MoMA Announces “Premiere Brazil!” Lineup (Full press release and lineup)
The annual “Premiere Brazil!” Festival starts at MoMA on July 14 and runs to the 27. The festival is a collaboration between MoMA and the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival and allows New Yorkers the opportunity to see work from new and established Brazilian filmmakers.
Gustavo Pizzi’s “Craft” will open the fest and “The End of the Endless” and “Amor?” will close it. The festival will also feature a retrospective of filmmaker Cao Guimarães’ work, including “The End of the Endless, “Accident” and “Drifter.” A selection of looped short films by Guimarães will also be on view at MoMA PS1 throughout the first weekend of the festival.
The Museum of Modern Art announces Premiere Brazil!, running July 14–27, 2011, in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters. A collaboration between MoMA and the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, Premiere Brazil! introduces New York audiences to original and accomplished work by both new and established Brazilian filmmakers. This year’s survey of Brazilian cinema features 14 films, including four international premieres, as well as a retrospective of the work of artist and filmmaker Cao Guimarães. The exhibition is organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art; and Ilda Santiago and Vilma Lutosa, Directors, the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.
Now in its ninth edition, the festival shines a light on the strength and vivacity of recent Brazilian film productions with several promising debuts. The festival opens on July 14 with Riscado (Craft) (2010), Gustavo Pizzi’s fictional portrait of the ups and downs of a talented, creative personality; Pizzi will be in attendance to introduce the film and participate in a post-screening discussion. Further distinguishing this season is João Jardim’s Amor? (2010), authentic interviews about love between couples gone terribly wrong, re-enacted verbatim by actors and actresses; and Noitada de samba foco de resistência (Samba’s Evening) (2010), Cély Leal’s narrative of Teatro Opinião, a samba club in Rio de Janeiro that became a symbol of political and cultural resistance in the early 1970s.
The series features two biographical films: Toniko Melo’s VIPS (2010), which takes a stylish, fictionalized look at real-life con artist Marcelo da Rocha, and Daniel Filho’s Chico Xavier (2010), a film that recounts the life of the Spiritist medium Chico Xavier. Other films in the festival mine historical subject matter to offer new perspectives on the present, including Carlos Adriano’s Santos Dumont: Pré-cineasta? (Santos Dumont’s Mutoscope: Early Cinema and Found Footage Film) (2010), a moving and insightful celebration of the earliest innovative spirit, Santos Dumont, a Brazilian aviator and inventor, and his relationship to early cinema; Silvio Tendler’s Utopia e barbárie (Utopia and Barbarism) (2009), a journey through a half-century of global dreams and the barbarism that punctuated them; and Flavia Castro’s Diário de uma busca (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…) (2010), a story about Brazilian activist Celso Afonso Gay de Castro, the filmmaker’s father.
Complementing the film festival is a retrospective of the works of artist and filmmaker Cao Guimarães (Brazilian, b. 1965). Several of the artist’s haunting, evocative documentaries and film essays will be screened at MoMA, including O Fim do sem fim (The End of the Endless) (2001), a feature-length documentary about the imminent disappearance of certain jobs and occupations in Brazil; Ex isto (Ex It) (2010), Guimarães possible answer to poet Paulo Leminski’s question, “and what if René Descartes had come to Brazil along with Mauríco de Nassau?”; Acidente (Accident) (2006), a beautifully photographed montage following Guimarães as he visits 20 towns in the state of Minas Gerais; Andarilho (Drifter) (2007), a film about three lonely drifters following different paths, each establishing intimate relationships with various elements of a transitory world; Alma do osso (The Soul of the Bone) (2004), a revealing look into the isolated existence of a older man living in a cave; and Rua de mao dupla (Two-Way Street) (2010), a documentary that follows strangers who exchange houses for a 24- hour period. A selection of looped short films by Guimarães will be on view at MoMA PS1 throughout the first weekend of the festival. These short films focus on everyday events and quiet actions in both urban and rural settings—from billowing tarps to an army of ants to soap bubbles.
Screening Schedule Premiere Brazil! 2011
Thursday, July 14
Riscado (Craft). 2010. Directed by Gustavo Pizzi. With Karine Teles, Camilo Pellegrini, Otávio Müller. 85 min. Bianca is a talented young actress trying to get her career off the ground, but so far her jobs have been limited to impersonating movie divas and promoting events. After auditioning for a major international film, she finally gets her big break with a director who, inspired by her personality and her work, molds the character into a version of Bianca. Is this a chance of a lifetime? Pizzi portrays the casual cruelty of the competitive world in which we live, and heightens the drama not through melodrama or exaggerated scenarios but by picking the perfect protagonist: an actress. Craft was cowritten with the astounding Karine Teles, who inhabits the role of Bianca with heartbreaking poignancy. New York Premiere. Introduction and discussion by Gustavo Pizzi.
