TOP – Obras-Primas do Cinema Mundial Que Você Não Deve Ignorar – Parte 2 (para o site norte-americano “Taste of Cinema”)

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    In continuing the gold mining for obscure films around the
    world, learning about different cultures through their rich artistic
    expressions, I’ve selected these 10 titles that deserve greater recognition.

    1 – A Pál utcai fiúk (aka The Boys of Paul Street – 1969)

    Based on the work of the Hungarian writer Ferenc Molnár,
    this is one of those films that once seen, remains forever in the memory. Do
    not be alarmed if in dreams, you find yourself struggling on Paul Street
    alongside your childhood friends. Adapting the most famous Hungarian literary
    work of all time to filmmaking should not have been easy, but director Zoltán
    Fábri did this without appealing to exaggerated melodrama or extreme austerity,
    as would be common in the Hollywood way of dealing with such issues.

    The story recounts the battles of humble pre-teenagers in
    Budapest in 1889, who defend a vacant lot (their playground) from the invasion
    of a group of wealthy teenagers. The naive confrontation permeated by
    “sand bombs” ends up leading to the same sad consequences of any war.
    There is a hierarchy in the army of Paul Street, where the fragile and
    hardworking soldier Nemecsek tries at all costs to prove his worth before the
    brave general. From these situations comes a humor that easily takes us back to
    the complex world of the child, because they do not fight for a few square
    meters in a wasteland, they fight to gain freedom and for the right to fully
    exercise their creativity.

    As in all wars, there are betrayals and demonstrations of
    value in the most extreme conditions. Both the book and the film make clear
    their analogies and real intentions: to show that, contrary to what many people
    think, childhood is as dense and conflicting as adulthood. “The Boys of
    Paul Street” is a must-see movie.

    2 – A Falta Que Nos Move (aka The Absence That Moves Us –
    2009)

    Five actors arrive at the house of the director of the film
    to experience a cinematic experience. They are filmed uninterruptedly, while
    continuing to follow scripts and scenes. Fiction and reality intertwine in the
    midst of stories of a generation that has lived adrift and now faces an absence
    that moves their actions.

    The director: Christiane Jatahy. The actors: Pedro Brício,
    Cristina Amadeo, Dani Fortes, Marina Vianna and Kiko Mascarenhas, realize the
    dream of every actor, experiencing an incredibly stimulating experience. The
    best way to watch this unknown brazilian masterpiece is to enter the house
    together with the actors, without knowing the trick, so I will avoid commenting
    too much about what happens. The greatest merit of the team was to have built a
    product that does not lose value as revealed magic, only instigates even more,
    leading us to try to understand that microcosm perfectly reflects the macro.
    The shock of realizing that we are all full-time actors, following through the
    acceptance of our frailties and frustrations, learning to deal with the
    inexorable approach of the end. We are part of an experience, regardless of
    whether we make it pleasurable or full of self-pity, we choose routes as the boundaries
    of the road are revealed to us.

    3 – Kahaani (same in english) – 2012

    A young woman went from London to India, pregnant, to look
    for her missing husband. The disappearance case is increasingly complex, and
    the entry of government agents into their resolution shows that there is much
    to unravel in this story. Surprising plot full of twists, directed by the
    Indian Sujoy Ghosh, perfect to show those people who nurture prejudice with
    movies that are not mainstream.

    4 – Privilege (1967)

    Steven Shorter (Paul Jones) is the greatest British music
    star. Heard from everyone, from teenagers to old people, everyone in England
    loves him, until his producers and entrepreneurs begin to use his popularity
    for various economic projects. As Steven loses his individuality by turning
    into a product, his icon position becomes useful to the more conservative
    sections of UK society. The Church and the State begin to use it to combat
    atheism and communism, making it an instrument of religious fundamentalism and
    fascist nationalism.

