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ZAYN: Pillowtalk

Fine stuff
A myriad of kaleidoscope effects and a great deal of seduction revolving singer Zayn Malik and a female model permeates the idea of his clip for "Pillowtalk". The song was a hit, no doubt, though a little under my radar yet somehow I got around to watch the video and have a quite interesting experience watching it. A pity that there's a word count limit when it comes to review because there isn't much to be said about the music video. It's exciting, colorful despite its limited palette of dark and red colors, the song is slightly catching and Zayn is...Zayn, awesome and spectacular as he is. I was involved with the video settings and presentation, and even the song which isn't much of my style. Commendable? Yes, sure is. 7/10.

The Waterboys: The Whole of the Moon

A glorious unique experience
A hyper special moment for The Waterboys, the song "The Whole of the Moon" puts them in the map of the world after being a familiar name in Scotland. Thanks to a special performance in this music video the song became a hit in many countries out there. A poetic sophiscated and powerful song, performed in a great manner by the group, all on stage with many blue-ish shades.

It's a little strange that the same video actually has two versions of the song played, or at least I managed to watch two different versions, difference being in the audio with one version playing the song exactly as it is, album and/or radio version, and another version where the violin makes some effects, great alligned with the fiddle player who steals the show with his appearance (it doesn't make any sense his appearance in the former version since you can't hear him at all, yet he's very charismatic while playing and feeling the music).

A splendorous sound along with the energy brought by each member of the group makes of "The Whole of the Moon" a special experience to be seen and heard, and unlike many video performances out there which are usually tedious or repetitive, this one is something else, something great. 10/10.


The tragic challenges of an artist
"The Face" is a curious and dark examination of an artist about his artistic creation and also about himself. Is the art he creates goes exactly like he intents it to be or the final art might become something completely different than expected to the point of loathing himself doing it? In between the thoughts of creation to its final result many things go through his mind (his inner, his mind) to later on move to the physical world (in this case, a painting of his self-portrait) where he allows everything to become the real thing but since most artists reach for perfection things might not come to a desired effect and the one presented here goes to extremes to avoid his art and eventually himself as the story goes along.

Directed by Piotr Studzinski (the only short film he ever made, as far as we know) and starred by accomplished filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski on a rare appearance as an actor, this short film hits interesting notes while dealing with the theme of an artist struggling with himself during the process of creation and how horrific and tragic everything is, it really feels like the end of the world to expose something that goes from deep inside of himself because it's never good enough or never translates exactly like he imagines. Those who manage to overcome those issues are the lucky ones! Writers, filmmakers, musicians, painters, dancers, all art known to men, but many artists go through similar situations during the creation or presentation of their works and they feel bad, worthless or not good enough because the initial perfect ideal gets lost or changed on the way.

The genius behind the Colors trilogy is an amazingly interesting actor, quite good-looking too, and he truly conveys the real emotions while facing a disintegration of his works then later coming to an obsessive and dangerous destruction of himself expressed through his wild rebellion against the mirrors around him which helped him to create his self-portrait and then he moved on to smash and break them all. But another point comes to mind: does he hate himself or the view of himself after the painting?

Throughout the movie I was suddenly reminded of the main character of Godard's "Le Petit Soldat" during one of his many shared thoughts: "When I look myself in the mirror, the face I see doesn't match with what I think it's inside". Could the artist really rejecting himself because he can't find ways to paint his real face exactly in the way he sees it? Or is he struggling to show his real identity? Or a deeper level, like a reverse Dorian Gray where the portrait stays young while he grows old and he can't accept such fate, he wants something different rather than the nightmare of growing old?

Studzinski's examination on life and art is sublime because it allows viewers to find meaning and explore possible resolutions, even if there is none to be found. It reaches out for those questions without answering all of them, it can everything I just mentioned or go beyond. And more than just a drama, this is quite a horror story mostly because of the unexpected reactions from the artist, on a simple careless view you might think he's being haunted by some ghost invisible to audiences yet it terrifies the heck out of the young man. Kieslowski impressed me a great deal with his acting, pity he never returned for more - he never did cameos on his films. But taken into account, everybody involved were film students at the time this is a solid and interesting film though the idea might not look so original in the field of art, it's something that is and will be discussed through ages to come but it's worthy of view and consideration since the junction of elements does ring truthness and great relevance for life when it comes to situation of communication (what one thinks versus what one says or shows), and for artists it's must-see, beginners or not. I loved it. 8/10.

The Clash: The Magnificent Seven

Spectacular track, awesome video
One of the most special tracks from the sensational "Sandinista!" album (one of the most important albums ever made, and just listen to it right now or after seeing the clip), "The Magnificent Seven" was one of the few to have a music video made for it, presenting The Clash making TV performances or walking around the streets of New York during their 1981 tour. Seeing the group and also the crowd interacting with the camera, NY street scene of the early 1980's is amazingly special to look at.

