CINEMA OF BRAZIL: Literature into Film

CINEMA OF BRAZIL: Literature into Film

Barbican Film is pleased to present a major festival to celebrate the bond that exists in Brazil between literature and cinema, presented in association with the Embassy of Brazil and curated by Adriana Rouanet

The season will honour the work of classic Brazilian directors such as Nelson Pereira dos Santos and Cacá Diegues, alongside those from a new generation.

Barbican Film is delighted that the Festival will be attended by Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Bruno Barreto, Maria Manoella, José Wilker, Helvécio Ratton, Flávio Tambellini, João Falcão, Adriana Falcão, André Klotzel, Betty Leirner, and Patricia de Filippi among others.

Thursday 4 October – Opening Gala
7.30pm – UK PREMIERE – Crime Delicado (Delicate Crime) (18) (Brazil 2005 Dir. Beto Brant 87 mins) introduced by critic Prof. Lúcia Nagib and followed by a ScreenTalk with actress Maria Manoella and leading Brazilian filmmaker Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Beto Brant is one of Brazil’s most important new voices in filmmaking, often adapting contemporary Brazilian writing for the screen. Crime Delicado is a remarkable piece of work, taking place at the meeting point of theatre, cinema, fine art and literature. In a world where perfect female beauty is the ideal, it gives a fresh and intelligent portrayal of an artist’s muse with a severe physical disability.

Antônio Martins (Marco Ricca) is a theatre critic and a keen observer, not only of plays but also of people. His cynicism is dented when he meets Inês (Lilian Taublib), a woman with only one leg whose personality differs drastically from his but who succeeds in capturing his imagination. He soon becomes obsessed and is plagued by the jealousy of her relationship with the artist José Torres Campana (Felipe Ehrenberg), famous for his erotic paintings modelled on Inês. Antônio’s obsession slowly begins to affect his sanity, and he spirals downwards into a state where he can no longer control his feelings of anxiety, lust, and delusion. Based on the novel by Sergio Sant’anna and containing strong erotic scenes.

Friday 5 October
6.00pm – Fica Comigo esta Noite (Stay With Me Tonight) (12A) (Brazil 2006 Dir. João Falcão 75 mins) followed by Q&A with director João Falcão and novelist Adriana Falcão
Based on the play by Flávio de Souza, the film tells the story of Edu (Vladimir Brichta) and Laura (Aline Moraes) a couple who met and got married when they were still young, and years later go through a marital crisis which is left unresolved by the sudden death of Edu. Unhappy with the idea of leaving his wife forever without at least resolving their conjugal issues, Edu, now a ghost, decides to seek the advice of another more experienced ghost on how to return to the world of the living in order to speak to Laura. With intelligent dialogues and humour, this film broaches difficult themes with a lightness of touch capable of evoking both tears and laughter.

Friday 5 October
7.45pm – Raízes do Brasil (The Roots of Brazil) (cert TBC) (Brazil 2004 Dir. Nelson Pereira dos Santos 146 mins) followed by Q&A with director Nelson Pereira dos Santos
A compelling documentary which honours the life and work of Sérgio Buarque de Hollanda, one of the leading Brazilian intellectuals of the 20th century and author of the classic Raizes do Brasil (The Roots of Brazil). The film is divided into two parts, describing how the author used to pass his days with family and friends while also offering a historical panorama of the times, his reaction to Nazism and the years of Vargas’ dictatorship, and the arrival of the modernist movement in Brazil.

Saturday 6 October
10.00am – 2.00pm – “Papers on Film” Symposium
Three papers on the process and aesthetic of adapting literature to film, delivered by Prof. Lúcia Nagib, Dr Stephanie Dennison, Leeds University and Prof. David Treece, King’s College London.

Saturday 6 October
3.00pm – Macunaíma (12A) (Brazil 1969 Dir. Joaquim Pedro de Andrade 108 mins) followed by Q & A with Patricia de Filippi, Head of Restoration at the Cinemateca Brasileira
Based on the modernist novel Macunaíma- o herói sem nenhum caráter (1928) by Mário de Andrade, the film follows the fate of Macunaíma (Grande Otelo), a scoundrel-hero born black (to Native Indian parents), who turns white after bathing in a magic river. When Macunaíma abandons the jungle for São Paulo, he is immediately overwhelmed by the technology and industry of the city, so returns home, only to find the jungle abandoned. The film, which clearly breaks with the “Cinema Novo” tradition, of which the director was part, offers us a satirical view of Brazilian society and morals.

