumes! 96 min.


8:30 p.m. Cabra-cega (Playing in the Dark). 2004. Brazil. Directed by Toni Venturi. With Leonardo Medeiros, Debora Duboc, Michel Bercovitch.


A political thriller depicting Brazil in the 1970s as a violent dictatorship opposed by a handful of idealistic but doomed revolutionaries, one of whom is holed up in a claustrophobic apartment. 102 min.


Sunday, July 3


1:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.


3:00 p.m. Cinema, aspirinas e urubus (Cinema, Aspirin, and Vultures). 2004. Directed by Marcelo Gomes. With Peter Ketnath, João Miguel.


Two men, one escaping war, the other poverty, embark on a road trip in 1942 selling the twin forces of cinema (for dreaming) and aspirin (for pain) throughout the desolate landscapes and tiny hamlets of northeast Brazil. The powerful imagery of this Brazilian Western evokes a lost time and innocence. 105 min. 102 min.


5:00 p.m. Peões (Metalworkers). 2004. Brazil. Directed by Eduardo Coutinho. Interviews with workers who participated in the 1979-80 strikes in the metallurgic region called ABC in the State of São Paulo.


The union was led by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the man who was to become president of Brazil in 2002, and the film offers a fascinating document of the movement, its leaders, and the origins of political commitment. 85 min.


Monday, July 4


3:30 p.m. Vida de menina (Diary of a Provincial Girl). 2004. Brazil. Directed by Helena Solberg. With Ludmila Dayer, Daniela Escobar, Dalton Vigh.


Based on a popular book translated into English by Elizabeth Bishop, this film reveals the universe of Helena Morley as she grows up in the remote mining town of Diamantina and the story of a country that grows up with her at a time when slavery has just been abolished and Brazil has been declared a republic. 101 min.


6:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.


8:00 p.m. Estamira. 2004. Brazil. Written, photographed, and directed by Marcos Prado. An evocative portrait of Estamira, who at sixty-three years of age began treatment at a public clinic for schizophrenia.


The filmmaker followed this charismatic, philosophical woman for three years at the enormous garbage landfill where she had made her life and headed a small community of outcasts for over twenty years. 121 min.


Wednesday, July 6


8:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.


Thursday, July 7


6:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.


8:00 p.m. Entreatos (Intermissions). See Saturday, July 2, 2:00 p.m.


Friday, July 8


6:00 p.m. Peões (Metalworkers). See Sunday, July 3, 5:00 p.m.


8:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.


Saturday, July 9


2:30 p.m. Cinema, aspirinas e urubus (Cinema, Aspirin, and Vultures). See Sunday, July 3, 3:00 p.m.


4:30 p.m. Alô Alô Carnaval. See Saturday, July 2, 6:30 p.m.


6:30 p.m. Pelé eterno (Pelé Forever). 2004. Directed by Anibal Massaini.


The life of the universally admired and beloved soccer genius, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, aka Pelé, is revisited through testimonials by old colleagues, friends, and celebrities.


Scenes of the main events of Pelé’s life and career are interspersed with footage of his most improbable soccer goals. 120 min.


8:45 p.m. Cabra-cega (Playing in the Dark). See Saturday, July 2, 8:30 p.m.


Sunday, July 10


1:00 p.m. Pelé eterno (Pelé Forever). See Saturday, July 9, 6:30 p.m.


3:30 p.m. Vida de menina (Diary of a Provincial Girl). See Monday, July 4, 3:30 p.m.


5:30 p.m. Estamira. See Monday, July 4, 8:00 p.m.


For schedule and more information please visit
www.moma.org

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