Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 120: Sunday Apr 29

Black God, White Devil (Rocha, 1964):
Lexi Cinema, 194 Chamberlayne Rd, Kebsal Rise, NW10 3JU
This is a A Nos Amours film club event hosted by film makers Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts.

Director of screen and opera, Penny Woolcock (The Death of Klinghoffer, Tina Goes Shopping), will introduce Black God, White Devil.  Here is a foretaste of her passion for the film:

“I first saw this delirious film when I was a teenager over forty years ago and I’ve never forgotten Rosa traipsing around a bleak landscape in a stolen wedding veil, crazy Corisco wheeling and brandishing his sword and the music that made me want to turn the world upside down with them…  It has the joy and the horror of revolution and the hallucinatory quality of a very Latin American mix of mysticism and politics. It’s both naturalistic and insane, based on a peasant revolt in the North East of Brazil in the 1940’s; it’s the first spaghetti western, the first magical realist movie, formally inventive and absolutely beautiful. We are so tame these days, so well behaved.”
Time Out review:
'Rocha's first major film introduced most of the methods, themes and even characters that were developed five years later in his Antonio das Mortes. Set in the drought-plagued Brazilian Sertao in 1940, it explores the climate of superstition, physical and spiritual terrorism and fear that gripped the country: the central characters, Manuel and Rosa, move credulously from allegiance to allegiance until they finally learn that the land belongs not to god or the devil, but to the people themselves. The film's success here doubtless reflects the 'exoticism' of its style, somewhere between folk ballad and contemporary myth, since the references to Brazilian history and culture are pervasive and fairly opaque to the uninitiated. But Rocha's project is fundamentally political, and completely unambiguous: he faces up to the contradictions of his country in an effort to understand, to crush mystiques, and to improve.' Tony Rayns
Here is a clip from this remarkable film.

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