South American Cinema on DVD

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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godardslave
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#1 Post by godardslave » Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:27 am

Im trying to find out more about south american film directors.

can anyone suggest some of the best south american film directors of past and present, and their related availability (or not) on dvd?

thanks.

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Gregory
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#2 Post by Gregory » Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:44 pm

It's a pretty large, broad a topic. I'll recommend a few books, then list some recommended DVDs, and finally provide a sort of wish list for DVDs of South American films.
For books that catalogue and discuss films specifically from this continent, I can recommend two: South American Cinema: a Critical Filmography, 1915-1994, edited by Timothy Barnard and Peter Rist (1996) and South American Cinema: Dictionary of Film Makers by Luis Trelles Plazaola (1989). There are a number of other books that include all of Latin America. Of these I'd recommend The Cinema of Latin America edited by Alberto Elena and Marina Diaz Lopez, because it's fairly easy to find and it has good, relatively in-depth essays on 24 of the most interesting films from the region.

The vast majority of the best films from South America are unavailable on DVD but of what is available here are some of the best, in my opinion. Keep in mind I'm not necessarily vouching for audio-visual quality and look for reviews on dvd-basen.dk if that's a concern.
Argentina: La Cienaga, The Holy Girl, The Official Story, and Crane World.
Brazil: Vidas Secas, Pixote, Quilombo, Four Days in September, Tieta of Agreste, Central Station, Foreign Land, Carandiru, City of God, and How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (which is supposed to be released soon by New Yorker).
Colombia: Rodrigo D: No Future
Peru: Days of Santiago

Finally, here are some titles that I believe are some of most important films to come out of South America but which have not been released on DVD with English subtitles:
Argentina: The House of the Angel aka End of Innocence (Leopoldo Torre Nilsson), Man Facing Southest (Eliseo Subiela), Hour of the Furnaces (Getino, Solanas, Alvarez), Time for Revenge (Adolfo Aristarain)
Bolivia: Blood of the Condor (Jorge Sanjines), The Clandestine Nation aka The Secret Nation (Jorge Sanjines), or really anything by Sanjines.
Brazil: Barravento (Glauber Rocha), Antonio das Mortes (Glauber Rocha), The Heirs (Carlos Diegues), Bye Bye Brazil (Carlos Diegues), O Alienista (Nelson Pereira Dos Santos), Rio 40 Degrees (Nelson Pereira Dos Santos), Of Gods and the Dead (Ruy Guerra), Macunaima (Pedro de Andrade), Prato Palomares (Andre Faria), Limit (Mario Peixoto)
Chile: The Battle of Chile (Patricio Guzman), Machuca (Andres Wood), Moon in the Mirror (Silvio Caiozzi), Scraps of Life (Gayla Jamison)
Peru: In the Mouth of the Wolf (Francisco Lombardi)
I know I've left out Venezuela; I admit I don't know much at all about that country's cinematic output, but I know there has been some.
Last edited by Gregory on Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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godardslave
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#3 Post by godardslave » Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:35 pm

thanks gregory.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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#4 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:36 pm

The R0 Brazilian release of God and the Devil in Land of Sun/Black God White Devil has English subs.

In Heaven
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#5 Post by In Heaven » Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:00 am

What about specifically political Latin American films?

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Gregory
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#6 Post by Gregory » Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:07 am

The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:The R0 Brazilian release of God and the Devil in Land of Sun/Black God White Devil has English subs.
That's right, I considered ordering that a year or two ago and never did. I'd be interested to hear how acceptable the transfer is and where it can be found at a good price.
In Heaven wrote:What about specifically political Latin American films?
They're all political to some degree, and most of the films to emerge from the "New Latin American Cinema" since the 1960s have been pretty overtly so.

spencerw
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#7 Post by spencerw » Sat Feb 04, 2006 3:20 am

godardslave wrote:Im trying to find out more about south american film directors.

can anyone suggest some of the best south american film directors of past and present, and their related availability (or not) on dvd?
One recommendation from me would be the recently re-released Vidas Secas (Barren Lives) by Brazilian director Pereira dos Santos. See the review at DVD Beaver.

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zedz
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#8 Post by zedz » Sun Feb 05, 2006 6:32 am

Gregory wrote:
The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:The R0 Brazilian release of God and the Devil in Land of Sun/Black God White Devil has English subs.
That's right, I considered ordering that a year or two ago and never did. I'd be interested to hear how acceptable the transfer is and where it can be found at a good price.
It's a terrific disc. Lovely transfer, miles of extras (though only the feature has English subtitles). Just an amazing film. On the basis of the few films I've been lucky enough to see, Cinema Novo is one of the most unjustly forgotten "new waves" of the 60s.

I toyed with ordering this from a Brazilian website, but the postage was exorbitant (may be less punitive to the US). In the end, I found a dealer on eBay (based in Sth America and selling lots of new sealed discs) who supplied it much cheaper.

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Gregory
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#9 Post by Gregory » Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:00 am

One Brazilian seller on eBay recently included this encouraging tidbit in a listing: "In the next few months many Rocha DVD will be published, please came back to our auctions for news."

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Lino
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#10 Post by Lino » Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:07 pm

Glauber's influential Terra em Transe aka Land in Anguish is finally up for preorder. It contains English subs and it's a double DVD.

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Michael
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#11 Post by Michael » Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:23 pm

Gregory, what a great and informative list!

