Premiere Brazil!, a collaboration between MoMA and the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, takes its title from a sidebar featured at the festival, where many of these films premiered. This annual series continues to introduce New York audiences to original and accomplished recent films by both new and established Brazilian filmmakers.
This year’s opening-night films are Marcos Jorge’s debut feature Estômago: A Gastronomic Story, a smartly constructed tale of food, power, and sexual betrayal, and veteran director Walter Lima Jr.’s Out of Tune, a seductive recreation of the 1960s music scene in Rio de Janeiro and New York that traces the birth of bossa nova through the ups and downs of a fictional band. Other highlights include Basic Sanitation, The Movie, a delightfully old-fashioned tale about the intersection of social activism and filmmaking; My Name Ain’t Johnny, in which the by-now-familiar perils of drug dealing and drug abuse are explored in a new light through expressive camera movement and inspired direction; and Sign of the City, an evocative ode to São Paulo in which a few lonely strangers’ paths converge in the night.
The flourishing Brazilian documentary scene is represented by a hauntingly gorgeous portrait of human transience (Drifter); the story of the Xavante tribe’s courageous and emotionally wrenching attempts to keep their culture relevant (The Xavante Strategy); and the amazing story of the seven dwarfs of the Pindorama circus, which tours the poorer reaches of northeastern Brazil (Pindorama: The True Story of the Seven Dwarfs). The exhibition also includes a rich variety of vibrant films about Brazilian music and musicians, including the international premiere of The Mystery of Samba and the world premiere of The Man Who Bottled Clouds, director Lirio Ferreira’s engrossing portrait of popular songwriter Humberto Teixeira.
All films are from Brazil and in Portuguese with English subtitles. Most filmmakers are present to introduce the first screening of their film.
Organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film; and Ilda Santiago, Director, the Rio Janeiro International Film Festival. This exhibition is made possible by George Gund III and Iara Lee, and the Ministry of Culture, Brazil; with additional support from the Consulate General of Brazil in New York, The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, and Marjorie Andrade.