Considering that music video as a dominating and essential presence in order to sell music and artists was still in its infancy (MTV was launched a couple of months after this shooting), this is a must-see in terms of creating a spectacle and making into a highly memorable fashion. They really evoked the future of video and showed to audiences how performances should be put on the screen. It has great energy, rhythm and movement though the song might not sound like The Clash all that much since on that particular album they made countless changes and mixtures of genres and tune, a little far from the punk rock- yet they created a masterpiece of album.

A solid gold of a video. 10/10.


When progress fails to encompass everything and everyone
Not sure in which part of the extense Marginal Tietê the film was shot and covered with great detail in a long one-shot sequence that lasts unil its arrival on a certain neighborhood - the express way covers a great deal of the city of São Paulo, in several extremes. While the first half of the short consists of this long sequence, slightly uninteresting just because of the ugliness of the city filmed up until the houses start to appear, the other half is the one that keeps us shocked, sad and thinking of several things at the same time because it shows an area surrounding the highway where there's nothing but misery and poverty, expressed here by a group of kids observing the camera and living their lives in a devastating manner in the middle of tiny shackles and plenty of garbage in the surroundings.

Progress certainly can cross bridges and unite the extremes of the city but zero assistance or the developments of housing in such areas existed back in the 1970's and onwards. As for the future, or then present, who can tell what happened to those areas if it was taken over to give space to acomodations to the poor or became an area habitated by companies, businesses or housing for people with acquisitions. All we know is that Marginal Tietê managed to expand all the way to similar areas where people had nothing (school, hospitals, assistance) yet it was the little they had to inhabit there.

While most of its images are shown in a silent manner, it's way later on that Mozart's sad requiem "Lacrimosa" dominates everything and the deep thinking and analysis of everything shown comes back to haunt us. Another great examples of how the cinema of Aloysio Raulino captures the dimensions of a gigantic city and its social economical contradictions where those who have and those who have not are united by narrow divisions which collapses in itself time and again. That was then, one can say but it is still now, it changed just a little bit. 6/10.

Mica Paris & Will Downing: Where is the Love

Outstanding Music Video
A glorious cover from the classic duet formed by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway in the early 1970's, this pairing of Mica Paris & Will Downing showed some new dimensions to the classic heartbreak song "Where is the Love" without stepping away from its original source. The rhythm is a little more faster, yet very adequate to the lyrics, making it a very fine song to hear it and sing along. It's just a little strange that it sound like 1980's at all, I was thought it was something released in the late 1990's or early 2000's because it was more recently that this version started to get my attention.

Sure, the video might look slightly confusing since the duo perform with so much emotion and connection with each other while the song presents a growing distance between the two since they are committed with other persons but the duo and energy is so cool and great look at that one can excuse such proximity. It's lovely and beautiful to look at them. Also great to look at it are the countless aerial images of Manhattan at night, even though the shots are quite repetitive and plenty of other nice locations from there could be shown as well.

Downing and Mica's chemistry is impecable and very romantic as they dance and sing along, or walk through the streets of New York in a ellegant manner. Thumbs way up to this beauty of video. 10/10.

Graffitti Nos Muros Recortados

1990's Graffitt Art on the streets of São Paulo and its effects
At the time it was filmed the art of graffitti was an ever growing presence in many walls and empty spaces from major cities around the world, whenever possible, and by art I mean really artistic shapes, designs and styles rather than just weird/ugly scribble from gang members or youngsters who want to leave their psyhical mark or signature somewhere. Filmmaker Aloysio Raulino captured some of the many graffitti works spread through the streets of São Paulo, showing both poetic creations, images and phrases that make a dialogue with society and also tributes to Marvel and DC super-heroes drawn on walls and subway bridges. As soundtrack, a random selection of tracks from rap, popular music and even Nirvana are included.

The first few minutes are a little bit confusing since some more pyhysical representations outside of graffitti domain are presented, like the weird face sculputued that is carried by an invisible individual on Paulista Avenue, and also a sculpture of a face as if being out of a car door is carried out as the cars are stopped in the traffic. Then it all moves to the painted spaces with curious dialogues, quotes, being the most memorable a piece involving a person in jail with the phrase "Freedom is only a wider cell", painted on a beam located right next to the Carandiru presidium, two years after the infamous massacre. Raulino pans back and forth with both images, leaving plenty of space for audiences to make a full comprehension of such ideas.

I don't think none of those art works remain there (long time without going to those areas, north side of the capital) since there's always some changes made in those public areas, sometimes there are art works, other times it's bunch of superimposed advertising or just scribbles occupying the space. But when artistic works are presented the spaces become better represented, creating curiosity on each person and the artists talents can be evidenced - most recently some buildings from the downtown area are allowing for magnificent paintings to occupy the space available, paying tribute to artists from many art periods of Brazil history (not shown in here but near the Mercadão de São Paulo there's two buildings next to each other with one paying a homage to Bossa Nova legend João Gilberto, and a rework of Tarsila do Amaral "Operários" with gigantic faces alligned with each other. Both amazing to look at and no one vandalized them).

