Brazilian Films List for collectors
Este post está escrito apenas em inglês pois os períodos e os nomes dos filmes são claros. Solicite a tradução, se desejar. Trata-se de uma seleção de fimes brasileiros, desde a década de 30, para quem se interessa por uma filmografia brasileira, com foco histórico.
A Norwegian friend of mine surprised me telling that he had a collection of Brazilian movies. When he named them, I noticed a very precise information on our Brazilian classic movies. I would like to complete his list, as a token of affection and also as an important information for those who love movies. If someone does not agree with the selection, please complete it in order we can build together a very representative reference for Brazilian movie collectors.
From the ‘30s
Limite (1931)/ Limit – It is about a man and two women that are lost in the ocean. Limit is a silent movie but its photograph and filmmaking art is something one must watch.
Ganga Bruta (1933) / Rough Gangue. Its director, Humberto Mauro, is considered one of the fathers of the Brazilian movie. It is about a love triangle and it explores the human condition, our need for love and the drama in each one lives. Other movies of this period were called chanchada, a kind of musical comedy, as The Voice of Carnival (1933), the first movie with Carmen Miranda. Sound was introduced in Brazilian movies at this time.
From the ´40/50s
In these decades we started to talk about a Brazilian movie industry that hired technicians from abroad and produced films with international quality.
O Cangaceiro (1953) – The Bandit (or The Brigand) – This movie, whose director was Lima Barreto, won the “Best Adventure Film” award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953. It is a vey known movie abroad and our first international success. There was a remake of this movie in 1997. From the ´60s
Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (1964)/ God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun (literal title). Masterpiece of the director Glauber Rocha, the movie is about religious and political fanaticism in Brazil´s northeast. It had a strong international influence.
Rio 40 Graus (1955) – Rio 40 Degrees. Its director, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, used Italian filmmaking techniques and started what we called “Cinema Novo” (new cinema) in Brazil, a productive phase.
Terra em Transe (1967) – Land in Anguish. The story takes place in a fictional province called El Dorado, where a populist political candidate runs afoul of the established interests and Paulo, the idealistic intellectual, must choose sides. The movie was banned in Brazil, in 1967, as it was considered subversive and irreverent to the Catholic Church. Afterwards, it was released on the condition that a certain character, a priest, received a specific name. Prizes: Luiz Buñuel and Fipresci at the XX International Movie Festival, Cannes, França, 1967.
O Pagador de Promessas (1962) – The Payer of Vows. The movie won the Golden Palma at the Cannes Film Festival. It is an interesting movie on the strong religious beliefs of the Brazilian people.
Vidas Secas (1963) – Barren Lives. Eight international prizes, this movie is based on a novel of Graciliano Ramos, an important Brazilian writer. It is about a northeastern family that lost their home by drought and walks from a land to another, trying to survive. It represents what we called “Cinema Novo” movement, very much centered on Brazilian problems like violence, poverty, regional and rural conflicts and so on. Barren Lives make the connection between the Cinema Novo and the movie production that would come later.
Os Fuzis (1964) – The Guns (or The Rifles). The plot takes place in an extremely poor region in the Northeast of Brazil, where a group of soldiers try to stop the population from sacking a food deposit. It was directed by Ruy Guerra, born in Mozambique but living in Brazil at that time. The movie has a good photography treatment, with a very strong visual and a good soundtrack. It is presented in dull sepia (not full color).
O Dragão da Maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro (1969) / The Dragon of Evil against the Saint Warrior also known as Antonio das Mortes. Glauber Rocha, the Director, is someone that a Brazilian hates or loves deeply. Its films, with many prizes (Antonio das Mortes received a prize for the direction of Glauber Rocha, during the Cannes Festival) need someone really interested to interact with them but, if it happens, you will be gratified with this interaction.
From the ´70s
O Bandido da Luz Vermelha (1968) – The Red Light Bandit. Directed by Rogério Sganzerla, this is a story of a famous Brazilian criminal, called Red Light Bandit as he used a red flashlight to break in the houses during the night and rape is female victims. The movie was shot four years after the beginning of Military Dictatorship.
Macunaíma (1969). The end of last decade brought the Tropicalist movement, with strong influence on our music, theatre and art scenes. The order was avoid foreign influence. Macunaíma, by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, is a symbol of this movement. Macunaíma is a lazy hero. He is so lazy that started talking just when he was 6 years old. Living in the forest, moves to the city, living incredible adventures in a funny movie. Based on the 1928 novel by Mario De Andrade that is considered one of the founding texts of Brazilian modernism.
Dona Flor e seus Dois Maridos (1976) / Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands – Bruno Barreto. This movie had a remake made in USA (Kiss me Goodbye), directed by Robert Mulligan. The script was based on Jorge Amado novel. Dona Flor is married to Vadinho, a hot lover. Flor is a subservient wife who gives cooking lessons because she is well known in town for her good cooking. They have a great sex life but, unfortunately, he dies. Flor has a 2nd marriage, with a pharmacist, a man that is completely different from Vadinho. Unhappy, she “calls” her first husband, and he really comes as a spirit, to satisfy her. You will have many funny moments and a good picture of the Brazilian culture with this movie.
From the `80s
In the 1980’s, the production of movies was not in a big phase, despite some good movies can be referred, with an emphasis on political issues, as:
Eles não Usam Black-Tie (1981)/They Don’t Wear Black-Tie. Directed by Leon Hirzman, it tells the story of a strike in the industrial area of São Paulo;
Memórias do Cárcere (1984)/Memories of Prison. Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos, it is based on a book by Graciliano Ramos, and presents the life of political prisoners.
A Hora da Estrela (1985)/The Hour of the Star. Directed by Susana Amaral and based on a novel by Clarice Lispector, it is about a girl that comes from the northeast to the southeast, as many persons have done in Brazil. She suffers the impact of the big cities life.
From the ´90s
Carlota Joaquina, Princesa do Brasil (1995) /Carlota Joaquina, Princess of Brazil. This is the first movie directed by Carla Camurati and it represents the first step in a new stage of Brazilian filmography.
O Quatrilho (1995) – Nominated for Oscar, it tells the story of two of the hundreds of families that came from Italy to Brazil in late 19th century and beginning of the 20th, looking for a better life. In my opinion, this is one of the best Brazilian movies.
And others like:
Baile Perfumado (1996)/Perfumed Ball; Os Matadores (1997); Estorvo (1999)/Turbulence (English Title) and so on. Let´s post something about modern movies later.
Sources for research: Information (Portuguese) on Brazilian movies (1897-2007): http://www.cinemateca.gov.br/cgi-bin/wxis.exe/iah/ Download O Pagador de Promessas: http://baixalogofilmes.blogspot.com/2009/01/download-o-pagador-de-promessas.html