Black Orfeus: Samba at the Thalia

August 4, 2014 3:58 PM

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Black Orfeus: Samba at the Thalia

Marcel Camus' 1959 Golden Palme winner Black Orpheus is a study in filmmaking genius. Set against the background of Carnival in Rio in one of the outskirt's poor favelas, it retells the classic tale of Orfeus and Eurydice. Camus' film is no somber dramatic greek tragedy however. Everything in the film, from the first scene to the last, is set against the background of joyous singing and dance. Dance it might be argued is a character in the film itself, part of the very soul of the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, and nowhere do we see this better than in the children of the favela, who are able to out-dance the best of us by the time that they are barely able to walk. Antonio Carlos Jobim's sublime "A Felicidade" accompanies the opening scene, followed by other bossa nova songs by Luiz Bonfá such as "Manhã de Carnaval" and "Samba of Orpheus."

When the movie opens, the young Orfeu (Breno Mello) is a lady's man indeed. He has a whole set of beautiful women to choose from, some wild , like the crazed Mira who is hell-bent on marrying him, others sultry: but it is his neighbor Serafina's cousin (Lea Garcia), the beautiful Eurydice, played by...

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