It's about expression, the values and significance of art in spaces that otherwise would just be common, bland things to view. Those art works change the places for better and people feel close to such expressions, sometimes even finding a way to create their own art, their own meaning or at times using as forms of protest. Amazing creations are made with those, and the folks with eyes to see them can admire them as long as they exist, or as in this movie's case, as long as they were captured on film. 8/10.

Baixo Gávea

A lousy experience
The world of the theatre and its artisted has generated masterful and curious portrayals on the screen, from the classics "All About Eve" and "The Dresser", to the hilarious and underrated "Noises Off". They talk about the expectation before the performance in front of audiences, and also dealing with the many personal challenges faced by playwrights, actors and directors trying to balance their personal lives with their professional ones, and to make this fatal combination it can lead to disastrous or hilarious results. Consdering such scenario, "Baixo Gávea" could have a meaty full-course to present its audiences. It could but it didn't, and we all we have left is a disengaging lost film that goes nowhere, or one that ultimately says that personal lives are lost itself because the art is more important.

The friendship of director/playwright Clara (Lucélia Santos) and actress Ana (Louise Cardoso) is an interesting one. They live together, work together and are respectful confidents of one another. While Clara leads an existential crisis of which she cannot have a decent loving relationship with a man, Ana is a little more lucky with her girlfriends but at the same time she's always the one giving advices to Clara about whom to get involved and whom to stay away.

What unites both in a less complicated manner is a play they are working and rehearsing about poet Fernando Pessoa, played by the lead actor Rui (Carlos Gregório).

The rehersals go from good to bad, and the play actually seems a little interesting but it's mostly pretentious re-readings of his works and heteronymous, fantasizing about real life events. As the story progresses, after lousy encounters with weird men, Clara will fall in love with Rui, a married man and a father who might correspond to her wishes but...other things will be on their way.

"Baixo Gávea" doesn't offer us any high conclusion about the state of the art neither any particular reasoning on why those characters and those scenarios are important to be seen on screen. It's a boring picture that artists as drunks, drug addicts, pretentious beings, and creatures who get involved in meaningless relationships, mostly casual things. While there are hints and pranks that Clara and Ana could be lovers, this never happens and it's a sad thing. They know each other so well, understand each other and are supportive of each other yet they move ahead with casual encounters that never mount to anything. And that's left for them and the actors in the play is to make the best performance possible when the play opens, at least the art will survive to a great effect.

Zero thrills and zero humor watching this wreck though Louise Cardoso has a commendable performance as the loud and spirituous member of the group. Lucélia as the neurotic Clara was slightly interesting to follow wheter directing her play or wheter going on crazy dates, being the worst the one with the mad bomber, a memorable special appearance by José Wilker, where the intimacy and care are thrown away and he becomes violent towards her. If back then the scene was taken lightly, as her character just complains afterwards in a not so-shocked manner, these days audiences would have a huge fit about it - and with reason!

The whole experience is boring, claustrophobic and for a movie that has a location in its title more could be explored about such place. It was a huge unfunny mess that I wish I could forget easily. Maybe with time. If there was a curtain call at the end, I wasn't applauding. 3/10.

Sonho Sem Fim

The amusing and inspiring story of a film pioneer
"Endless Dream" is inspired by true events on the life and work of Brazilian film director and pioneer Eduardo Abelim and his dream of developing a true genuine cinema from the state of Rio Grande do Sul, removing the cinema axis of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where artists and film starts were in high demand and also where everything happened.

In a very amusing and charismatic performance, Carlos Alberto Ricelli gives life to Edu, a handy army man who finds a way to get discharged from his duties of driving authorities here and there, and becomes fascinated by the world of arts becoming a stunt man on risky performances. After failing to get a job as an actor in Rio, which was weird since he had the looks as pointed out by a woman who said he looked exactly like famous star Eddie Polo, he returns back to his state, buys a camera and starts making his own movies with the intent of making and showing the good cinema of Rio Grande do Sul.

His initial experiments are met with laughter due to the amateur quality of his productions, mostly made among friends, but he gets some encouragement from audiences who become his contributors for his next films and the loyal support of an experienced theater actress (Débora Bloch). A partnership is formed and they start making more films, one of them being "O Pecado da Vaidade", a dense melodrama that was met with huge criticism by audiences claiming it to be imoral and against good costumes due to a kissing scene (oh the times...). And with that, Edu begins to question if his art is valid or worth doing since audiences fail to understand what's he showing.

This is a humored and interesting film on the pioneering days of a Brazilian filmmaker, a very encouraging story about pursuing a dream and fighting each and every obstacle, and despite such description it's not a corny film. The period recreation of the early 1930's is very detailed and accurate. But the mystery as from where director Lauro Escorel managed to recreate Abelim's films remains since his films are all lost and even to find information on the internet about are really rare to find. He probably had read some news articles of the period or managed to interview people who watched those films back in the day. Since practically nothing about the man can be found - unless some film library out there - but I'd really like to know about Abelim's documentaries covering the Vargas revolution in 1930 of which he joined to cross the country, where are those movies and what happened to him in later years (he died in 1984, two years before this movie's release and never returned to make another film).

