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Brazilian Cinema: 100 Defining Films

by Leandro Schonfelder
Brazilian Cinema: 100 Defining Films by Leandro Schonfelder
Recently i made a list of my favorite Brazilian films of the last 20 years (a period known as “retomada”/“rebirth”) for a poll on a website that i contribute to. With that in mind, i decided to embark on a more ambitious task: a list of a hundred titles that encapsulates my perceptions on what Brazilian cinema is (and what it should be). A cinema that is still so little known, even within its borders – maybe another reason that made me jump on this. The list consists of films ranging from 1929 to 2012, which i think is a fair amount of time to cover in a list of 100 films (fair enough to make me leave a lot of films that i like out of it). I… Read more

Recently i made a list of my favorite Brazilian films of the last 20 years (a period known as “retomada”/“rebirth”) for a poll on a website that i contribute to. With that in mind, i decided to embark on a more ambitious task: a list of a hundred titles that encapsulates my perceptions on what Brazilian cinema is (and what it should be). A cinema that is still so little known, even within its borders – maybe another reason that made me jump on this.

The list consists of films ranging from 1929 to 2012, which i think is a fair amount of time to cover in a list of 100 films (fair enough to make me leave a lot of films that i like out of it). I didn’t care if a film i chose is a cornerstone or obscure, or how many films this or that director would have, or to distribute the films according to the decades. I also didn’t care about how popular the film is – that is why you won’t find something like “Cidade de Deus”/“City of God”, a film that to me speaks much more about publicity winning over cinema than about art or local politics. Speaking of that, you also won’t find any film that depicts poverty in a fashionable way (a trend that’s very popular in Brazilian cinema’s last two decades) or exploits it.

As a matter of fact, the criteria for choosing a film, or at least to try to rationalize my choices, were: on one hand, films that i personally like, doesn’t matter if I’ve seen them ten times or only once (that couldn’t be any different, does art make any sense without personal experience/involvement?); on the other, the chosen films have to be ones that somehow resonate the cultural contexts of the country – and by that i don’t mean the films have to “show” how Brazilian they are (that would be like falling in a trap), but instead to establish a singular connection with its people, its idiosyncrasies, its time, its culture, its cinema and how it dialogues with the cinema of the world. Films that have a longing poetical/experimental/popular strength, films that inspired, created dreams and myths; films that try to find their own paths, films that try to propose rather than to make statements; films that have a beauty that’s independent of trends or impositions; films that love the cinema (and makes us love it even more); films that love people.
















The complete list is here, in chronological order:
Since a lot of films aren’t in the website database yet, these ones will be marked with a *

1. Sangue Mineiro (1929) Dir: Humberto Mauro

2. Limite (1931) Dir: Mário Peixoto

3. Ganga Bruta (1933) Dir: Humberto Mauro

4. Carnaval Atlântida (1952) Dir: José Carlos Burle *

5. O Cangaceiro (1953) Dir: Lima Barreto

6. Rio 40 Graus (1955) Dir: Nélson Pereira dos Santos

7. Rio, Zona Norte (1957) Dir: Nelson Pereira dos Santos

8. O Grande Momento (1957) Dir: Roberto Santos *

9. O Homem do Sputnik (1959) Dir: Carlos Manga *

10. Garrincha, Alegria do Povo (1962) Dir: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

11. O Pagador de Promessas (1962) Dir: Anselmo Duarte

12. O Assalto ao Trem Pagador (1962) Dir: Roberto Farias

13. Porto das Caixas (1962) Dir: Paulo César Saraceni

14. Os Cafajestes (1962) Dir: Ruy Guerra

15. Vidas Secas (1963) Dir: Nélson Pereira dos Santos

16. Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (1964) Dir: Glauber Rocha

