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The Party

Be sure to go to the toilet before watching this one
This is it! I watched this movie a few days ago with a couple of friends, and we were literally shaking and howling and had tears rolling down our cheeks with so much laughing. Two thirds into the story, it slows down a little bit, but maybe it was done like that to avoid having viewers taken to the hospital or something. After watching it, I can honestly say I would not be surprised to hear news of people actually having to leave the room in order to regain their breath, thus loosing a few minutes of the movie. It really is that much funny.

No, we were not intoxicated with anything but the movie itself. If you like visual gags and comedies from the nineteen-sixties, by all means watch this one. And be sure to go to the toilet before doing so. When you do see it, you will understand what I mean, and probably laugh even more.

Caídos do Céu

1946 carnival musical
The movie starts with a man going to Heaven, only to find out that his name is not on the Entrance list. Not on ANY list in heaven's bureaucracy. After complaining to some chief angel, he is asked to wait. They will send someone to earth to check if he was a good man when alive.

To avoid temptation, they send the purest couple of souls they can find. The year is 1946, and the pure souls are two folks who lived around 1890. The basic joke is the culture shock this man and woman from another century receive when they land in Rio de Janeiro right after World War 2.

The sound on the copy I saw was quite damaged, so I can only guess about the quality of many of the jokes. But, from what I was able to hear, I believe the film is very worth viewing, specially if you like musicals of that era. You get the typical characters: the Jewish salesman, the angry Italian dad, his daughter (who likes samba and wants to marry a samba musician), and so on.

It is also interesting to note this was the movie used to launch songs for the Victory Carnival: the first one after the end of World war 2. There is even a song with direct social equality demands. That was also Brazil's first carnival under a democratic government in quite a few years, and it shows.

Tristezas Não Pagam Dívidas

Romantic spiritual comedy or something
Man meets widow at the cemetery. She asks him to help her spend the fortune her late husband left for her to "have fun" with. In order not to raise suspicions on the neighborhood, she invites back home her only son, which happens to be a little weird, to say the least.

This movie was originally almost 2 hours long. What is left of it nowadays amounts to some 40 minutes. This can make the storyline a little crazier than it was originally intended to be, but you can follow it, and it makes sense in the end. As for Oscarito, the actor playing the son, he does NOT make sense anywhere in this movie, and that's a joy to behold! This is your usual romantic spiritual comedy, and I won't explain what I mean by this in order not to spoil the fun.

What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?

cosmic romantic comedy
This movie attempts to mix science with religion. This infuriates some people. I understand the fear of religious dogma, for it can kill democracy. But there is also danger in scientific dogma. Every explanation of the world has flaws, even the scientific ones. Some philosophers of science, like Paul Feyerabend (he's not in the movie), call for a rethinking of the scientific method. And he was NOT a religious man. But science CAN turn into a fundamentalist dictatorship, too. In order to avoid that, we must keep an open mind, even for the ideas that seem counterintuitive or unscientific at first. And, if we can't avoid mixing our beliefs with science, then let us try and keep them on the side of freedom of thought and speech.

The movie itself is a little slow to start, but when it gets the knack for mixing talking heads with computer graphics and a fictional story to illustrate some of the points, it really gets going. The general idea, that divides into some more specific ones, is that the way you expect the world to go DOES seem to have an influence on how you SEE it, and so it can affect your life. Change the way you see it, and you change the way it goes. That's true to some extent, and do not let anyone, not even the people in this movie decide for you to what extent you will believe in this.

In short: Cosmic Romantic Comedy


Everyone is a bit weird in Canada, and that's fine
This movie is a little strange. When it started, I was a little worried it would turn out to be a drama instead of a comedy. And not a very good drama. Then it started getting better and better, and soon I was laughing out loud at some scenes. Be sure to watch the final credits, for there is a hidden last scene.

This movie tries to deal with some serious stuff, mainly relationships, be them gay or not. I don't know if the director wanted it to happen that way, but it did feel a bit weird, like I wasn't sure if some scenes were supposed to be sad or funny. Maybe he went for the REALISM effect, as in life it often does happen that you don't know if you want to cry or laugh. Anyway, this film was mostly funny, and I'm glad I saw it. I seems to say that everyone is a bit weird, but then again things CAN work out fine. I want to see this director's next movie.


Stop making sense!
This is it, for me! Absolute pure cinematic fun! This movie is not trying to tell you a story, although there is a plot about a funeral that ends up transforming into some unexpected events. I just had to laugh, and also marvel at some images that are simply beautiful, like some sort of silent visual music.

What the director does is basically a collage of absurd images and some camera tricks. These involve some artists of the time. I must say I am quite surprised by its freshness even today. Now I know where musical video clips come from! The first time I saw it, I was going to see some old silent movies, and this one was shown first, and I had no idea what it was all about. In a way, I still don't, and that's even better! Stop making sense for a while and start the fun!

Lábios Sem beijos

sex before marriage, maybe
This movie is worth seeing if only to witness a Rio de Janeiro that truly does not exist anymore. It was already a big city then, but it does not look that way for us today, and the beaches are all changed, too. For us it might be a light romantic comedy of some 70 years in the past. It is certainly a joy, and quite funny at times, and easy to watch. But, in 1930, this movie was considered not suitable for the ladies in Brazil. I guess I can understand.

The authorities probably figured that, upon seeing these rich girls that seem to be doing nothing but flirt and go to dancing parties all day long, women in Brazil would flock to Rio de Janeiro to let it loose! In the end, it is your regular love story, but it does seem to condone sex before marriage, as long as it is just a couple of days before the proposal!

Maridinho de Luxo

different lifestyles
This one is for people who like high society comedies. You learn right from the start what is it all about: rich girl wants her daddy to buy her a husband. An ad in a newspaper and you have loads of unemployed males striving for the job. She chooses a small skinny man because she does not want a sexy athlete or anything. She will not let him touch her. He is just a social ornament, and she is free to flirt around.

Trouble is, he soon gets tired of standing around the house doing nothing. He decides to use his freedom to flirt around too. The movie has some delicious lines, and it is quite interesting to see it pointing to what is, after all, an open relationship. You kind of expect this comedy to behave in the end, but I like the way humor is used here to show people different lifestyles.

São Paulo, Sinfonia da Metrópole

building the future
Inspired by a similar documentary about modern Berlin, the directors of this one try to show the viewer that São Paulo is a Modern City. There is a shade of militarism, but it is not quite as fascism was in Europe. They do not seem to advocate the elimination of the unadapted, but to point out that every class has its place in the bright collective future the people of São Paulo are helping to build for themselves and the rest of Brazil.

The camera does not refrain from showing the poor, and even the handicapped, though briefly. Even a prison is a good subject for the camera, although it is obviously presented as a place for correction and victory over the lack of discipline. The movie seems to be telling audiences all over Brazil to get ready to be lead by São Paulo. It foreshadows the political fight that would explode into a military conflict in 1930.

Tian bian yi duo yun

Holy watermelons!
This is a movie about pornography, romantic love, isolation and watermelons. In some unspecified city, a man and a woman fall in love. She does not know it, but he is a porn actor. There is a drought going on, and people are using watermelons for water, and some other, sexier, activities.

It is sad and hilarious. It is slow, and then there are some weird and funny music videos I cannot quite understand, but worth very much the while. There are images that are worthy enough to be photography as art, just turn them into posters. It does feel dreamy, whether you find it gloomy or absurdly ridiculous, or both. And the last scene will stay with you, even if you laugh.

Um Lobisomem na Amazônia

Turn off half your brain and enjoy
First of all: if you have never watched any movie by this director, I would advise you to watch THE SECRET OF THE MUMMY first. It is a more successful mix of naked bodies, idiotic dialog, silly delirium and trashy violence. But this one here is good too, if you like ridiculous movies that show young people using drugs in the vicinity of murder scenes.

The director clearly wants you to know this movie is a low budget project. I sincerely hope the subtitles are even crazier than the original lines, when it gets to be shown outside Brazil. Inventing new lines would be the best way to be true to the conscious stupidity of it all. The story involves a mad scientist hidden in the rain forest, a group of youngsters who go there to drink a hallucinogenic beverage, even amazons! Turn off half your brain and enjoy!

