Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
  Current Issue  
  Back Issues  
Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Mark Goldfarb
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dubé
Diane Gordon
Robert Rotondo
Sylvain Richard
Nancy Snipper
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
  Music Editors
Emanuel Pordes
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Marcel Dubois
Emanuel Pordes
  Film Reviews
  Bowling for Columbine
Shanghai Ghetto
Talk to Her
City of God
Magdalene Sisters
Dirty Pretty Things
Barbarian Invasions
Fog of War
Blind Shaft
The Corporation
Station Agent
The Agronomist
Maria Full of Grace
Man Without a Past
In This World
Buffalo Boy
Shake Hands with the Devil
Born into Brothels
The Edukators
Big Sugar
A Long Walk
An Inconvenient Truth
Sisters In Law
Send a Bullet
Banking on Heaven
Chinese Botanist's Daugher
Ben X
La Zona
The Legacy
Irina Palm
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
Poor Boys Game
Finn's Girl
Leaving the Fold
The Mourning Forest
Beneath the Rooftops of Paris
Before Tomorrow
Paraiso Travel
Necessities of Life
For a Moment of Freedom



2009 Brazilian Film Festival - Montreal Nov. 27th to Dec. 3rd.




So far, A & O film critic Sylvain Richard has seen the following films except where mentioned. Here are his ratings and comments, always out of 4, reserving 2.5 or more for a noteworthy film, 3.5 for an exceptional film, 4 for a classic.

Sylvain Richard  - Film Critic Among Sylvain Richard's best ever films = (Paraiso Travel, The Legacy, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly, 13 Tzameti, Sauf le Respect que je vous Dois, Live & Become, 36 Quai des Orfevres, Corsica, From Heaven, Hell in Tangier, Camaron, Who Are You, King of the World).

2.5 -- ORPHEU NEGRO , Marcel Camus
[reviewed by Nancy Snipper] It must have been wonderful to see this 1959 film 50 years ago, but today, the content is almost laughable. Yes, it's a carnival movie but Camus did not want us to laugh all the way through it, but we do in far too many parts that are supposed to be serious. As for the dancing the day before carnival -- it goes on far too long and it doesn't reach any climax, even during that big night where the endless parade is just that: endless. Take the dancing and characters named Orpheu (Orpheus), Eurydice and Death out of their carnival costumes during the festive night, and not much else is left except missing people, identities, death, poverty and loneliness. But isn't that precisely the point of the film? Seek out the symbolism and have fun doing it, but the true meaning of this film gets lost as many times as the characters do on carnival night. Let's face it, the ancient Greeks told the story better. The reading of this tragic myth steals your heart; the film steals your time. Orfeu Negro would arrive at its poignant statement far better were it unencumbered by the non-stop drumming, silly banter and melodramatic poses. Still, the songs Manhä and A Felicidade are pleasant enough. They will continue to resonate long after the carnival is over.

3.0 -- ORPHEU NEGRO, Marcel Camus
Transposition of the Greek Tragedy "Orpheus and Eurydice" to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Just before Carnaval, Eurydice arrives to visit her cousin while being pursued by Death. Orpheus (the father of songs) falls madly in love with her. A joy to watch today 50 years later, this enduring classic of Brazilian cinema is imbued with humour, beautiful costumes and classic Bossa Nova song and dance written by legend Carlos Jobim.

3.5 -- MADAME SATÄ, Karim Ainouz
[reviewed by Nancy Snipper] An award-winning 2002 film, Madame Satã is based on the extraordinary life of João Francisco dos Santos, a flamboyant cross-dressing homosexual who eventually attains fame under the name of Madam Satã. Prior to his success, João's talent to theatrically dramatize stories and wildly dance to them remained hidden to the world at large, appreciated only by misfits and derelicts. The film reveals how his dreams of taking the stage are dashed on a daily basis as he continues prostituting and robbing those who dare to debase him verbally and physically in the depraved Lapa barrio where he lives. Caged like a panther ready to leap, this passionate 'creature' rages against those who both reject and love him. After lengthy bouts of imprisonment -- one based on a false accusation of theft -- he is able to find his true voice and become the consummate artist he was born to be. But this occurs only after serving many years in prison for murder. Taking the stage in spectacular sequined attire, he seductively weaves fantastic tales and exotic legends that lead to the film's dynamic denouement of frenzied dancing. The subject matter of this enduring feature is made all the more remarkable by the riveting performance of Lazaro Ramos. He became a mega-star after appearing in this unforgettable film.

1.7 -- IF NOTHING ELSE WORKS OUT, Jose Eduardo Belmonte
A group of individuals struggling to get their lives together in the big city. Shoddy camera work and lighting. Script and performances failed to engage.

2.5 -- THAT'S IT, Matheus Souza
University student plans to break up with her boyfriend in one hour. An engaging, light hearted look at the makings of young romance.

2.5 -- THE BALLROOM, Lais Bodanzy
(Second Impression) Second viewing of this film revealed certain nuances that I failed to notice the first time. A subtle, charming level of comedy sprinkled with a measure of human drama as a typical evening spent in a ballroom unfolds. Exquisite character study of senior citizens seeking love and happiness on the dance floor.

2.3 -- THIS IS PELE, Luiz Carlos Barreto
Film traces highlights from 20th century's greatest living legends in the world of soccer. More for aficionados.

2.6 -- TOM'S HOUSE, Ana Jobim
An intimate, personal portrait of husband and father of Bossa Nova -- Tom Jobin.

2.7 -- RIDING HIGH , Robert Santucci Filho
Psychological action thriller about a drug addict with no hope for the future who kidnaps a well to do psychologist.

2.7 -- THE MAN WHO BOTTLED CLOUDS, Lirio Ferrera
Top Brazilian performers plus David Byrne reminisce on the life and work of Humberto Texeira - AKA "Baiao Doctor" - songwriter, lawyer and congressman.

1.9 -- ROMANCE, Guel Arraes
Less than average tale of modern romance using "Tristan and Isolde" as a foundation. Failed to engage.

2.6 -- THE MYSTERY OF SAMBA, Carolina Jabor, Lula Buarque De Hollanda
Documentary portraying of a group of samba players known as "Old Guard of Portela." Legendary musicians recounting how their lives inspired them to write these beautiful songs.

2.6 -- ENCHANTED WORD , Helena Solberg
A study into the relationship between poetry (literature) and music especially in the context of Brazilian Portuguese language.

A look at photographer and ethnographer Pierre Verger (1902-96) who devoted most of his life to the study of the influence of African traditions on Brazilian culture.

The happenings on a typical evening in a traditional Brazilian dance hall. Lacked engaging characters, confusing; engaging sampling of Brazilian dance music. = shared webhosting, dedicated servers, development/consulting
2009 Brazilian Film Festival - Montreal Nov. 27th to Dec. 3rd.
Listing + Ratings of films from festivals, art houses, indie
2009 International Documentary Film Festival (Montreal) Nov. 11-21st.
Montreal World Film Festival
Festivalissimo Film Festival - Montreal
2008 FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL (Montreal) North America's Premier Genre Festival July 3-21
Festival Nouveau Cinema de Montreal, Oct. 10-21st, (514) 844-2172
Montreal Jazz Festival
Armand Vaillancourt: sculptor
Available Ad Space
Valid HTML 4.01!
Privacy Statement Contact Info
Copyright 2002 Robert J. Lewis