Brazilian Cinema

Last weekend was dedicated to the Brazilian Cinema. I chose 3 totally different films to watch and I daresay I wasn’t disappointed at all. Here they are, in order of viewing:

1. FEDERAL (2010)

Vital (Carlos Alberto Riccelli) is a Brazilian federal police deputy who leads a special investigation group focused on capturing an international drug lord, named Carlos ‘Beque’ Batista. Vital’s team is completed by three other cops: Dani (Selton Mello), Lua (Cesario Augusto) and Rocha (Christovam Neto). Dani is a young federal agent, whose specialty is to infiltrate in and investigate the activities of the young drug oriented society of Brasilia. Lua and Rocha are street cops, from the local police forces, who were requested by the Brazilian federal police to join the investigation, since their street smart skills are considered pivotal for the better solution of the case. Lua is also an old friend of Vital, having joined him in other missions in the past. Each member of the group also struggles with life outside their day to day routine. Vital, being the leader and most experienced man of the group, will have to cope with the differences between his three men in order to keep them focused on their main goal. Written by Erik de Castro.

Well, if you asked me, I’d say they’ve made an incredible film with only €2,000,000. Just for comparison,  Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol had a 145,000,000-dollar budget. Although Federal hasn’t got all those special effects like MI, it’s still worth seeing it.

2. MEMÓRIAS PÓSTUMAS (2001)

Free adaptation of Machado de Assis’s classic. The narrator is a rich dead man, who tells us about his life and times, making fun of both.

Nice film which features total fidelity to the book, so don’t expect any action or climax. It’s a linear but interesting story with lots of flashbacks.

3. O CHEIRO DO RALO (2007)

A pawn shop proprietor buys used goods from desperate locals–as much to play perverse power games as for his own livelihood, but when the perfect rump and a backed-up toilet enter his life, he loses all control.

The title puts you off a little at the beginning (The Smell of the Drain), but once you’ve accepted it, you face a very interesting film that criticises the fact that some lonely people think they can buy anything and anybody for their own satisfaction.

Selton Mello plays his part wonderfully as Lourenço, the guy who’s “got the power”. The whole film makes you think about the dark and rotten side everyone has.  The best bit is this one:

“- Quanto?
– 100. Máximo.
– É um Stradivarius.
– 112? … (silêncio) … Esse violino deve ter história né?
– Isso aqui cheira à merda.
– É, é do ralo ali.
– Não é, não.
– É, o cheiro vem do ralo ali.
– O cheiro vem de você.
– Não. Não, amigo, tô com problema no banheirinho aqui, ó. No ralo aqui.
– E quem usa esse banheiro?
– Eu.
– Quem mais?
– Só eu.
– Então… De onde vem o cheiro?”

In English:

” – How much?
– 100. Tops.
– It’s a Stradivarius.
– 112?… (silence)… This violin must have a story, mustn’t it?
– This place smells like shit.
– Yes, it’s from the drain over there.
– No, it isn’t.
– It is, the smell comes from the drain over there.
– The smell comes from you.
– No. No, mate, I have a problem with the bathroom here. Look. With the drain here.
– And who uses this bathroom?
– I do.
– Who else?
– Just me.
– So… Where does the smell come from?”

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