    Using the aesthetic of a documentary that coldly analyzes a
    successful marketing case, English director Peter Watkins (after the excellent
    documentary “The War Game”, 1965) elaborates along with the creator
    of the story: Johnny Speight (who signs the screenplay with Norman Bogner), a
    prophetic allegory set in the not-too-distant future, about a young singer who
    loses his identity in exchange for an opinion-former status. The propaganda
    machine uses it as a way to keep British teenagers from alienating them,
    channeling and spreading their revolt into sadistic presentations, but
    remaining ignorant of the political course of their country. Steven is
    handcuffed and caged in front of his fans, who roar wildly and cry out for
    their freedom. A circus of horror that brings us to the current scandals
    involving the popular stars of the entertainment world. Those who enjoyed
    “The Truman Show” (by Peter Weir) will find safe haven in this play.
    Writer Andrew Niccol probably must have been inspired by Steve to comprise the
    protagonist lived by Jim Carrey (even in the feminine influence in the third
    act, essential for the change in the attitude of the protagonist).

    There are many moments of genius, but I particularly find
    the speech of the Rev. Jeremy Tate (Malcolm Rogers) brilliant, emulating the
    mannerisms of Hitler, where he calls on his followers to conform. The image of
    the young man would have to be shaped (due to mercantile interests) from a
    rebel to an honorable Christian, so his producers organize an event on an
    Olympic scale, to reinsert him transformed into society. The off-screen
    narration tells us that while Steve ends the event with a song that incites
    something transcendental, wheelchairs have been given to many sick citizens so
    that the illusion of the miracle can take place. As he spread his hands, the
    false paralytics rise and the commotion worsens, but the young man’s face could
    not express greater discouragement. He moves in choreography, even his simplest
    gestures are coordinated. Just a closer look at modern media phenomena, to
    realize that this future imagined allegorically in the film came to fruition.
    At some point in a meeting with the high dome that produces the young, a
    stylist presents in a formal way the style that will be adopted in a few weeks
    by the young British. The media manipulation continues even after Shorter
    leaves the scene, because they continue to use their archive images, only
    remove the sound. The product is still on sale because there is a buying
    public.

    It is no wonder that this film was boycotted in its day (the
    media claimed that the work was immoral, debauched of the church and defied the
    authorities, encouraging juvenile delinquency) and that even today it is
    practically unknown, even among the cinephiles.

    5 – 7 Cajas (aka 7 Boxes – 2012)

    As I always say, cinema needs only good ideas. The low
    budget, the absence of a national industry, nothing is excuse for the lack of
    creativity. And it is precisely this lesson that the Paraguayan writers and
    directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori deliver with this thriller,
    which brings references ranging from the German “Run, Lola, Run” to
    Danny Boyle’s camera work, composing an authentic portrait of poverty of
    characters who are the organs responsible for the chaotic life of a popular
    market in Asunción.

    The protagonist, lived competently by the young Celso
    Franco, dreams of escapism transmitted by television entertainment, tool shown
    as efficient builder of desires. He was only interested in acquiring a
    cellphone because of the filming feature. When faced with his own projected
    image on those magical canvases, a leitmotiv that repeats itself with
    variations a few times during the film, the poor boy finds some hope in that
    momentary and illusive existence, a possibility of escaping from his sad
    everyday life. To get the money he needs to buy the cell phone, he accepts an
    enigmatic service proposal: quickly transport seven sealed boxes of wood,
    unknown content, to a destination he will only discover on the way. The less
    you know about the plot, the better the experience. As a negative point in the
    script, but forgivable in the context of the work, an excessive use of
    coincidences. For example: an unnecessary scene that is inserted in the first
    act only as a way of showing that an officer X flirts with a character, only so
    that in the second act this same policeman, among the several that could be
    present in the place, served as a facilitator in the resolution of a narrative
    conflict.

    Although the project surprises in the quality of the
    suspense that establishes, what really elevates it to a higher level when
    compared to similar ones is the perfect use of the dynamism in the mission of
    the boy in the classic style of the American action films, with the inclusion
    of several elements with conflicting interests and cameras that traverse
    beneath tables in exciting pursuits like a “Hitchcockian” McGuffin,
    while the true moral tale involves the subplot of a pregnant young woman who is
    about to give birth. The same woman who is established in the first few minutes
    as someone who desperately tries to sell the cell phone that becomes the object
    of desire of the protagonist. The outcome of the narrative arc of the woman
    will contrast sharply with that of the boy, making clear the intention of the
    script, a message much more perennial than any convention of its kind. We can
    be fascinated by the cameras that follow, in POV, the wheelbarrows of the
    wheelbarrows in action-plans that do not leave anything to be done for those
    already established industries, also merit of the photographer Richard Careaga,
    but it is the silent attitudes that will remain in the minds of the public,
    several hours after the session.

