Nosso Lar (trailer) – Most Expensive in History

The film is based on a book by one of the spirits channeled by Chico Xavier (who, in turn, was shown in a well-received film made about him earlier this year). Nosso Lar (Our Home) was the most expensive film in Brazilian history, costing R$20 million. The IMBD synopsis, while not giving away too much, perhaps gives away a little more than a normal synopsis. A really basic description would be: Guy dies, wakes up in Purgatory, goes to a spiritual city and contemplates the consequences of his past life on Earth.

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Brazil Battles Image Problem During Movie Industry Boom

It was the middle of the night in Jardim Tiradentes, one of Sao Paulo’s rougher neighborhoods. A two-man crew was waiting to film a police raid when chief inspector Rafael Correa Lodi broke the bad news.

“If there’s a risk of them killing the girl, there’s also a risk they will fire at us — so you guys have to stay here.”

He was addressing director Jorge Atalla and his cameraman, who had been following the inspector’s anti-kidnapping team for close to a year for the upcoming documentary “Sequestro.” Now, just as the cops were about to storm a shabby building where a 6-year-old girl was believed to be held, Atalla was forced to withdraw.

If some had their way Atalla might cease making his film altogether.

With Brazil’s film industry in the midst of a major resurgence, local filmmakers, intent on chronicling the country’s character in unflinching fashion, find themselves at odds with a strategy to improve the global perception that Brazil is a crime-ridden land with little to offer the international film community.” – Source (more here)

5x Favela – Then & Now

The remake of the 1962 black and white film Cinco Vezes Favela is about to come out in Brazil, after having been screened at Cannes. Interesting that since the original, so many films have been made about the favelas and virtually all of them focus on bandidos (thugs, criminals). Come to think of it, why aren’t the favela residents portrayed as criminals who love soccer? That way, two stereotypes could become one…no, scratch that. Even better, let’s have every single Brazilian portrayed as a quintessential Brazilian so that one single stereotype could reign. Ok, enough sarcasm. Here’s a little about the original film.

Then

The film in episodes

1- “Um favelado”: Unemployed and without money, a favela resident constructs a plan to make money;

2- “Zé da cachorra”: A landowner wants his land back, where a favela currently is;

3- “Escola de Samba Alegria de Viver”: The president of a samba school is divided between fighting for his status or accepting the commercial impositions of Carnival;

4- “Couro de gato”: Residents hunt cats in order to use their hide to make tamborines.

5- “Pedreira de São Diogo”: Above a quarry there’s a favela. Upon seeing the risk of a landslide, the workers incite the residents to start a resistence movement to stop a fatal accident.

Now

“The Project 5X Favela [5 Times Favela], which aims to teach young people from the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro how to work in the movie business, presented its first feature film, “5X Favela: Now by ourselves” at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival on 18th May.

The film shows five shorts of 20 minutes, each made by different students from the several film workshops from the Project 5X Favela performed by renowned Brazilian filmmakers such as Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Ruy Guerra, Walter Lima Jr., Daniel Filho, Walter Salles, Fernando Meirelles, João Moreira Salles and others.  ”5X Favela: Now by ourserves” reflects the voice and point of view of the youth living (and growing up) in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.” – Source (more here)

The Brazilian Films Post

My post several months ago on the 90 or so Brazilian films I had seen up until that time has received quite a lot of attention since its publishing. The strange part is I can only tell that based on its view count, not the initial comments (meaning the views keep increasing but the comments stopped early on). Just as secretly as people have been viewing it, I have secretly been updating the list every month or so and now it stands at 121 films (90%+ which I recommend watching). Here’s the list once more, updated of course, for your browsing pleasure.

Every Brazilian Film I’ve Ever Seen

Training your Ears with Film

The other day, I did a post on training your ears through news websites (specifically, their multimedia sections) and today on Eyes On Brazil, I did a post featuring the titles of the close to 100 Brazilian films that I’ve seen over the years. It’s not only a great way to train your ears but there’s a lot to gain culturally by watching them.

Feel free to check out my list (most of which I recommend) here.

Brazilian Films for the Int’l Market

Even though I enjoy most of the movies that come out of Brazil, including ones made for the int’l market, I think someone should try to sell Brazil as being a nicer place. This is an old complaint though, the idea of the possibility of violence turns a lot of people off to what could be an interesting and enlightening experience.

Here are a few examples of great movies:

2 Filhos de Francisco (scene w/ subtitles)
Os Normais (imdb)
Cazuza (imdb)
Cidade Baixa (trailer)
O Cheiro do Ralo (imdb)

And some really interesting documentaries too…

Edifício Master (imdb)
Nós Que Aqui Estamos, Por Vós Esperamos (Part 1)

Some say any news is good news, and this idea pervades almost all coverage of anything in the entertainment arena. I don’t particularly like film for leisure as I see it as a learning tool and as an art form, just like drawing, painting, music, literature, etc. Its time to bring a more peaceful Brazilian story as rich as the violent ones, to the silver screen for int’l viewers. The interesting thing is how simple doing such a thing would be, and seeing as how I’ve seen many non-violent films…all it would take is a good translation.

My two cents.