SIXTEEN SIGNIFICANT FILMS FROM AN ERA OF EXTRAORDINARY CHANGE IN BRAZIL, CURATED FOR THE WALKER BY DIRECTOR WALTER SALLES (CENTRAL STATION).
AN ETERNAL CINEMA NOVO
Cinema Novo put Brazil's face on the screen. It plotted a physical and human geography that is our own. It exposed our contradictions, our desires, our fears, and our convulsive energy. An anti-industrial movement par excellence, Cinema Novo incorporated the lessons of Rosselinian neo-realism already evident in the precursory film, Rio, 40 Degrees (1955) by Nelson Pereira dos Santos--which was banned by censors who alleged that in Rio temperatures never reached 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit)--and it incorporated the Eisensteinian urge to interfere in history. But above all, Cinema Novo formulated an aesthetic theory that went beyond the principles of the neo-realists or the Nouvelle Vague--the concept that all you needed in order to make a film that could reveal reality, was a handheld camera and an idea in mind.
Cinema Novo was, more than anything else, a revolutionary movement: "Wherever there's a filmmaker, whatever his age or origins, ready to place cinema at the service of the causes of his time, that is where you will find the core of Cinema Novo. It is the opposite of industrial cinema, which deals in lies and exploitation," said Glauber Rocha, who along with Nelson Pereira dos Santos was the movement's leader.
It was the reinvention of Brazilian Cinema, at a time in which the whole country began to become aware of itself, of its creative potential. A new capital city and new architecture were born--Brasília. Concretism-inspired literature and poetry, and bossa nova conquered the world.
The Cinema Novo and Beyond festival held at the Walker Art Center includes some of the movement's most significant films. About 40 years after the appearance of its most vigorous cinematographic movement, Brazilian cinema has found a new breath after several years of forced silence. Current production is perhaps more regionally diversified than in the Cinema Novo years. We have no single line of thematic development nor an aesthetic creed common to all filmmakers. But we are once again united to reveal the country's heart and soul. It is a little like Camus' Sisyphus myth: we tirelessly roll the rock to the top of the mountain, have already grown accustomed to our economic instability--and to the resulting instability in film production. But you can be sure of one thing: we will not renounce our right to make films, and put Brazil's face on the screen.
Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles' works embrace both fiction and documentary forms, often exploring themes of exile and the search for identity. Central Station (1998) was awarded Best Film at the Berlin Festival and garnered Best Actress for Fernanda Montenegro. Winner of seven prestigious international awards, Foreign Land (1995), which Salles codirected with Daniela Thomas, is considered a keystone in the renaissance of Brazilian cinema.
RELATED MUSIC EVENT
OCTOBER 23, CEDAR CULTURAL CENTRE
Called "the new voice in Brazil" by The New York Times, Virginia Rodrigues appears at the Walker on her first major U.S. tour.
IN THE WALKER SHOPS
The 176-page catalogue Cinema Novo and Beyond contains insightful information and still photographs from each of the films in the series as well as contextual essays on Brazilian cinema. Edited by João Luiz Vieira. Softcover: $20 (18 Walker Members).
The case study of Central Station with filmmaker Walter Salles listed in the October Calendar has been canceled.
CINEMA NOVO AND BEYOND IS PART OF A FILM TOUR ORGANIZED BY JYTTE JENSEN, THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (MOMA), IN COLLABORATION WITH THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE, BRAZIL. WALTER SALLES SELECTED THE FILMS FOR THE WALKER'S SERIES. SPECIAL PROGRAMMING ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY NOAH COWAN AND AMY MORTON OF COWBOY BOOKING INTERNATIONAL.