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Archive for the ‘Filmed in Brazil with English subtitles’ Category

Mango Yellow

12 Feb

Mango Yellow – directed by Claudio Assis – Human Comedy. Lives intertwine among the working poor in the city of Recife in Brazil. 103 minutes Color 2003

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What makes a great film? Variety, veracity, vitality. Is that enough? It’s enough for this film. And it makes clear why films of the working classes and the local classes give satisfaction like no other. The reason is that these are stories about people inside of whom something can happen. And this is everything. Upper class stories — Antonioni is a great example — give us stories in whose characters nothing can occur. But the poor people in Mango Yellow are in a daily duel for survival, and their aliveness is vivid and present and in peril. Even the waitress who owns the Avenida Bar and who is sick to death of its routine of insults, whose song is the song of the sameness of day-after-day, is afire with her protest. Dunga, the There’s-No-Stopping-A-Determined Queen, commands our respect and care as he flares and flounces and yet makes everything work, but his love life. Strange Isaac driving his yellow Mercedes and passed out in a decrepit boardinghouse, The Texas Hotel, still goes roaring after the debauchery he seeks. The butcher, Wellington, hacking with an ax at cadavers in the slaughterhouse weeps with contrition and confusion at his infidelity toward his evangelical and chilly wife. And so it goes. Mango Yellow is one of the great Lower Depths movies.  Brilliantly filmed by Walter Carvalho, scored by Jorge Du Peixe and Lucio Maia, designed and costumed by Renata Penheiro, written by Hilton Lacerda, the director Claudio Assis has brought together a remarkable community of talent to give life to this remarkable community.

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