Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Black Orpheus...

This one's worth watching when you are feeling psychically drained or have been working under fluorescent lights for too long. True, the story is a little stilted, and there are enough extended dancing sequences to exhaust the Bolshoi Ballet, but the raw Brazilian fire at its core and the spectacular color and lighting, and a handful of winsome actors are enough to resuscitate any beleaguered soul. Any attempt to resist its full-blast ecstatic chaos will only set you back. Rhythm, release, trance, and possession are the name of the game here.

How they did it...Take the myth of Orpheus: A great musician, Orpheus, falls for a hot country girl, Eurydice, who is plagued by Death. She dies and he goes to the underworld to get her back. He almost does, but loses her for good when he looks back over his shoulder after being commanded not to. Heartbroken, he returns to the regular world where he is literally torn to pieces by village women who are jealous of his epic love. OK, now set it in the raging flesh-fest of Rio de Janeiro's Carnival (circa 1959). Toss in some 17th Century dayglo French ballgowns and a gold gladiator suit. Then splice in a soundtrack that will introduce the world to the brand new Bossa Nova sound by its inventor Antonio Carlos Jobim. Shoot everything with a combination of sun and flood lights. Use real people as well as real chickens and dogs and birds and anything else that moves to each frame. Shake vigorously for 108 minutes. The cool underworld sequences take place in hospitals, voodoo churches and, of course, the Rio morgue - all the places you might think see some extra business during the Carnival. Indeed they do.

Samba, n. Portuguese, derived from the West African bantu word "semba", meaning "invoke the spirit of the ancestors".


Blogger LARRY said...

if you like the story of Orfeo & Euridice, i can advise you a indipendent short film produced by my equipe. we won a award just this mounth. if you want you can find same images on my blog. I saw Black Orpheus and i like very much.
see you

9:35 AM  

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