Latest Posts

  • MOSTRA festival to showcase U.S. indie films in São Paulo

    MOSTRA festival to showcase U.S. indie films in São Paulo

    It was back in 2010 that Ariani Friedl founded MOSTRA — a small festival showcasing what she labeled “socially conscious” Brazilian films in Chicago. “There’s too much gratuitous nudity and sex in Brazilian cinema,” said Friedl, a Porto Alegre native who came to Chicago in 1964 and served as director of the John Nuveen Center […]

  • Support this film about Brazil's (and the world's) only ballet academy for the blind

    Support this film about the world’s only ballet academy for the blind

    Looking at the Stars (Olhando pras Estrelas) is a touching documentary that follows two dancers from the world’s first and only ballet academy for the blind. Geyza, the company’s prima ballerina and an instructor at the school, takes center stage in the film, shot in Brazil over a period of three years. Her protegee, Thalia, […]

  • 'Rio, I Love You' opens in the U.S. in April

    ‘Rio, I Love You’ opens in the U.S. in April

    The anthology film Rio, I Love You (2014) is getting its U.S. debut in New York on April 15 and expanding to other major U.S. cities over the next month (see schedule below). This third entry in the “Cities of Love” series follows Paris, je t’aime (2006) and New York, I Love You (2009). Rio, […]

  • Brazil's 14 Oscar nominations over the years

    Brazil’s 14 Oscar nominations over the years

    Brazilian films, directors, actors and composers have been nominated for Academy Awards a total of 14 times, including this year. Here are the nominees, in chronological order. 1. “Rio de Janeiro” Composer Ary Barroso got a Best Original Song nomination for “Rio de Janeiro,” from the little-known Hollywood musical Brasil in 1944. Barroso (second from […]

  • 'The Boy and the World' coming to North American theaters

    ‘The Boy and the World’ coming to U.S., Canadian theaters

    The hand-drawn Brazilian animated film The Boy and The World (O Menino e o Mundo) is finally coming to U.S. and Canadian theaters after scoring a successful run on the international festival circuit and a potential Oscar nomination. Dec. 11 New York – IFC Center Los Angeles, CA – Laemmle NoHo Dec. 26 Detroit – Detroit […]

  • 'Pixote' actress Marília Pêra dead at 72

    ‘Pixote’ actress Marília Pêra dead at 72

    Actress Marília Pêra, known to international audiences for her role in Hector Babenco’s gritty 1981 drama Pixote (Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco), died Saturday at her Rio de Janeiro home. Pêra’s portrayal of Sueli, an aging prostitute who adopts a gang of street children as her pimps while dealing with the aftereffects of a […]

  • 'Casa Grande' opening at New York's Cinema Village

    ‘Casa Grande’ opening at New York’s Cinema Village

    Anna Muylaert’s The Second Mother (Que Horas Ela Volta?) is by far the most widely seen Brazilian film of 2015, inspiring discussion of the intricacies of Brazil’s class system in umpteen news outlets across the world. And thanks to this surge of attention, The Second Mother stole the thunder from a similar and very deserving […]

  • Review: The struggles of soccer 'Hopefuls,' powerfully rendered

    Review: The struggles of soccer ‘Hopefuls,’ powerfully rendered

    When the 2015 Rio International Film Festival winners were announced on Oct. 13,  Neon Bull (Boi Neon) took home Best Fiction Feature and three other top awards, while Hopefuls (Aspirantes) was the second biggest winner with three awards. But while Neon Bull rode in with major buzz after receiving the Horizons Special Jury Prize at […]

  • 'Black God, White Devil' actress Yoná Magalhães dead at 80

    Remembering ‘Black God, White Devil’ actress Yoná Magalhães

    Actress Yoná Magalhães died Tuesday in her native Rio de Janeiro from surgical complications after a cardiac procedure, according to a Rede Globo statement. Magalhães was born on Aug. 7, 1935, and started acting in the mid-1950s to help out the family after her father was laid off. After some radio gigs and small roles […]

  • Brazilian cinema at the 2015 Chicago International Film Fest

    Brazilian cinema at the 2015 Chicago International Film Fest

    The 51st edition of the Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF), running from Oct. 15 to 29, features a particularly strong Brazilian cinema slate. Here are the details and trailers for the six films. Absence (Ausência) