Brazilian Voices of Cinema

Artists’ Television Access • 992 Valencia Street (@ 21st St.) • San Francisco • $6 donation

Brazil helped pioneer filmmaking in the Americas, screening its first film in Rio de Janeiro all the way back in 1897, and its first documentary in 1903.

The approach for this series was to strike a balance between art house and commercial film and, by covering different eras, genres and styles, touch upon various cornerstones of Brazilian cinema.

Silent film began in Brazil with Antônio Leal’s thriller “Os Estranguladores” (1906); followed by Humberto Mauro’s “Brasa Dormida” (1928) and “Ganga Bruta” (1933); Adalbert Kememy’s avant-garde “Sao Paulo: Sinfonia de una Metropoli” (1929); and Mario Peixoto’s avant-garde “Limite” (1930).

In the ‘40s Brazilian cinema became overrun by Hollywood films. Companhia Cinematografica de Veracruz, a replica of the American studio system, produced mostly melodramas – Lima Barreto’s “O Cangaçeiro” (1953) obtained critical and financial success.

In the ‘60s a movement called Cinema Novo came to dominate for two decades. A move away from the Hollywood production style, it was led by intellectuals like Glauber Rocha — “Antonio das Mortes” (1969) — who sought to create a distinctly Brazilian mode of filmmaking.

In 1967, Ozualdo Candeias’ “A Margem” gave birth to Cinema Marginal, that sought to represent the life of society’s forgotten people.

“Cinema Novo was a movie a little individualistic,” said José Mojica Marins, a marginais on his own whose Zé do Caixão (Coffin Joe) horror b-movies would become cult classics.

The creation of Embrafilme, a government agency in charge of financing and distribution, allowed Brazilian cinema to flourish during the 1970s and ‘80s. Bruno Barreto’s “Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos” (1976) and Carlos Diegues’ “Bye Bye Brasil” (1980) belong to this period.

Embrafilme’s dissolution in 1990 nearly stopped cinematic output in Brazil altogether. Still, figures like Walter Salles, Fernando Meirelles and Karim Ainouz — “Madame Satã” (2002) — were able to produce films despite the adversities.

We are accompanying the series with shorts by three emerging local voices: Carolina Moraes-Liu, Rita Piffer and Savana Vagueiro, along with shorts by renowned Brazilian filmmakers Jorge Furtado, Dennison Ramalho and Carlos Vergara.

A lot of voices to choose from that leave the door open for a second installment next year. We hope you enjoy the programs.

—Colectivo Cinema Errante

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Sunday, March 18 · 8pm

Madame Satã (Karim Aïnouz, 2002, 105 min)
Based in the legendary figure of João Francisco dos Santos, the film takes place in the Lapa district of Rio de Janeiro in the 1930s. Hustler, capoeira master and travesty performer, he becomes a popular and feared celebrity of the carioca nightlife.

O filme é baseado na história do legendário Malandro travesti carioca João Francisco dos Santos. No mundo sórdido e vibrante da Lapa nos anos 30, João transforma-se numa das figuras mais populares, alem de temida, das noites cariocas: Madame Satã.

Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê
(Carolina Moraes-Liu, 2009, 20 min) *
Three young women search for identity and self-esteem as they compete for the title of Ebony Goddess in Salvador, Bahia.
Três mulheres jovens em uma busca de identidade e auto-estima enquanto elas competem para o concurso Beleza Negra, em Salvador, Bahia.

* Filmmaker will attend screening

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sunday, April 1 · 8pm

Bye Bye Brasil (Carlos Diegues, 1979, 110 min)
A traveling sideshow made up of a magician, a strongman and an exotic dancer stop in rural villages to mesmerize the townspeople and swindle whatever little money they may have.

Um circo intinerante feito de um mágico, um fortão e uma exótica dançarina, viaja por pequenas cidades rurais na esperança de conseguir trocados por truques.

Ilha das Flores [Isle of Flowers]
(Jorge Furtado, 1989, Brasil, 13 mins)
The life of a tomato: from the fields to the dump.
A vida de um tomate: da fazenda ao lixo.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sunday, April 15 · 8pm

O Dragão da Maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro [Antonio das Mortes]
(Glauber Rocha, 1969, 94 min)
A mercenary peacekeeper agrees to kill rebel soldiers but becomes increasingly drawn to their cause. This allegorical film uses the folklore of North Eastern Brazil as its narrative style of revolutionary ideology.

Um mercenário pacifista concorda em matar um rebelde, mas acaba convencido pela causa da vítima. O filme é contado em alegoria, usando cordel, opera,músicas e rituais folclóricos nordestinos para embalar a narrativa de ideologia revolucionária.

City Under Water (Savana Vagueiro, 2011, 4 mins) *
A forgotten city and the people who visit it.
Uma cidade esquecida e seus vistantes.

* Filmmaker will attend screening

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sunday, May 6 · 8pm

O Cangaceiro [The Bandit of Brazil]
(Lima Barreto, 1953, 105 min)
Inspired by American westerns, this film narrates the times of the “cangaceiros” in the “sertão” (backcountry) in Northern Brazil. A group of bandits abduct a small town school teacher to ask for a ransom. But one of them falls in love and flees with her.

Filme inspirado nos Westerns Americanos, mas sem perder o jeitinho brasileiro, conta a história do cangaceiro Teodoro, que se apaixona pela professora raptada por sua gangue.

Fome [Hunger] (Carlos Vergara, 1972, 5 mins)
A Super-8 production made by renowned abstract artist Carlos Vergara early in his career.
Um filme em super 8 feito pelo renomado artista Carlos Vergara.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sunday, May 27 · 8pm

À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma
[At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul]

(José Mojica Marins, 1964, 105 min)
Coffin Joe, an undertaker, believes in the “continuity of the blood.” A sadist, he prowls the city in search of a woman to bear him an immortal child, while terrorizing people.

Zé do Caixão está a procura da mulher perfeita pra dar luz a seu filho, e aterroriza uma pequena cidade com suas práticas sadísticas.

Amor Só de Mãe [Love from Mother Only]
(Dennison Ramalho, 2003, Brasil, 21 mins)
A macabre tale of lust, motherly affection and macumba shot with conviction and style.
Uma história macabre de amor de mãe.

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Sunday, June 10 · 8pm

Limite (Mário Peixoto, 1931, 114 min)
The only movie made by film pioneer Mario Peixoto in the silent era. In a drifting small boat, two women and a man recall their recent pasts, involving desperation, prison and lost love.

Em um pequeno barco perdido no mar, duas mulheres e um homem revisitam o passado recente. Uma das mulheres escapou da prisão, outra estava à beira do desespero, enquanto o homem perdeu a mulher que amava.

Clarice’s Cups (2011, Rita Piffer, 5 min) *
A memory leaps from a cup Clarice is about to buy.
Uma lembrança salta da xícara que Clarice está prestes a comprar.

* Filmmaker will attend screening

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Sunday, June 24 · 8pm

Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos
[Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands]

(Bruno Barreto, 1976, 110 min)
Dona Flor is married to Vadinho, a gambling good-for-nothing who dies young. After being widowed, she marries again with Teodoro, the town’s pharmacist, and an upstanding gentleman. The problem arises when her deceased husband’s ghost comes to “chase” her.

Dona Flor é casada com o malandro Vadinho, que só quer saber de farras e jogatina. A vida de abusos acarreta na morte precoce. dele Ela casa-se de novo, com o recatado farmacêutico da cidade, mas o ex-marido retorna em espírito pra matar a saudade.

Films in Portuguese w/ English subtitles

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