I fascinated by this story from a different era when making movies were a fun and amateur experience, conducted by people who knew almost nothing about making a movie yet they managed to create stories, become a little famous and improve each movie went by, without attending film schools or anything. It was all about learning as you go, and this is the kind of things that doesn't happen anymore unless if it's some video project here and there, or some group with resources who manage to make their own pieces. This proves a great way that with creativity, enthusiasm and a passion one can find the ways and means to make their own art. It's inspiring all that much. 8/10.

Crioulo Doido

A weird, unfunny and critical piece
Carlos Alberto Prates Correia's film is a confusing and slightly upsetting experience since he uses of a quite interesting dramatic proposition but makes into a weird comedy. While the genre is indicated here as a comedy, I failed to notice it and end up reading some opinion he shared about the movie which made it sound as a critical drama. But early on, some humored bits started to show (some were good, others were pitiful and unfunny) then the movie was all downhill.

It tells the story of Felisberto (Jorge Coutinho) a successful black tailor conducting his own business of which has plenty of satisfied costumers in a rural area of Minas Gerais. A very hard worker who sometimes suffers racism on the hands of bigoted people, others who barely look on his face but his costumers always put him in high regards. The turn of events come when he falls in love with a white woman (Selma Caronezzi) who doesn't care at all about him until she finds out that his business is becoming more prosperous to the point where he can hire more workers, and later on she becomes more friendly towards him.

But she's a very demanding woman who pushes him to do things, buy more things, all of which he does after selling his business in order to buy a farm and make some new investments. Due to some obscure situations, a hint to the early days of the military coup where a new form of government took over, Felisberto is warned about upcoming changes in the country of which he believes it will be the end of the world, and that makes his completely aloof to everything around him, making a very erratic being to be around with.

Had it been a solid drama showing the difficulties of a black man succeeding in the white man's world this movie could be an interesting and relevant piece about such issues, considering that at time race relations were hardly ever discussed on films - it was mostly on literature. But treated as comedy, those issues can't never be funny in no possible way. Correia succeeds in some moments such as when Felisberto begins to pray and curse after suffering a racist attack on his shop; or when he tries to make a move on the girl and he finds himself saying he's embarassed himself. Coutinho is used here almost as if acting like comedian Mantan Moreland or some similar black comedian, but less over-the-top, and the movie has almost like a silent film technique with reduced camera movements, close-up shots or the way everything was framed.

Truth is it was hard to care for the movie, and for the characters. It's a pity that Felisberto loses his self-respect and pride as the story moves along, and I hated his relationship with the woman, she's ridiculous and obnoxious yet the guy loves her for some odd reason. He's too clueless to see that all she cares is about his money. If the idea is to show his descent to madness and how he got crazy, then it all starts when he meets this lady. The rest is a just a case of jealous people who couldn't accept his success. That's the tragedy of life and some folks really lived those things. A pity.

I really don't understand how writers and directors find ways to make comedies about prejudice issues or find humor in attacks against minorities. It simply does not work. 5/10.

App Oficina do Diabo

A critical piece on the superficiality of hookups
Daniel Manhães strikes again with another good short film talking about some experiences from the LGBT community. This time he moves from the issues revolving couples and goes to analyze the dating/hookup apps and the experiences that comes from those. As usual with the director/writer/actor he goes for the downer side of things, making valid and real criticisms which allows audiences to compare with their own personal experiences as app users or to enlighten those who are outside of such reality, or prefer old-fashioned encounters.

He plays a lonely guy wanting to have a good casual encounter with another guy and he sort of gets what he wants, with Tupã (Geovanni Timbó), of whom we discover had seen the man outside of the app since they're neighbors - but the other never noticed his presence. From the get-go, it's a recipe to disaster since the director's character is a little picky with everything but he accepts the other guy's invitation for a dinner at his home.

The film shows each men's inner thoughts during their awkward interaction with one guy just complaining about everything (the man's looks, his apartment, and so on) and the other just lusting after his crush. It's a tough challenge on viewers just desperate to see if anything good will come after all the pain and cringe moments.

It might be a hard punch on many people out there since the main goal is to show about the superficiality of sexual encounters and how many things don't go exactly in the way one wants or desires because the human element goes a lot deeper than just a sexy profile pic and some cute/positive/hot descriptions, and there's always the element of surprise and frsutration can hit hard. It's not a total tragedy, it walks a thin line between some strange humor and cringe situations in the awkwardness of it all.

Manhães finally stretches out in not playing the good/romantic guy as he did in his other short films, this time he manages to play a shallow and obnoxious guy for a change and it was tough dealing with the character's thoughts here (but it was a very realistic portrayal of a superficial type where the face tries to hide the real emotion behind). For the first time, he's using of some humor to compose his scenario and he succeeds it.