    6 – Utvandrarna (aka The Emigrants – 1971)

    A simple and powerful story set in the nineteenth century,
    the journey of a poor Swedish family who decides to emigrate to America,
    leaving behind a people controlled by religious hypocrisy. The script, adapted
    from the four novels of Vilhelm Moberg, avoids the traditional structure based
    on narrative arches, demands the patience of the spectator, makes magnificent
    use of silence, but the reward is immediate.

    The couple Kristina and Karl Oskar, impeccable Liv Ullmann
    and Max von Sydow, face a long and devastating sea voyage, high point of
    “The Emigrants”, the real possibility of death prowling every new
    morning, lice infestation, hunger, despair and depression , the hope symbolized
    by the new world being destroyed by the realization that they will not be
    received with open arms, there is no sense of fraternal community in this land
    of opportunity worked without the mythical vision usually sold by Hollywood.
    The most interesting aspect, the way the characters project a paradisiacal
    image of America, seeking a kind of redemption for their lives, until they are
    surprised by the reality clash. The challenge for the survivors was just
    beginning. Ulrika, played by jazz singer Monica Zetterlund, is humiliated by
    being called a prostitute, the cause of the infestation, but she proves that
    she is not to blame. some already accustomed to being slandered by those who
    consider themselves superior. In metaphor, Kristina, with the mentality limited
    by the dogmas of her traditions, is carrying to the new reality the lower
    prejudices, practicing the judgment inadvisable by Jesus and encouraged by the
    dignitaries who speak in his name, infecting the expectations of a new
    beginning.

    7 – 35 Rhums (aka 35 Shots of Rum – 2008)

    The widow Lionel (Alex Descas) lives in a housing complex
    with his daughter, Josephine (Mati Diop), with whom he has strong ties to have
    raised her alone. While Lionel attracts the attention of a middle-aged woman, a
    taxi driver who begins to walk around the neighborhood engages with Josephine
    and they begin to leave. When Josephine’s boyfriend accepts a job abroad and
    moves in, leaving the girl alone, Lionel realizes that the daughter is becoming
    independent and that it may be time for them to confront their past. The
    greatest film of the french director Claire Denis. Beautiful homage to the work
    of Yasujiro Ozu.

    8 – Os Verdes Anos (aka The Green Years – 1963)

    Portuguese filmmaker Paulo Rocha died at the age of
    seventy-seven on December 29, 2012, after a stroke. Leaving behind a stable
    career as a lawyer, the young man preferred to follow his dream and absorb the
    art of the French, especially Jean Renoir, of whom he was assistant, returning
    to his country willing to redefine the cinema that was made there. In previous
    decades, the Portuguese people embraced the simple humor of Vasco Santana’s
    comedies, while more pretentious, almost always medium-length films such as
    “Saltimbancos”, which Manuel Guimarães launched in 1951, failed to
    establish a connection with his audience. In the early sixties, influenced by
    Italian neo-realism and the French nouvelle vague, directors such as Fernando
    Lopes, of the mid-length film “Belarmino”, José Ernesto de Sousa,
    “Dom Roberto” and Paulo Rocha, opened new possibilities for the
    Portuguese cinema.

    Taking his cameras to the streets of Lisbon, without fear of
    exposing the social contrasts, he filmed his first work: “The Greens
    Years”, simply telling the relationship between a young man (Rui Gomes)
    naive newcomer from the interior and a Maid (Isabel Ruth) of the Big City. The
    script, in a short time, efficiently establishes the essence of each character.
    The unsure boy who defends himself by saying, “A man without money is like
    a car without gas,” or who is intimidated in the dance hall to the sound
    of a rockabilly. The dazzled girl who parades for him, wearing the various
    dresses of his mistress. Except for an American of a fight with his uncle
    (Paulo Renato) in a bar, the boy walks the streets accompanied by his new
    friend, without either of them understanding what is being said by the other,
    the American states at one point: “I do not understand a word he says, but
    I am inclined to agree,” brilliantly translating the boy’s conflict with
    the hypocrisy of the city and its people in a humorous and still current
    criticism. In the end, as in one of the variations of Chico Buarque’s song
    “Construction”, the symbolic death of his naive and interior youth,
    caused by an untimely and inconsequential decision, ended up disturbing the
    traffic.