My favorite of the whole bunch is La Cienaga. I can't recommend this enough. It's very much like Tennessee Williams dramas.. washed-out men, divas, flighty kids, sweaty, drinking, bitching, moaning, more drinking, more bitching...all set in a decaying mansion somwhere by the jungle.

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Gregory
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#12 Post by Gregory » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:19 pm

Thanks, Michael. I only scratched the surface. I have a word file of Latin American films I'd like to see and/or obtain on DVD eventually. The more I add to it the more depressed I get about how little is available (and, a lesser concern, how poor the quality is of many of the titles that are available).
Yes, Cienaga is a fascinating one. Her second feature The Holy Girl didn't seem quite as memorable to me but I definitely plan to give it another go, sooner or later.
Another Argentine filmmaker I'm checking out right now is Maria Luisa Bemberg. A few of the films she directed are available on DVD in R1 -- mostly from Facets, but fortunately I was able to borrow Nobody's Wife.

Also, excellent news about Terra em Tramse. I'm trying to cut way back on DVD purchases for a while but I hope anyone who orders this will post comments on transfer quality etc.

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Lemmy Caution
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#13 Post by Lemmy Caution » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:53 am

I thought Crane World (Argentina, 1999) was pretty good. In the vein of post-war Italian neo-realism. And available on dvd.

There are some films by Adrián Caetano out on dvd.
He's a young 21st Century Argentinian director.
But I see that he was born in Uruguay, and his 2001 film was entitled Bolivia. So he truly qualifies as a South American filmmaker. I have Bolivia on dvd, but haven't watched it yet. His A Red Bear (2002) is also out on dvd, but sounds like a somewhat formulaic crime story (released from jail, trying to settle old scores, wants to go straight, but sucked into one last score, etc.) Anyone familiar with Caetano's films?

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1977) is an older Brasilian crowd-pleaser. Fun, a nice look at small-town Brasil, and a mid-20's Sonia Braga to boot. Bruno Barreto was just 22 when he directed this film. He also adapted the screenplay from the Jorge Amado novel. Unfortunately this isn't out on DVD, while Barreto's other more recent (and lightly regarded) works are.

Seems like South American film would be a good place for Criterion to mine.
Last edited by Lemmy Caution on Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lino
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#14 Post by Lino » Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:04 pm

Lemmy Caution wrote:Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1977) is an older Brasilian crowd-pleaser. Fun, a nice look at small-town Brasil, and a mid-20's Sonia Braga to boot. Bruno Barreto was just 22 when he directed this film (he also adapted the screenplay from the Jorge Amado novel). Unfortunately this isn't out on DVD
Oh, yes it is.

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Lemmy Caution
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#15 Post by Lemmy Caution » Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:35 pm

Ingles?

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Lino
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#16 Post by Lino » Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:52 pm

Lemmy Caution wrote:Ingles?
If you mean subtitles, the answer is Não. Sorry.

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Awesome Welles
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#17 Post by Awesome Welles » Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:28 pm

Does Hour of the Furnaces exist in it's full cut? I saw the first twenty minutes and was totally blown away. I'd love to see the whole thing.

Question.

Does this board extend to discussion of Cuban films? I think it's pretty much all one category...

Anyway. I have seen a few Cuban films and think they are great, it is just such a shame that Cuba isn't very well represented on DVD. Can anyone recommend any Cuban films that are available on DVD with English subs. I have enjoyed Tomas Guttierez Alea's films (Memories of Underdevelopment and The Last Supper) as well as Sara Gomez's De Cierta Manera, although a Russian director Kalatozov's Soy Cuba was great and the photography was sublime.

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vertovfan
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#18 Post by vertovfan » Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:01 am

La hora de los hornos is available here (only German and French subs though). One of the best political films I've seen.

Alea's Death of a Bureaucrat is available here with English subs.

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Awesome Welles
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#19 Post by Awesome Welles » Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:57 am

Thanks, shame Hour of the Furnaces doesn't have English subs, I may pick up Death of a Bureaucrat soon.

Zillertal
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#20 Post by Zillertal » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:26 am

the films of Júlio Bressane, Rogério Sganzerla are also really nice, and the chilean films of Raoul Ruiz also are good. I believe only 'Dias de Nietzche em Turim' by Bressane is available on DVD, but his films are beautiful. Carlos Reichenbach is also worth mentioning, Jorge Furtado, Humberto Mauro /the father of brazilian cinema).

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tryavna
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#21 Post by tryavna » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:00 pm

As far as Cuban films go, First Run released five in their Cuban Masterworks Collection. I presume that all titles have been ported over from Icestorm's R2 releases -- though Death of a Bureaucrat isn't among them. (And I have to say that none of them sound particularly interesting to me, but would be open to someone convincing me otherwise.)

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Awesome Welles
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#22 Post by Awesome Welles » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:10 pm

I've seen the boxset on Amazon but like you Tryavna would welcome a recommendation, I have read about all the directors but don't want to accidentally buy their lesser works.

Can anyone offer their wisdom?

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Don Lope de Aguirre
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#23 Post by Don Lope de Aguirre » Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:20 pm

Can anyone offer their wisdom?
Dvd Talk can

stroszeck
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#24 Post by stroszeck » Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:45 am

Another great film, this one from Peru: Godoy's THE GREEN WALL. I believe this one, along with his MIRAGES, also from the 70s, are next to IMPOSSIBLE to find! But well worth checking out.

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Awesome Welles
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#25 Post by Awesome Welles » Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:56 am

Does anyone know what the meaning of thisis? Is Death of a Bureaucrat coming out, long out of print or just a plain mistake?

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