Romance Proibido

Emulating Hollywood, Brazilian style
This movie is for people who like romantic drama. It has not survived as it was in 1944, but subtitled stills and intertitles make up for the lost scenes. It was made during the war, starting in 1939, and Brazil was under a dictatorship, so be ready for some educational scenes. They work fine with the story, because our heroine is a teacher going into the hinterland to teach the poor how to read and write.

It has moralistic overtones, but nothing like the retributions we see in some movies from the era. There is sex outside marriage, and even a very sexy cabaret scene, but all this does not lead to horrible death. The movie also takes some time to show the rich youngsters going to the beach and enjoying other outside activities. In short: Emulating Hollywood, Brazilian style.


Something else
This movie is for people who are OK with images of explicit sex, and psychotic violence. I am giving it a 10 not because it is flawless, but because it has the courage to do something different without being boring. It mixes violence with explicit sex, and that is not what we usually see in the movies. But why not? I believe a movie can be a romantic comedy with explicit sex, or a drama with explicit sex. This here is a crime drama, with some humor, and explicit sex, and that is OK.

Some people want movies to be like textbooks: always a clear message of humanism or something. Well, art is not always that pretty. In this movie, you see women that are in a way victims of an unbalanced society, yes. But they are not that nice, and soon they are psychotic, and seem to be enjoying their madness. Maybe that's not politically correct, but when people go crazy, they sometimes look evil from the outside. What can you do? This movie is not strong on solutions, and it does seem to enjoy being mean. That's fine: art does not always have to provide people with explanations and solutions.

This one here is just trying to tell a story of poverty, madness and violence without patronizing the poor or insane. And without avoiding to show sex, and even rape, in a way closer to reality. Good show!

Aqueles Dois

conformity is stupid
This movie is for people who dislike conformity. It is a story of two guys that become so close that you might think they are really gay or bisexual. The movie won't show them having sex. No kissing either. The viewer has to decide what's going on. Their co-workers decide that the two of them are a couple, and start gossiping. Some believe other people's sex lives are none of their business, but many want them out.

The movie does take the side of the friends. It makes clear that being gay or bisexual is not a problem. Wanting everybody to be more alike than they are is the real problem here. If they were followers of some new and rather unknown religion, they would be feared and hated just the same, and for the same reason: smug ignorance. The movie is rather sad in its portraying of the loneliness of the different, but there is an overall feeling of hope for better days.

Smala Sussie

Mad hillbilly Swedish crime comedy
This movie is for people who like to laugh at drug use and abuse, pornography, profanity, and violence. It does portray drug use in a rather conservative way, that is: dangerous fun that will get you into trouble. On the other hand, its manic accelerated humor might actually make it look like this advice against drugs is not to be taken too seriously.

The story starts with a brother coming back to his hometown to look for his little sister. He soon discovers that while he was away in the big city, something went weird back home. His sister is missing and no one seems to know or care about it. His crazy friends are even crazier now, and he quickly finds out there's some strange stuff going on. The quick twists and turns make this movie quite funny and the music adds up to the ironies and just plain insanity of it all.

In short: A mad hillbilly Swedish comedy. Good show!

Casseta & Planeta: A Taça do Mundo É Nossa

These guys have guts!
This movie is for people that do not take politics too seriously. And also for those who are OK with jokes that obviously refer to marijuana, for anyone old enough to understand them. These guys have guts, and I'll tell you why.

The Military Rule in Brazil was no fun at all, if you were a communist, or even a person who likes democracy. I was too young to notice, but people were simply getting killed, or vanishing, and sometimes even the Government did not know who was responsible. There were underground organizations of both right and left-wing radicals raising hell, and the media were censored. Some on the left were just too unexperienced to really help in the fight, but they tried anyway. This movie laughs about it.

Of course, the ridiculed bad guys in this movie are in the Brazilian Army, defending the Dictatorship. But the heroes are a bunch of delusional idiots, and I am sure some communists will hate to see their political faith laughed about in this way. I am not sure this will translate well for international audiences. But I am glad these guys had the courage to laugh about it. And I believe in the healing power of humor


It might change your mind
This movie has some fantastic archive footage. And it is easy to watch. Well, if you are absolutely against the freedom of other people to consume mind-active drugs, then this movie here will not be that easy to watch. It might even change your mind about the subject. I myself don't care if people are smoking marijuana, as long as they can handle it. And, if they can't, let them get some treatment or go to jail, but only if they act anti-social. Otherwise, it's just society messing up with individual rights, that's what the movie says.