Saturday 6 October
6.00pm – A Hora da Estrela (The Hour of the Star) (12A) (Brazil 1985 Dir. Suzana Amaral 96 mins)
Macabéa (Marcélia Cartaxo) is a simple-minded girl from the Northeast of Brazil who decides to move to São Paulo in the hope of improving her life. Once there, she gets a job as a typist despite her near illiteracy and meets Olímpico (José Dumont) who is only to keen to dump her as soon as he meets a more attractive female alternative. Heart-broken, she visits a fortune-teller (Fernanda Montenegro) hoping to be told that true happiness is still in store for her. But can the fortune-teller be believed? Based on the novel of the same title by Clarice Lispector (1977).

Saturday 6 October
8.30pm – Cão Sem Dono (Stray Dog) (18) (Brazil 2007 Dir. Beto Brant 82 min)
Stray Dog narrates an encounter between Ciro (Júlio Andrade), a recent literature graduate who goes through an existential crisis marked by scepticism and lack of plans, and Marcela (Tainá Müller), an ambitious young model beginning her career who completely devotes herself to her job, thus postponing the accomplishment of any dream. Based on the novel by Daniel Galeria, it is an acute observation of the nature of a romantic relationship.

Sunday 7 October
1.00pm – Memórias Póstumas (Posthumous Memories) (12A) (Brazil/Portugal 2001 Dir. André Klotzel 101 mins) followed by Q&A with director André Klotzel
Based on the novel Epitaphh of a Small Winner (1881) by Machado de Assis, the film, like the book, begins with the death and funeral of the protagonist and narrator of the story, Brás Cubas (Reginaldo Farias), a well-to-do bon-vivant. Before taking his final rest, the ghost decides to give us a retrospective of the important episodes that marked his life: his birth, his youth, his romances, his illusions and delusions, and finally, his death. Told with the same satirical tone adopted by the author, the film offers us a humorous glimpse of Rio society in the 19th century.

Sunday 7 October
6.00pm – UK PREMIERE – O Xangô de Baker Street (A Samba for Sherlock) (15) (Brazil 2001 Dir. Miguel Faria Jr 124 mins)
Rio de Janeiro, 1886: a series of grisly murders shocks the city and the police are mystified. The victims are all beautiful young women and in each case, the killer leaves his calling card: a violin string entangled in the woman’s pubic hair and the corpse stripped of a flap of skin. At the suggestion of French actress Sarah Bernardt (Maria de Medeiros) on tour in South America, Sherlock Holmes (Joaquim de Almeida) and Dr Watson (Anthony O’Donnell) are called to Rio to help solve the murders. However, once in Brazil, Holmes’ powers of deduction are blurred by the climate and the women of the tropics. A comedy based on the 1995 novel by humourist Jô Soares.

Sunday 7 October
8.30pm – A Máquina (The Machine) (cert TBC) (Brazil 2005 Dir. João Falcão 94 mins) followed by Q&A with director João Falcão and novelist Adriana Falcão
Set in Nordestina, a tiny village in the Northeast of Brazil, this adaptation of Adriana Falcão’s novel tells the story of Karina (Mariana Ximenes), a young girl who dreams of leaving her village and becoming an actress. Faced with the fear of losing his beloved Karina to the world, Antonio (Gustavo Falcão) embarks on a suicidal crusade to try to bring the world to her. He leaves the village and announces on a TV programme that he will travel into the future, promising that if he fails, a death machine will destroy him, live and via satellite TV for all to see.

Monday 8 October
6.00pm – UK PREMIERE – Olga (15) (Brazil 2004 Dir. Jayme Monjardim 141 mins)
Based on the book by Fernando Morais, which in turn is based upon true events, Olga Benário (1908-1942) was a German Jew and militant Communist, and is played here by Camila Morgado. Forced to flee Germany for Moscow, Olga undertakes military training and joins forces with Brazilian communist Luis Carlos Prestes (Caco Ciocler). Returning with him to Brazil, the couple marry but are soon split when the government of Getúlio Vargas orders Olga’s return to Germany, despite the fact she is pregnant. Branded with the double crime of being a Communist and a Jew, Olga has to await her fate in a Nazi concentration camp.

Monday 8 October
8.45pm – UK PREMIERE – Achados e Perdidos (Lost and Found) (18) (Brazil 2005 Dir. José Joffily 92 mins)
Based on the novel by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, Vieira (Antônio Fagundes) is a retired policeman who is having an affair with Magali (Zezé Polessa), a prostitute. When Magali is found murdered in her house, Vieira is immediately the prime suspect, but since he was drunk on the night the murder took place he has no alibi. Unable to tell if he is the killer, Viera falls prey to a friend from his past who tries to blackmail him whilst at the same time becoming involved with Flor (Juliana Knust), a young prostitute and good friend of Magali’s.
O Rei menos o Reino (The Kingless Kingdom) (Brazil 1980 Dir. Betty Leirner & Francisco Magaldi, 6 mins) followed by Q&A with director Betty Leirner
A short film which takes images from Augusto de Campos’ poem published in 1951. When a husband leaves for work, his wife throws a stone into a well and the rippling sound of water induces the presence of a young lover. Meanwhile her husband meets a mysterious stranger in the forest of illusion.