Good stuff but it's one of those movies where you won't walk feeling all too good about people, potential dates or similar scenarios. You'll be very critical of everything afterwards. 8/10.

O Poeta do Castelo

An enjoyable time with the great poet Manuel Bandeira
A special short directed by the great Joaquim Pedro de Andrade ("Os Inconfidentes", "Macunaíma") presenting a little about the routine of genius poet Manuel Bandeira. We follow Bandeira buying milk, then heading back to his apartment where he spends some time preparing the milk, then typing some words on his typing machine, receving a phone call and later on walking out again. During his walk out, his voice can be heard performing his classic poem "Vou-me Embora pra Pasárgada" where he describes his ideal place to live where all his wishes become true. The initial words might come from another piece of his but I'm not familiar with that, where he mentions about things in life and the sadness of not being a father.

Andrade turns everything into a fantastic view of the poet's world, the simple routine of a man, a writer, enjoying his solitude and composing his art. It would be a little interesting if a brief interview with Bandeira could be made, just to see his opinions on everything or some information being shared. But on a way to get the know a little about the man, and how he performs his verses is fascinating for itself. His voice sounds very warm and relax. The restaured version is amazingly beautiful, showing a very careful cinematography, very unlikely from movies of that period. This was a perfect combination of literature with cinema. 8/10.

Chick Fowle, O Faixa Preta do Cinema

A fun tribute to a veteran cinematographer
Roberto Santos made this amazing tribute to veteran cinematographer H. E. Fowle, best known as Chick Fowle, showing testimonies from actors, directors and directors of photography worked with him in many classic films from the Brazilian cinema. A master of photography who worked in countless classic films such as "Tico-Tico no Fubá", "O Pagador de Promessas", "O Cangaceiro", the Brit born Fowle was in the process of going back to England after spending most of his life in Brazil where an impressive career took off, being the cinematographer of more than 40 films in a 26 years career.

Director Anselmo Duarte, actor Leonardo Vilar, veteran director of photography Walter Carvalho, and others describe how it was the experience of working with Fowle, how the man is, and there's also some small clips of Fowle answering a couple of random questions, not much related with his film work but mostly because he was on the verge of moving back to UK - of which, but I'm not sure if it was exactly after the film being made. Santos make of this special tribute a farewell gift to Fowle and an important piece to film lovers who can witness the man's legacy and later on see how he filmed and captured many classics from Brazil cinema, in between 1936 and 1962. A very important document, indeed. 7/10.

Gino Vannelli: Living Inside Myself

Amazing song, one of Gino's best moments
A most fascinating power ballad, "Living Inside Myself" has everything to conquer thoughtful hearts and souls out there, from the song arrangements to Gino's amazing voice, and the reflective lyrics.

As for the music video there isn't much going on except for Vannelli's heartfelt performance along with band members, the backing vocallists as well, but he's the main figure captured through several close-up shots and some other effects that blends him with the band. Awesome black-and-white cinematography, plenty of style.

Nothing so spectacular, it's a very simple case yet it appeals to viewers because of the magnificent song and nothing more. A very enthusiastic video and a very enthusiastic moment for Gino Vannelli. 8/10.

Gino Vannelli: Nightwalker

Nice dark visuals
Great visuals at night which creates the desired aspects for the video, the song isn't much of Gino Vannelli's fantastic moments. Sure, he has plenty of range and he's a great performer but the song is quite forgettable. It wasn't a hit in here, unlike "Living Inside Myself" which stands out as a memorable song.

The video saves with its aura of mystery, darkness, and for a moment you keep thinking something bad is gonna happen with the insomniac he plays in some small fragments but most of the video consists of him performing the song with his band in some abandoned backyard. Worthy of a checkout, good stuff. 6/10.

Nickelback: Feelin' Way Too Damn Good

Worthy of view because of the great song
Well, I love this song of theirs, possibly on my Top 3 of theirs. It's a tragic pity that it didn't get much airplay in here on radio (because the few radios that played them actually included acoustic versions of their songs to fit its inclusion in more pop oriented places, and this song didn't had an unplugged version), and neither airplay on music channels - it played in a quite unforgettable way, unlike the huge hits of the period. Reasoning: the video is boring.

Nickelback performs the song as a mystery light keeps moving around in front of the group and also appearing to many teen couples elsewhere who feeling mistified by such electricity and its presence they follow its path can guess from here.

It doesn't fit much with the spirit of the song, which deals about those moments in life where everything goes right and it feels so right that you keep imagining something's bad might happen soon. Sure, Kroeger has some stories within the song and those could be made into a corny video (I love "Far Away" but it's one damned corny romantic video).

Gorgeous cinematography, some nice settings but the main thing here is the song and Nickelback made a great one. But on video terms, it's a small disappointment.


