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 Post subject: Re: 48 Black Orpheus
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm
Matango wrote:
. . . I wouldn't expect any reviewer of the day would have gone through the supporting cast noting their theatrical stage credentials.
Few mainstream reviewers would have, yes, but I think the more significant point here and now with respect to reception is that there was a particular set of racial attitudes within which such assumptions were made about supposedly untrained black actors and their "natural" or "instinctive" talent for dance, rhythm, and certain other forms of expression. I think most readers today would not understand what the term "native quality" meant, but I believe it would have communicated effectively 50 years ago with respect to this same general body of racialized attitudes, specifically in light of the film's exotic setting. This is not to say "we" have overcome all such views now, but it's now a far different and more complex picture.
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Also, I think the benefits that Black Orpheus gave Brazil in terms of enduring international musical exposure outweigh any perceived negatives 50 years on. Global respect for Brazilian music (and consequently Brazilian culture) came hard and fast on the heels of this film.
I guess I personally don't think about it in terms of a balance upon which some things "outweigh" others, but I generally agree about the film's cultural impact. It was far from a void beforehand, with the Good Neighbor Policy, for example, spurring a lot of cultural interest in Brazil in the 1940s and '50s, and there were many collaborative projects involving Brazilian musicians such as Laurindo Almeida prior to Black Orpheus. But again, this is not to diminish the huge impact of the film around the world.


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 Post subject: Re: 48 Black Orpheus
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Watched it for the first time tonight and although there wa some hokey acting, and the plot stalled at musical points, I loved it.

Then again, the music was the high point for me, so the movie could've been 2 hours of music and 10 minutes of plot, and I wouldn't have minded. Great use of color, music, and the cultural opening of Brazilian music and Carnival culture to the world.

But on the special features, I really think Gary Giddins should've whitened his teeth before having Criterion interview him..... yuck.


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 Post subject: Re: 48 Black Orpheus
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:50 am 

Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 11:06 pm
Considering the main actress is American, I was wondering if she learned to speak Portuguese for the part or if her lines were dubbed later...


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 Post subject: Re: 48 Black Orpheus
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 12:07 pm 
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I'm pretty sure she had to learn Portuguese, but she had something of a knack for languages in addition to her other talents.


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 Post subject: Re: 48 Black Orpheus
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 2:08 pm 

Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 11:06 pm
Gregory wrote:
One thing I wonder about is what younger Brazilian cinephiles think of the film, in general. Now that several decades have passed and it's an artifact, I wonder if they still see it as such a problematic work.

I'm Brazilian and I think it's a wonderful film. But to be honest, I don't believe Black Orpheus has remained as popular in Brazil as it is in the rest of the world, and many cinephiles here are completely unaware of it.


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