Friday, July 15
5:00 Chico Xavier. 2010. Directed by Daniel Filho. Based on the novel The Lives of Chico Xavier by Marcel Souto Maior. With Ângelo Antônio, Matheus Costa, Tony Ramos. 125 min. “No one can go back and create a new beginning; but anyone can start again and create a new ending.” This was one of the many messages that Spiritist medium Chico Xavier (1910–2002) received from his spiritual guide, Emmanuel, and shared with those around him. In his 92 years, Xavier worked incessantly, producing over 400 books through the use of “psychography,” or spirit writing, and dedicating his life to philanthropy. He garnered a devoted following as well as national controversy. To his admirers, he was a saint. To nonbelievers, he was an intriguing character at least—as the film so richly illustrates. U.S. Premiere.
7:30 VIPs. 2010.
Directed by Toniko Melo. With Wagner Moura, Arieta Corrêa, Gisele Fróes. 96 min. A spinner of tall tales turns into a reluctant con man in this energetic tale based on the real life story of the bluffer Marcelo da Rocha. As a child, Marcelo’s one ambition was to fly planes; as an adult, our anti-hero stumbles upon his dream when he becomes a pilot for a drug trafficking enterprise. Dangerous escapades, money, and high-powered friends follow; soon he’s being taken for the brother of the president of Gol Airlines, and that’s only the beginning…. The tone is breezy and the situations funny, rendering the film as seductive as its main character. VIPs garnered all the main prizes at the 2010 Rio Film Festival. International Premiere. Introduction and discussion by Toniko Melo.
Saturday, July 16
2:00 O Fim do sem fim (The End of the Endless). 2001.
Directed by Cao Guimarães, Beto Magalhães, and Lucas Bambozzi. 92 min. Filmed in 10 Brazilian states, this feature-length documentary tackles the imminent disappearance of certain jobs and occupations in Brazil, focusing on the inventiveness and resistance of man vis-à-vis technological and cultural changes. The project was recorded in Super 8, 16mm, and video, giving texture and life to the images as they coalesce into a portrait of Brazil’s changing economic landscape. U.S. Premiere. Introduction and discussion by Cao Guimarães.
5:30 Amor? 2010. Directed by João Jardim. With Lília Cabral, Eduardo Moskovis, Letícia Colin. 100 min. The question mark is key in the title of this film, a meditation on the uncertain and precarious nature of love. Drawn from real interviews, the film features testimonials from relationships gone wrong—stories including all forms of violence and pain, both physical and psychological— interpreted by actors and actresses in unadorned, testimonialstyle shots. Interspersed with the characters’ frank portrayals of jealousy and guilt, passion and power, are contrasting scenes of a more poetic ideal of male-female relationships—but the sting of the harrowing stories is not easily pushed aside. International Premiere. Introduction and discussion by João Jardim.
Sunday, July 17
2:30 Diário de uma busca (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…). 2010. France/Brazil. Directed by Flávia Castro. 105 min. The director tells the story of her father, Brazilian activist Celso Afonso Gay de Castro, whose life was intertwined with the political struggles that traumatized Latin America starting in the 1960s. The documentary maps a journey through the countries where Celso A. Castro was exiled and where Flávia spent her childhood—Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and France. The filmmaker, often with her mother as guide, examines the day-to- day life of the leftist militant generation of the 1960s and 1970s as she traces her father’s personal history—a story that began with a dream of political ideals and ended with a premature death shrouded in mystery. U.S. Premiere. Introduction and discussion by Flávia Castro.
5:00 Utopia e barbárie (Utopia and Barbarism). 2009. Directed by Silvio Tendler. 120 min. Painstakingly assembled from an amazing array of found footage, Silvio Tender’s historical documentary applies a quote from Oscar Wilde—“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at”—to the world that emerged after World War II, taking the concept to the revolutions of 1968 and beyond. It examines the utopias that were born and brought to life—and the barbarism that punctuated them—with startling images and testimonies, creating a moving portrait of a generation that dreamed of changing the world and fought for freedom through a global movement. U.S. Premiere. Introduction and discussion by Silvio Tendler.
7:45 Noitada de samba foco de resistência (Samba’s Evening). 2010. Directed by Cély Leal. 75 min. In 1971, under Brazil’s military dictatorship, Jorge Coutinho and Leonides Bayer began holding weekly “Samba Evenings” at Teatro Opinião in Rio de Janeiro, importing popular musicians from the suburbs to entertain Rio’s elite. Radical in both concept and execution, the series transformed the theater into a symbol of political and cultural resistance over its 617 performances in 13 years. Samba’s Evening recounts this history through music, rare footage, and interviews with Alcione, Beth Carvalho, D. Yvone Lara, Eliana Pittman, Elton Medeiros, Gilberto Braga, Martinho da Vila, Maurício Sherman, and others whose stories powerfully evoke the period. International Premiere. Introduction and discussion by Cély Leal, and Jorge Coutinho, Leonides Bayer.