Pagu - Livre na Imaginação, no Espaço e no Tempo

A most special tribute to the life and work of Pagu
While most people know all about the key figures of Brazilian Modern Art like Oswald de Andrade, Tarsila do Amaral, Di Cavalcanti, Mário de Andrade, the name of Patrícia Galvão (known as Pagu) is mostly remembered as she was good friends with Oswald during the Modern Art Week of 1922 and they married years later. Yet she also had literary works, was part of the group being a very active participant as well and was also known for her political activism, which caused her to be arrested for countless times due to her support to Communism. In an era where the role of women was growing, specially in the artstic scenario, she dared to be outspoken and move the world around her.

This short documentary is directed by Rudá de Andrade, her son with Oswald, and it's a very interesting accomplishment. Her life and work is presented along with pictures from the period - sadly there's no video archive of hers, neither testimonies from the people knew her. It's basically a narrator telling us about her life, her work and mostly his social activism that made her get arrested for a year period in Brazil during the Vargas administration, and other arrests as well. Despite all that controversy she always a good reputation as a writer so there were always some publication that hired her for a collaboration, countless places admired her work and devotion.

I was deeply amazed by this piece, a lot more than seeing the biopic "Eternamente Pagu", made by Norma Bengell in 1987, which is quite average film. Most of what's shown is portrayed there but the melodrama and some confusion in its plot makes a strange experience. Fans or not, this is a special piece to get to know Pagu. 10/10.

The Why Store: Father

Chris Cooper rocks in this impressive video
A quite impressive music video whose major appeal to cinema lovers comes from the people involved inside of it rather than the ones behind it. While I'm not familiar with The Why Store neither the repertoire, I only got here after checking credits for artists involved with this and I wanted to see what it was all about.

Directed by Oscar winning director John Schlesinger ("Midnight Cowboy", "Marathon Man") and starring Chris Cooper, Devon Sawa and Beverly D'Angelo this short film has a powerful drama story revolving a conflicted father (Cooper) who can't deal with his teenage son (Devon) and while on service as a cop he beats up a teenage boy in a brutal manner. The cop overreacted his approach since he saw someone similar to his young son and wanted to leash out his anger to someone.

While the music is quite alright, the thing that kept me going was the strong acting bits. Cooper is one of my favorite actors of all time because he has the ability to do anything, and his expressions convey countless emotions that cannot be read in one exact way and if he's playing a father figure be ready to see a character who always have deep problems with his son. One clear example of such description is the amazing "American Beauty" as the repressed colonel. I urge you to watch the film twice just for his performance alone since there's a plot twist involved and on a second view of the film you'll understand that he's giving clues to his real self that cannot be seen on one view alone. It's never about what he says, it's always about what he does with his eyes, his gestures and expressions. There's always some double meaning and if he's awesome doing those things.

And here, as the title character, though it's hard to figure out the reasoning behind his contempt for his son but you'll see a lot of pain in the man.

With a longer running time where bits of dialogues could be inserted, this could be even better. But for what it shows, this is quite interesting to follow and a fine opportunity to see a character actor playing the lead for a change. 8/10.

Os Marginais

Meaningless stories
One movie with two different segments, and the final result is a total disaster. No point to be found and no entertainment to be gained with this meaningless wreck. Two first-time directors came up with the idea of showing crime stories with Minas Gerais as a background and both stories failed to generate some highly interesting idea or some higher purpose to audiences.

The first confusing segment revolves around Guilherme (Paulo José), a petty and out-of-luck criminal who flees from Belo Horizonte and moves to the countryside where he blends with the elite, befriends the mayor and seduces the old man's daughter (Helena Ignez) in order to obtain some advantages and profits. Somehow things derail and a crime happens. It's a small chapter if compared to the next, it's all very jumpy, confusing and loses interest early on. The script begins in an interesting manner as Guilherme narrates about his past but near the conclusion his voice is all lost and we wonder what really happened at the end.

The second bit shows a troubled young man (David José) who becomes a news sensation when he declares to newspapers that he has an urge to kill but he can't find a potential victim. Weird story by all accounts, this revolves about a man with a killing instinct but he doesn't know where to begin. Somehow he manages it, killing a famous actor, then moves ahead with more victims. In this insane longer story it's unbelieavable that even though he's always arrested as suspect and everybody knows his fame, he always manages to stay out of prison and even has the support of his loyal girlfriend who tries to make him avoid such thoughts and actions.

If the first story leaves many unanswered questions and it's very confusing, the second one defies so many logics that one gets easily bothered. Outside of those issues, there's almost nothing on both films to make it appealing or worth seeing, the B movie style is a mess, and both stories fail to challenge viewers with some deep thinking about the criminal world and what society needed to be done with such acts, neither finds ways to present thrilling sequences.

A troubled and painful experience that must be avoided at all costs. 2/10.

Rota ABC

ABC and the early 1990's youth
A view of youth, their life perspectives for the future and what they think about the place they live, the city of ABC, a metropolitan area around São Paulo best known for its countless auto industry complexes. Francisco César Filho interviews two teenagers and one young adult who share some brief descriptions about their lives and what they think about the place of which they don't see much diversions and distractions to do there - a low-income area is what's shown here - but they find ways to get truly involved with what they do such as perfoming on a punk rock garage group or rolling down ball-bearing carts.