It also says that a law that people will not obey is useless. Like prohibiting alcohol: people that really want it will find it, and give money to the Mob for it, when it could be legal and pay taxes. What's more: the authorities will waste lots of tax money to stop what won't stop. The movie would do better to talk about the various industrial uses of hemp but, as defense of human rights, it is both sharp and humorous.

Deep Throat

The book is pretty funny, too!
I think I read the paperback first. I highly recommend it. Then I saw a tape of this movie, and decided right then that it does deserve a place in the history of film. And not only because of the scandals and the fight for the freedom of speech, even though that's as important today as it was back then.

I'm talking about a sex comedy here. Sure enough, it is a sex comedy with explicit sex included, with the intention to make money by getting the audience hot all over. And it is dated, even the jokes about the squares of the time.

Well, that's fine with me: I find it OK to make money with sexy stuff, and this one is not only sexy but quite funny. I have had the chance to see it again at the silver screen, and it was lots of fun all over again. In short: sexy underground comedy.


I love this guy
This movie is about an unlikely friendship. Right at the start of it you learn that one of them is gay and polite, and the other is an outspoken, humorous heterosexual that has cancer, and might die sometime soon. The movie then goes back and forth along some fourteen years, starting with the day these guys met.

Sounds simple? You are in for some surprises. This is not just a film about a guy that is quite obnoxious and irresistibly lovely at the same time. It is also about being yourself, shy or not, and living in a country that has more tolerance to cultural diversity. But mostly about this man that always tries to do the right thing, and enjoy his life, and have a laugh with his friends, even as it looks like death might come sooner than expected. I love this guy. And the Netherlands never looked that much beautiful on film.


Deep and warm
First of all: if you think sex with prostitutes and recreational use of illegal drugs are always bad actions, this movie is not for you. I'm not saying this movie is drenched in all that stuff. It actually is not. But it does treat these subjects as commonplace, at least for some people. And it does not judge them, even if it makes fun at them at times. I like that.

About the story and the looks of it: This is a movie that deals with some serious realities, mostly emotional ones, but with strong humorous overtones. I understand the story happens in a neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain, but it looks like somewhere the tourists do not know. This feels deep and warm. Very nice, in short.

Ta divna Splitska noc

dazed and confused
This looked like another movie with people dying because they cannot cope with drugs, or with their emotional problems, or something. But it managed to keep my interest right up to the very last scene, and I am sorry I cannot tell you about it without spoiling it for you. I am glad I saw it, for the end left me wondering in a way I didn't expect at all.

As for the technical aspects: Most of the actors were fine. I liked the black and white photography, and the rather claustrophobic way the camera follows the characters along the alleys. That, along with the overhead shots, does a lot to convey their feelings of entrapment. The structure of the script is no big news, but it works fine for me, specially the way the end presents itself. Good show!

Love Actually

Funny, actually
As this film started, I realized something that should have probably been obvious from the trailer: It's a Christmas Movie! Oh, my God, what am I doing here? But It turned out alright. Yes, it was a good movie! Some Christmas movies are just too full of sentimentalism, in my humble opinion, and that's why I tend to avoid them. This here was good warm fun! Thank you, Santa Claus! And a happy 2004 to all!

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

Right from the start
I was laughing out loud at this movie right from the start, and I mean the opening credits! I won't spoil it by telling you any details. This is completely absurd and politically incorrect humor. I mean gross, folks, and thank God for that! Really, it is a blessing!

Murder by Death

What a night!
I will remember for eternity, with fondness, the very first time I saw this film. I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face, and was gasping for air. I had to clean up my nose, and my face was flushed. I don't know of anybody actually dying from laughter watching this one, but I guess it is not only possible, but quite a lovely way to go!

Love and Death

Fight for you right to be a coward
As I remember this movie, the French were invading Imperial Russia, and our hero wanted nothing to do with this crazy war. He did not think Mother Russia was worth the trouble. As this is a comedy, Trouble did think he was worth the effort. And staying up late to watch this one was certainly worth the good times.

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