Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brazil Film Fest 09

Of the two Brazilian film festivals in Toronto, the Brazil Film Fest is the one with the biggest budget – and the one officially supported by the Brazilian embassy. I wonder why their selection doesn’t feature more contemporary movies. Regardless, their musical theme this year brought in some great documentaries.

My favorite was The man who bottled clouds.

An incredible documentary about the incredible story of Humberto Teixeira, the man who popularized Baião in Brazil. Turns out actress Denise Dummont (who I grew up watching in soap operas) is the man’s daughter. She goes on a quest to find her father and, along with director Lírio Ferreira, ends up also finding Baião and how it has influenced Brazilian culture. The soundtrack is amazing, the animated vignettes add a great touch, and the research was extremely well-done. There is some priceless historic footage of Rio in the 50s and folklore traditions from the desert lands of Brazil, besides some illustrious talking heads including Bethânia, Gil & Caetano (naturally,) and David Byrne himself, who’s shown riding his bike through NY and performing Baião’s classic Asa Branca. (Funny enough, Byrne was in town that same night, reading from his new book Bicycle Diaries, in which he discusses the role of bikes in creating better communities around the world.)

I also watched The mystery of samba, which is Marisa Monte turning the Velha Guarda da Portela into the Buena Vista Social Club. Lots of samba in this one, for sure.

Festival closer was Enchanted Word, a very lyrical and dynamic documentary about the relationship between music and poetry in Brazilian music. Incredible performances by some of my MPB favorites.

Speaking of my MPB favorites, Adriana Calcanhotto was also in attendance to perform at the festival closer. I became a babbling fool looking at her eyes, but she's very personable.

No comments:

Post a Comment