In the 1960s, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro attempted to shine as aspirational beacons of the modern in Brazil, but at the same time were beset by corruption and crime, and harboured their marginal citizens like a guilty secret – luxo (luxury) and lixo (garbage) side by side.
This programme presents two films working with the cult of celebrity in Brazil’s big cities: A Maldição Tropical [Tropical Curse], a short meditation on Portuguese-Brazilian icon Carmen Miranda by way of the development of Rio de Janeiro; and O Bandido da Luz Vermelha [The Red Light Bandit], which follows the exploits of an infamous serial burglar in São Paulo’s Boca do Lixo (Mouth of Garbage). Both films adopt strategies of montage that juxtapose the diverse elements of their respective cities, yoking together the contradictions of Brazilian society through allusion, superimposition and fragmentation.
Luisa Marques and Darks Miranda, A Maldição Tropical [Tropical Curse], Brazil 2016, DCP, colour, sound, 14 min, Portuguese with English subtitles
Rogério Sganzerla, O Bandido da Luz Vermelha [The Red Light Bandit], Brazil 1968, 35mm, black and white, sound, 92 min, Portuguese with English subtitles
The screening is followed by a discussion with Ismail Xavier and Luisa Marques and an audience Q&A.