1 February 2018 | paul2001sw-1
Wonderful concept, but a little slow in execution
In 1970s Brazil, an odd collection of misfits and losers come together to make low-budget films. 'Magnifica70' might, on this summary, sound not disimillar to Tim Burton's movie 'Ed Wood', except for the fact that, in the beginning at least, few of its protagonists are under any delusions about their cinmatic abilities; rather, most of them are looking to rip each other off, or, as is the case of the hero Vicente, a mild-mannered censor, have more carnal motivations. Somehow they create art, and do battle with the dictatorship at the same time. A portrayal of the censorship office brings to mind another 'Brazil', that of Terry Gilliam. It's a wonderful conceit, but it only half succeeds. Thirteen episodes is a long time to tell a story, and its basic texture (part comedy, part macabre) is soon established but takes a long time to play out. It's certainly original, and a welcome contrast to the mainsteram detective dramas that seem to dominate our screens, but it's not quite as gripping as it promises. It's still worth watching and will likely in hte mind when other, more forgettable series, have passed.