Hector Babenco became Brazil’s leading post-“cinema novo” director in the 1970s and an acclaimed Hollywood director in the 80s. All his films deal with social issues, and are best seen as personal and subjective accounts of “marginalized” people—the homeless, prostitutes, political prisoners, homosexuals.
Born to poor Russian and Polish Jewish immigrant parents, Babenco was 18 when he left Argentina on a “divine mission,” inspired by Beat and existential writers, to “know the world.” For seven years he traveled throughout Africa, Europe and the Americas, working at odd jobs. In Spain and Italy he pursued his interest in film, working as an extra in spaghetti westerns.
In 1971, Babenco emigrated to Brazil to make films. Having grown up watching Hollywood and European films with subtitles, he was impressed by the new, indigenous Brazilian cinema. The year he arrived, however, Brazil’s rightist military regime instituted strict censorship, forcing most “cinema novo” directors… read more
Great acting, but it didn't really touch me. The subject and the themes that are approached are interesting, but i feel it could have gotten much more out of them.
Hector Babenco's IRONWEED is a strange piece of work. It features strong performances by Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, but this tale of a schizophrenic bum trying to piece his life back together during the Great Depression takes some odd detours in Nicholson's stagey hallucinations of ghosts from his past. A collection of strong moments that never add up to a satisfying whole.
Jack Nicholson plays a bum with a shadowy past that keeps giving him surprises in this New York Depression-era visualisation. This film gives great attention to characters whom all share a lack of faith in themselves besides a certain financial difficulty to cope with in the everyday. They're nicely directed, but it seems to me that director Babenco settles for less when my empathy is about the only thing he's after.