Tuesday 9 October
6.00pm – UK PREMIERE – Batismo de Sangue (Baptism by Blood) (15) (Brazil 2006 Dir. Helvécio Ratton 100 mins) followed by Q&A with director Helvécio Ratton
Adapted from the book by Frei Betto, this story is based on true events. At the end of the sixties, a monastery of monks becomes a hub of resistance against the military dictatorship. The monks Tito (Caio Blat), Betto (Daniel de Oliveira), Oswaldo (Ângelo Antônio), Fernando (Léo Quintão) and Ivo (Odilon Esteves) start supporting the guerrilla movement Ação Libertadora Nacional, commanded by Carlos Marighella (Marku Ribas). But their actions don’t go unnoticed and soon they face persecution from the authorities.

Tuesday 9 October
8.45 pm – UK PREMIERE – O Passageiro – Segredos de Adulto (The Passenger) (15) (Brazil 2006 Dir. Flávio Tambellini 100 mins) followed by Q&A with director Flávio Tambellini
Antônio (Bernardo Marinho) has always had a difficult relationship with his father Mauro (Antônio Calloni) but when Mauro dies suddenly in a suspicious accident, Antônio has to learn to cope with his grief as well as with his mother’s depression. Thrown into an identity crisis, he decides to investigate his father’s death. Enlisting the help of the enigmatic Carmen (Carolina Ferraz), he soon finds answers not only to the mystery surrounding his father’s death, but also about himself and his family’s past. Based on Cesário Mello Franco’s novel of the same name.

Wednesday 10 October
6.15pm – Os Inconfidentes (The Conspirators) (12A) (Brazil/Italy 1972 Dir. Joaquim Pedro de Andrade 100 mins) followed by Q&A with actor José Wilker
Based on the poem Romanceiro da Inconfidência (1953) by Cecilia Meireles. The film is set in the 18th century in the state of Minas Gerais and tells the story of the uprising know as the “Inconfidência Mineira”, which, inspired by the French Revolution and the American Independence Movement, was Brazil’s first attempt at independence from Portugual. Os Inconfidentes traces the rise and fall of Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, aka Tiradentes (José Wilker) charismatic leader of the movement, as well as that of his fellow conspirators. Filmed at the height of Brazil’s military dictatorship, this tale of oppression and freedom is peppered with veiled subversive commentary.

Wednesday 10 October
8.30pm – Deus é brasileiro (God is Brazilian) (12A) (Brazil 200 Dir. Carlos Diegues 110 mins)
A comedy based on the short story The Saint Who Did Not Believe in God by João Ubaldo Ribeiro. God (Antonio Fagundes), disappointed with man and his mistakes, decides to take a holiday. But to do so, he needs to find a Saint to replace him. He decides to appoint one in Brazil, a very religious country but one that has never seen a Brazilian reach Sainthood. While in Brazil, he finds in the opportunist Taoca (Wagner Moura), an unlikely guide, but one who is sees in this a chance to resolve his financial problems. Deus é brasileiro goes on a journey through the Northeast of Brazil, from its cities to its drylands, and through the various adventures and misadventures of its very unusual protagonists.

Thursday 11 October
5.30pm – UK PREMIERE – Lavoura Arcaica (To the Left of the Father) (15) (Brazil 2001 Dir. Luiz Fernando Carvalho 163 mins)
Lavoura Arcaica is an inverse version of the parable of the prodigal son and is set in the context of a Lebanese family settled in Brazil. André (Selton Mello), the younger rebellious son, has run away from home in protest of his father’s severity and old-fashioned ways and his mother’s overbearing tenderness. Pedro (Leonardo Medeiros) is sent after him to convince him to return home. Through André’s memories we learn of all the circumstances leading up to his rupture with his family, including his incestuous relationship with his sister Ana. Based on the novel of the same title by Raduan Nassar (1975).

Thursday 11 October – Closing Film
8.30pm – Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands) (18) (Brazil 1976 Dir. Bruno Barreto 110 mins) followed by Q&A with director Bruno Barreto and actor José Wilker
Based on the 1966 novel by Jorge Amado and set in the beautiful city of Salvador, Dona Flor tells the story of Flor (Sonia Braga), a middle-class housewife whose passion for her philandering husband Vadinho (José Wilker) is ignited upon his death. Remarried within a year, Flor discovers that although her new husband is much more reliable, he’s far from passionate. Unknowingly, she summons the ghost of her dead husband, who is more than happy to provide her with ample distractions from her new spouse.

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