17. Os Fuzis (1964) Dir: Ruy Guerra

18. Noite Vazia (1964) Dir: Walter Hugo Khouri

19. À Meia-Noite Levarei sua Alma (1964) Dir: José Mojica Marins

20. São Paulo S.A. (1965) Dir: Luís Sérgio Person

21. A Hora e a Vez de Augusto Matraga (1965) Dir: Roberto Santos

22. O Desafio (1965) Dir: Paulo César Saraceni

23. O Padre e a Moça (1965) Dir: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

24. A Falecida (1965) Dir: Leon Hirszman

25. A Grande Cidade (1966) Dir: Cacá Diegues

26. Todas as Mulheres do Mundo (1966) Dir: Domingos de Oliveira

27. Terra em Transe (1967) Dir: Glauber Rocha

28. A Margem (1967) Dir: Ozualdo Candeias

29. O Caso dos Irmãos Naves (1967) Dir: Luiz Sérgio Person

30. Mineirinho Vivo ou Morto (1967) Dir: Aurélio Teixeira *

31. O Bandido da Luz Vermelha (1968) Dir: Rogério Sganzerla

32. Fome de Amor (1968) Dir: Nelson Pereira dos Santos

33. O Anjo Nasceu (1969) Dir: Júlio Bressane

34. Macunaíma (1969) Dir: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

35. A Mulher de Todos (1969) Dir: Rogério Sganzerla

36. Matou a Família e Foi ao Cinema (1969) Júlio Bressane

37. Meu Nome É Tonho (1969) Dir: Ozualdo Candeias *

38. O Dragão da Maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro (1969) Dir: Glauber Rocha

39. Ritual dos Sádicos (ou O Despertar da Besta) (1969) Dir: José Mojica Marins

40. Navalha na Carne (1969) Dir: Braz Chediak *

41. Orgia ou o Homem que Deu Cria (1970) Dir: João Silvério Trevisan

42. O Profeta da Fome (1970) Dir: Maurice Capovilla *

43. Marcelo Zona Sul (1970) Dir: Xavier de Oliveira *

44. O Palácio dos Anjos (1970) Dir: Walter Hugo Khouri

45. O Pornógrafo (1970) Dir: João Callegaro

46. Sem essa, Aranha! (1970) Dir: Rogério Sganzerla

47. Copacabana Mon Amour (1970) Dir: Rogério Sganzerla

48. Bang Bang (1971) Dir: Andrea Tonacci

49. São Bernardo (1971) Dir: Leon Hirszman

50. Um Homem Sem Importância (1971) Dir: Alberto Salvá *

51. Um Anjo Mau (1971) Dir: Roberto Santos *

52. O País de São Saruê (1971) Dir: Vladimir Carvalho

53. Os Inconfidentes (1972) Dir: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

54. As Deusas (1972) Dir: Walter Hugo Khouri

55. Toda Nudez Será Castigada (1973) Dir: Arnaldo Jabor

56. O Rei do Baralho (1973) Dir: Júlio Bressane *

57. O Amuleto de Ogum (1974) Dir: Nelson Pereira dos Santos

58. A Rainha Diaba (1974) Dir: Antônio Carlos Fontoura *

59. Perdida (1975) Dir: Carlos Alberto Prates Correia *

60. Gordos e Magros (1976) Dir: Mário Carneiro *

61. A Queda (1976) Dir: Ruy Guerra

62. Chuvas de Verão (1977) Dir: Cacá Diegues

63. O Jogo da Vida (1977) Dir: Maurice Capovilla *

64. Lúcio Flávio, o Passageiro da Agonia (1977) Dir: Hector Babenco

65. Mar de Rosas (1977) Dir: Ana Carolina

66. Crônica de um industrial (1978) Dir: Luiz Rosemberg Filho *

67. Tudo Bem (1978) Dir: Arnaldo Jabor

68. A Lira do Delírio (1978) Dir: Walter Lima Jr

69. A Mulher que Inventou o Amor (1979) Dir: Jean Garrett *

70. Bye Bye Brasil (1979) Dir: Cacá Diegues

71. A Idade da Terra (1980) Dir: Glauber Rocha

72. Pixote, a Lei do Mais Fraco (1980) Dir: Hector Babenco

73. O Império do Desejo (1981) Dir: Carlos Reichenbach

74. O Homem Que Virou Suco (1981) Dir: João Batista de Andrade

75. Aopção ou As Rosas da Estrada (1981) Dir: Ozualdo Candeias

76. Eles Não Usam Black-Tie (1981) Dir: Leon Hirszman

77. Bonitinha, Mas Ordinária (1981) Dir: Braz Chediak *

78. O Segredo da Múmia (1982) Dir: Ivan Cardoso *

79. Memórias do Cárcere (1983) Dir: Nelson Pereira dos Santos

80. Bar Esperança, o Último que Fecha (1983) Dir: Hugo Carvana *

81. Cabra Marcado Para Morrer (1984) Dir: Eduardo Coutinho

82. A Hora da Estrela (1985) Dir: Suzana Amaral

83. Filme Demência (1986) Dir: Carlos Reichenbach *

84. SuperOutro (1989) Dir: Edgard Navarro

85. O Vigilante (1992) Dir: Ozualdo Candeias *

86. Alma Corsária (1993) Dir: Carlos Reichenbach

87. Um Céu de Estrelas (1996) Dir: Tata Amaral *

88. Tudo É Brasil (1997) Dir: Rogerio Sganzerla

89. A Ostra e o Vento (1997) Dir: Walter Lima Jr

90. Santo Forte (1999) Dir: Eduardo Coutinho

91. Dois Córregos (1999) Dir: Carlos Reichenbach *

92. O Viajante (1999) Dir: Paulo Cesar Saraceni

93. O Signo do Caos (2003) Dir: Rogerio Sganzerla *

94. O Prisioneiro da Grade de Ferro (2004) Dir: Paulo Sacramento

95. As Vilas Volantes: O Verbo Contra o Vento (2006) Dir: Alexandre Veras *

96. Serras da Desordem (2006) Dir: Andrea Tonacci

97. Cleopatra (2007) Dir: Julio Bressane

98. Falsa Loura (2007) Dir: Carlos Reichenbach

99. Moscou (2009) Dir: Eduardo Coutinho

100. O Som ao Redor (2012) Dir: Kleber Mendonça Filho

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