It's always fascinating to see documents from different times than the ones one had lived, there's plenty of nostalgic values in this video project showing how strange everything was back in the early 1990's, a critical times in Brazilian society and economy. The youth of then had obvious reasons to be dissatisfied with everything, the future looked bleak at all times specially if you lived in a grey and weird-looking town as that - Ramalho's film insists in showing us the countless factories polluting the air (one of the rare colored moments, mostly is black-and-white and grey) or the trains moving around non-stop carrying the masses (back when the metropolitan company of trains was a mess, I have vague memories of people going on board of those trains hanging on the outside trying to not to fall).

Yet despite of everything I'd like to think they managed to live and breathe the future, maybe more hopefully than what they imagined. I'd really like to know what happened to all of them. Maybe the rock singer broke out to fame and I don't even know, since many punk groups came from the very ABC area. 6/10.

Chopper Down: Helicopter Deaths in the Movies

A general view on helicopter accidents on movie sets in the 1980's
Awfully sad but truth, helicopter accidents on movie sets were a dangerous trend in the 1980's and this video project proves and examines such issue. It came in the wake of two accidental crashes that took place close to each other, the films "The Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection" and "Braddock: Missing in Action III", coincidentally enough both were Chuck Norris vehicles made by Cannon Films and it was all on a short matter of time hence why the makers of this project felt the urge to discuss those themes and find reasonings behind such tragic events happening on movie sets.

But before reaching out to those tragedies, showing the interviews with survivors, witnesses and a lawyer from the entertainment business, the film makes mention of the most infamous and notorious helicopter accident that happened years before in John Landis segment from "The Twilight Zone: The Movie" when a pyrotechnique malfunction alligned with a low-flying helicopter made it crash and kill leading star Vic Morrow and two children, and at the time of this documentary the trial against Landis and others was finally coming to a verdict.

Unlike the two Cannon crashes which weren't filmed, the "Twilight Zone" one was caught on tape and the video is presented here fully, unlike the edited version broadcast on TV stations during the trial. It's a shocking moment, it's certainly causes an impact on viewers but the makers of the documentary should have left out without using "The End" by The Doors as a soundtrack. It was awfully tasteless and indecent. The horror by itself is enough.

What did we learn from here, or at least what did Hollywood learn after those tragedies? No movie worths risking a life and safety must always come first. While incidents on set still cause harm and deaths on set, from "The Crow" to "Rust", similar ones like the ones featured here never happened again revolving aircrafts or helicopters, can't think of one happening and most of what happens are stunts that go wrong. Hollywood took notice and learned that safe environments are mandatory, and budgetary constrainsts can't never be an issue to cut costs and get a perfect shot done. You spend what you have in order to protect everyone and get your movie done. 8/10.

Legião Urbana - Rio 1994: O Descobrimento Do Brasil

Pretty cool gig
A special Legião Urbana concert filmed by Band Network in 1994 during the promotional tour of "O Descobrimento do Brasil", one of the last gigs from the group since the other two albums were never promoted because of lead singer Renato Russo's poor health ("A Tempestade" and "Uma Outra Estação", which was released after his death).

A fine presentation since their biggest hits are all there except that they don't perform anything from "V" (I was disappointed but there might be a personal reason of theirs since the hits from that album are mostly downer songs). Small interviews with the group are presented before some of the songs.

Memorable highlights: "Ainda É Cedo" with Russo making sexual movements and noises on stage and dry humping the floor was something very unusual (and fun) to be seen; the band interrupting "Índios" with Russo challenging the audience they actually remembered the lyrics because he himself had forgotten too ("We didn't rehearse this song") and the "Star Wars" kind of introduction to "Faroeste Cabloco" was pretty cool.

The fun thing about live performances is obviously how everything is presented and gives the songs a new way to listen to it with inclusion of other instruments or the changes of tempo as each song is played, and the band has two more members in this presentation (bass player and keyboard player). Problem is that sometimes the vocals enter too rushed and the song end up sounding erratic or off-key.

Didn't like much of the lightning used, very reduced at times making the experience far too dark and it's not a typical case of video material problem that could be corrected with a mastering of the material (of which is needed but due to legal problems it might take time to occur if ever happens because it depends on a special soul in control of everything related with the group and it's someone hard to convince about doing anything for eager fans. Don't forget that Legião Urbana has countless of demo tapes recently found by police on a special task force that raided some illegal studio yet those materials won't see the light of day so soon...because of this special someone).

I'm glad I had the chance to see this concert, they are great doing live performances as evidenced by the live albums released where the songs are always more special not only because of the audiences enthusiasm but also for the fact that some tracks were usually extended with Renato doing medleys with classic rock songs.

And since I haven't lived those days (I was a kid back then) this is the best I can get of seeing the group outside of music videos and TV archives. Good stuff! 8/10.

