Terry Gilliam I love you, but you're not what I mean
October 29, 2011 4:02 PM   Subscribe

Greetings, internet users! I need the best Brazilian movies you know. I've seen A Deriva, City of God, Black Orpheus, and none of the rest. What am I missing? Criteria are loose; basically, set in Brazil, people speaking Portuguese, and what you, O wise metafilterians, have judged to be worthy. Obrigado in advance!
posted by villanelles at dawn to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
posted by cazoo at 4:10 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding Pixote, but *very* sad.
posted by lukemeister at 4:13 PM on October 29, 2011

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands and Bye Bye Brazil - each is somewhat dated, but I think they're still worth seeing.
posted by lukemeister at 4:21 PM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Central Station
posted by Ideefixe at 4:28 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Elite Squad
posted by BobbyVan at 4:28 PM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

I liked Tieta (from the book by Jorge Amado, author of Dona Flor), Bossa Nova, Orfeu, and O Pagador de Promessas.
posted by winna at 4:52 PM on October 29, 2011

Nthing Dona Flor, incrível?
posted by sammyo at 4:56 PM on October 29, 2011

O Amor Natural, a documentary about the erotic poetry of Carlos Drummond.

Piggybacking...has any of his work been translated into English?
posted by brujita at 5:02 PM on October 29, 2011

Four Days in September (O que é isso, companheiro?) is an amazing movie about some middle-class revolutionaries kidnapping the US ambassador, played by Alan Arkin.

Baile Perfumado is an interesting film about how a Lebanese filmmaker helped the famous outlaw bandit lampião to create his image in the 1930s. It's a feature, not a documentary.

Also, àrido movie is worth seeing. It's another northeastern backlands movie. And o homem que copiava.

It's also worth checking out older 1960s avant garde cinema novo movies such as deus e o diabo na terra do sol and terra em transe, the latter inspiring the tropicalia movement.

Versificando is a top-rate documentary about vocal improvisation in Brazil, from traditional troubadour styles like Cantoria de Viola to hip-hop and samba de partido-alto. The English language subtitles are impeccably done.

Moro do Brasil is another good music documentary that starts in the Northeastern styles and ends in Rio following Seu Jorge's relationships with old sambistas.

O Lorde de Olinda is the sweetest short film you'll ever see about Carnaval. It follows a man who has been dressing up for Carnaval in Olinda in a top hat and tails for decades, as he is treated like royalty for the day.
posted by umbú at 6:14 PM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Motoboys will make you appreciate your calm and safe commute very, very much
posted by Forktine at 6:42 PM on October 29, 2011

Ônibus 174 / Bus 174.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:42 PM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Cinema, Aspirina e Urubu; Abril Despedeçado; Bicho de Sete Cabeças; Meu nome não é Johnny; Mulher Invisível; O Cheiro do Ralo; Amarelo Manga.
posted by Zé Pequeno at 7:46 PM on October 29, 2011

One movie I saw a couple years ago that still sticks in my mind, is The Middle of the World (O Caminho das Nuvens) (2003) . Sort of a coming of age/road movie with a slightly dreamy, yet gritty quality, about a family seeking their ever elusive, almost mythical place in the world, while its individual members begin to pull in the different directions that call to them.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:23 PM on October 29, 2011

O homen do ano / The Man of the Year is superb, and fits neatly with many of the movies already suggested.
posted by Forktine at 9:51 PM on October 29, 2011

Carandiru, if you're into prison movies.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 10:17 PM on October 29, 2011

Deus e brasileiro

O homen que copiava
posted by yoyo_nyc at 2:44 AM on October 30, 2011

Seconding Man of the Year.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:34 AM on October 30, 2011

Quase dois irmãos / Almost Brothers is a great look at some of the same events and themes as City of God and 4 Days in September.
posted by Forktine at 8:42 AM on October 30, 2011

hah this is big... some personal faves:

Lúcio Flávio, passageiro da agonia — gritty crime
O Amuleto de Ogum — gritty crime
O bandido da luz vermelha — gritty crime
Macunaíma — surreal myth
Deus e o Diabo na terra do sol — surreal cangaço epic
The whole Coffin Joe opus — surreal horror
Sargento Getúlio — political violence in the Northeast
O Homem da capa preta — shoot 'em up!
Ilha das Flores — short film, the best eco/social documentary/comedy
Bete Balanço — love story... the young scene in the 80s, just after censorship/repression ended
Família vende tudo — comedy
O homem do futuro — sci fi... time travel!
Durval Discos — quirky record shop
O cheiro do ralo — dark comedy
Estamira — documentary, wild crazy woman lives in the garbage dump, speaks the Truth
O Invasor — social commentary/thriller
Boleiros, Boleiros 2 — we sure do love soccer!
Meu tio matou um cara — thriller/comedy/social commentary
Sou feia mas tô na moda — documentary, women in the baile funk scene
Deus é pai — animation, anti-religious comedy... see also the whole Toscographics opus
Malditos Cartunistas — documentary, brazilian underground cartoon/comix scene
The whole Vídeo Brinquedo opus — nah, just kidding

also, the Gramado Film Festival is our main cinema event... have a look at the winners list
posted by Tom-B at 8:44 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Two that feature Salvador: Cidade Baixa and Woman on Top (mostly in the first half, but I figured I'd add it because there are so many "heavy" movies on the list!).
posted by wallaby at 9:55 PM on October 30, 2011

A bit too late to the party but if you want to have a sense of Brazilian political cinema, I recommend Ilha das Flores. It's a short film by Jorge Furtado (noted by yoyo_nyc just above). The film follows the path of a tomato from its agricultural history to its eventual consumption. It's a stark and shocking examination of how industrial agriculture has left the poor to fight over the remains while we allow the privileged few to prosper. Like, uh, pigs. Yep, political rant. But still, a look at Brazilian culture and art from a different angle.
posted by pipoquinha at 11:56 PM on November 8, 2011

Response by poster: I'm tempted to mark the whole thread as best answers, I think I'll settle for giving you all my heartfelt thanks.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:40 PM on December 4, 2011

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