Monday, July 18
4:30 Santos Dumont: Pré-cineasta? (Santos Dumont’s Mutoscope: Early Cinema and Found Footage Film). 2010. Directed by Carlos Adriano. 64 min. This essay-documentary employs interviews and documents to conjure a poetic portrait of a bygone era, putting its own unique spin on the tradition of early and found footage re-appropriation cinema. Adriano uses an unknown reel of photo- cards, which he found and restored himself, from a mutoscope film shot in London in 1901. The reel depicts Santos Dumont, a Brazilian aviator and inventor who lived from 1873 to 1932, explaining his airship to Charles Rolls, the future founder of Rolls-Royce. The dovetailing of early 20th-century inventions is the basis for a sensitive exploration of early cinema, supplemented by illuminating contributions from scholars and other professionals. U.S. Premiere. Introduction and discussion by Carlos Adriano.
8:00 Ex isto (Ex It). 2010. Directed by Cao Guimarães. With João Miguel. 86 min. Guimarães provides a possible answer to poet Paulo Leminski’s question in Catatau (the Finnegans Wake of Brazilian literature): “And what if René Descartes had come to Brazil along with Mauríco de Nassau?” In the film, Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, goes on a tropical journey in a hallucinogen-induced daze, investigating matters of geometry and optics and wrangling with doubts in the face of phenomena beyond reason and logic. There is very little dialogue in this film of informal time travel, except for some voiceovers using texts by Descartes and Leminski. U.S. Premiere. Introduction and discussion by Cao Guimarães.
Tuesday, July 19
4:30 Noitada de samba foco de resistência (Samba’s Evening) (See Sunday, July 17, 7:45).
8:00 Acidente (Accident). 2006. Directed by Cao Guimarães. 72 min. Inspired by the names of 20 towns in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, this beautifully photographed montage uses accidental discovery as an organizing principle to create a poem from everyday life.
Wednesday, July 20
4:30 Andarilho (Drifter). 2006. Directed by Cao Guimarães. 80 min. Between the cities of Montes Claros and Pedra Azul, three lonely drifters follow different paths, each establishing intimate relationships with various elements of a transitory world. This second installment in Cao Guimarães’s planned trilogy about solitude continues his daring visual exploration of existential themes. The filmmaker captures the relationship between thought and movement, geography and introspection, through breathtaking shots of human forms against the surrounding landscape.
8:00 VIPs (See Friday, July 15, 7:30).
Thursday, July 21
4:30 Chico Xavier (See Friday, July 15, 5:00).
8:00 Alma do osso (The Soul of the Bone). 2004. Directed by Cao Guimarães. 74 min. The film gradually reveals the isolated existence of Dominguinhos, a 72-year- old man who lives inside a cave that juts off from a rock mountain. The Soul of the Bone is composed of long silences in which the hermit executes his daily chores, such as cooking and cleaning, and of images, shot in video and Super 8 film, that transcend his territory. Silence is the normal state in which time passes; speech is the exception. U.S. Premiere.
Friday, July 22
4:00 Riscado (Craft) (See Thursday, July 14, 8:00).
4:00 Chico Xavier (See Friday, July 15, 5:00).
7:00 Rua de mao dupla (Two-Way Street). 2002. Directed by Cao Guimarães. 72 min. Two-Way Street is the result of a cinematic and social experiment: People who didn’t know each other exchanged houses for 24 hours. Each couple brought along a portable video camera and had total freedom to film whatever they wanted during the swap. The participants tried to construct a “mental image” of the “other” while surrounded by their personal objects and their domestic universe. At the end of the experience, each participant gave a personal report on how they imagined the other. U.S. Premiere.
Saturday, July 23
1:30 Utopia e barbárie (Utopia and Barbarism) (See Sunday, July 17, 5:00).
4:00 Ex isto (Ex It) (See Monday, July 18, 8:00).
8:00 Acidente (Accident) (See Tuesday, July 19, 8:00).
Sunday, July 24
2:00 Riscado (Craft) (See Thursday, July 14, 8:00).
5:00 Santos Dumont: Pré-cineasta? (Santos Dumont’s Mutoscope: Early Cinema and Found Footage Film) (See Monday, July 18, 4:30).
Monday, July 25
4:00 Diário de uma busca (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…) (See Sunday, July 17, 2:30).
7:00 Alma do osso (The Soul of the Bone) (See Thursday, July 21, 8:00).
Tuesday, July 26
4:00 Rua de mao dupla (Two-Way Street) (See Friday, July 22, 7:00).
7:00 Andarilho (Drifter) (See Wednesday, July 20, 4:30).
Wednesday, July 27
4:00 O Fim do sem fim (The End of the Endless) (See Saturday, July 16, 2:00).
7:00 Amor? (See Saturday, July 16, 5:30).
Source: by Alena Chinault for IndieWire
Entry filed under: LATIN AMERICAN FILM. Tags: “Amor?” brazilian film, “Premiere Brazil!” Festival MoMA New York, “The End of the Endless”, Cao Guimarães, Daniel Filho’s Chico Xavier, Diário de uma busca by Flavia Castro, Gustavo Pizzi “Craft”, Santos Dumont: Pré-cineasta? by Carlos Adriano, Toniko Melo’s VIPS, Utopia e barbárie (Utopia and Barbarism) by Silvio Tendler.