Tom Hanks: The Nomad

Weird, really weird
A film star of massive magnitude and long successful career as Tom Hanks is destined to have many documentaries made about him for times to come, during his lifetime and beyond. The low score this small project has doesn't come for the fact that no documentary should be made of Hanks because he's still alive and he has many things to do, or neither because biographies are only special when the subject is no longer alive. It gets a downer vote due to its awkward poor presentation that makes it seem that zero persons were involved with its making/editing, it all feels like a robot put everything together and sent it to the world to see.

It follows the usual television biographical specials showing basic information about Hanks family life and early days, then moves ahead to present his meteoric rise to fame, success, failure, awards and public recognition and other personal ventures. It's hard to go wrong with the facts and basically anyone can do it.

The doc consists of showing countless interviews with Hanks during promotion of his many films, actors and directors also appear being interviewed in a similar manner, and no testimonies from outsiders, film historians and others are shown as made for the project. It's all archive stuff, some are cool to watch, others are just boring.

Outside of those aspects, it's a highly problematic piece where you have an AI narrating the movie. I might be proven wrong if the actress in question comes along but that voice was lifeless through the whole thing, and I think I noticed some errors while she speaks names and words (HAL 9000 would never be doing those things, even he had some life in that soothing voice). Not just that, it feels this was also edited by an AI and cringe mistakes can be easily spotted - Tom Hanks' first wife images are not from hers, it's all Rita Wilson with a different hairstyle, just make a basic web search and you'll see it. Painfully jarring to see that, and another moment where the voice just says Tom and instead of Hanks appearing they showcase a pic of Tom Arnold. There are a couple of moments that stills are shown in a very displicent and careless manner. If this is the future of the world without the human element then I'm frightened about the possibilities.

This only shows the magnifiency of Hanks life and career on a superficial visible level, no profundity whatsoever. Only worths some view just to see his interviews over the years, all cool moments. A future project, better developed and with massive material will come, no doubt, but we'll have to wait a little longer.

A man of his charisma, persona and enthusiasm easily gets one made but until then his movies speak for him and his career. He deserves better. 4/10.


A highly humored short film
"Durvalino" is an intriguing, funny and smart debut short film that never fails to surprise its audience. Writer and director Patrícia Regadas was fortunate enough to get a cast of legendary veteran actors at her disposal (Othon Bastos, Pedro Paulo Rangel, Ilya São Paulo and Ruth de Souza) and they all shine here in fun performances. One may wonder how well-connected she was in order to get such a marvellous cast right in her very first film, a college project.

The movie follows the title character (Othon), a friendly old man who hands a task to three different men (unknown to each other) where they need to go to his apartment and help him with some repairments since he's about to move from there. Each time one new man comes along into the apartment, the situation becomes more and more tense since each of them were given different tasks to perform there and there were never informed about each other. And it gets weirder: a trunk filled with cash is the only thing present in the empty space. They recount to each story their connection with Durvalino and the job each of them were given to perform.

It's a challenging and surprising film that gives audiences plenty of questions and no easy answers about who was that old man neither worries too much in showing what's the next step for those three guys. On an ultimate level I believe Patrícia was teasing audiences for the possibility of making a feature film about this same story, and that would be a fantastic idea since there are plenty of great elements to be worked, from a hilarious comedy to a potential mystery thriller.

Not sure if that'll ever happen but for the time being it'd be a little too late since three cast members already gone in recent years.

I really liked this short, it was surprising all the way, not a single predictable moment came and everybody's having a good time while acting. It's a great script. 9/10.

Jeff Porcaro - Instructional Video

A fascinating moment with a drum master
Way back time in this was a pure novelty destined to some, specially music enthusiasts who wanted to learn about the craft and skills of playing drums with the guidance of one of the greatest drummers of all time, TOTO's Jeff Porcaro. A tutorial video project where Porcaro presents some of his drumming compositions for his group, the geniality behind each creation and how to perform them, presenting not only his arms movements but also what he does on the pedals, all at the same time.

The main attraction here is that instead of a music teacher or some teenage out there making a tutorial as almost anyone makes these days, here we have a master behind a drumkit, one who has played with an insanely large group of artists and bands, and a dedicated and patient person who wanted to share with the world not only his skills as a drummer but also talk about the makings of his creations, how he come up with distinctive rhythms and beats. My favorite moment has to be when he presents the inspiration behind the complicated beat for "Rosanna", one of the most difficult to be played, where he made a Frankenstein that borrowed from three different shuffles, one of them being "Fool in the Rain" by Led Zeppelin, makes some adjustments and the rest is history. He explains in great details the shuffles, what was changed and what remained, and then the final gathering of them which makes the basis for TOTO's amazing hit. Another great moment comes when he presents "Mushanga", which came on TOTO's latest release at the time.

For those who enjoy hearing the makings of a song, seeing the real tricks behind the magic or are music enthusiastic and possible drummer players, this is definitely a must-see video. Mr. Porcaro was a very insightful and enthusiastic individual, and his contribution to the world of music won't ever be forgotten, and this special piece shows how positive and enlightning he was. 10/10.

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