    The theme and the conduction may have aged in a less generous
    way, but its soundtrack, composed by the great and longed guitarist Carlos
    Paredes, who responded to the invitation of the director and identified with
    the theme, resists bravely, thrilling as always.

    9 – Az Prijde Kocour (aka The Cassandra Cat – 1963)

    A Czech lyrical children’s fable with a strong behavioral
    criticism, this movie received the jury’s special award in Cannes. The plot is
    simple and brilliant. A village, microcosm for our society, receives the visit
    of a magician, a beautiful young woman and her cat with sunglasses. With
    special powers, the feline sees humans with different colors, according to
    their character and their feelings, for example, a pair of intense red-colored
    boyfriends, hypocrites and liars in purple, resulting in a vibrant color show
    that guarantee the film a truly unique aesthetic, an antirealist tone where the
    characters dance without music, a pleasant lucid dream. It is interesting to
    note that the professional illusionists of the circus troupe act precisely by
    removing the illusion / falseness veil that moves the characters, which
    obviously does not make them unanimous in popularity in the place, since the
    mere glimpse of the cat incites the terror of those who, even by profession,
    must defend lies.

    The most beautiful scene is when Diana, lived by the
    charming Emília Vášáryová, removes the glasses of the cat in a nocturnal
    spectacle of magic, presenting to the public, for the first time, this
    peculiarity of the animal. Even without knowing the meaning of the different
    colors, much of the population despairs and runs to escape the reach of the
    little eyes. Pure children, untouched by adult hypocrisy, do not bother with
    this phenomenon, as do passionate redheads, engrossed in their romantic hopes.
    While adults hunt the cat, symbol of the fall of their social masks, children
    protect the pet in every way. One of the most beautiful allegories in the
    history of cinema, which never slips into pamphlet moralism, stimulating a deep
    humanist reflection.

    10 – Amerikanskaya Doch (aka American Daughter – 1995)

    Abandoned by the woman who decides to live with a wealthy
    American in the country of Uncle Sam, a Russian musician goes to meet him, ten
    years later, in order to reestablish ties with his pre-adolescent daughter.

    Some foreign texts criticize, for example, how little the
    girl is too smart for her age, a great nonsense, only very insensitive
    professionals are unable to see that the proposal of the work is to be like a
    comic fable, there is no trace of realism in approach, pity, the outcome
    delivers a child riding a helicopter! The director Karen Shakhnazarov is very
    versatile, he purposefully drinks from the source of American melodramas,
    betting on ordinary comic narrative solutions in these works, without any touch
    of cynicism, the tone is a reverence. At the time of production, after the fall
    of the Soviet Union, the relationship between the two nations began to show
    signs of life, the American daughter, lived by the adorable Allison Whitbeck,
    who, it is worth noting, carries the project on the back with impressive
    charisma, representing the sincere intention of union. There is a wonderful
    moment that represents well this leitmotiv, the father, lived by Vladimir
    Mashkov, after escaping with his daughter, relaxes in a bar in the United
    States singing in Russian, happy customers, genuinely interested in the art of
    the stranger. Those people do not know the song, they do not even understand
    the lyrics, but they enjoy the melody. Upon seeing a beautiful waitress, he,
    emulating Elvis Presley, sings “Love me Tender” in English, putting
    affection on every word, the mood in the environment is one of love and
    respect.

    The scene shows that the union between different cultures is
    always the best way, the fascination in trying to understand the other, instead
    of feeding the fear of the unknown, less walls, more bridges.

    * Link para a postagem original no “Taste of Cinema”:

    http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2018/10-masterpieces-of-world-cinema-you-should-not-miss-part-2/

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    Octavio Caruso
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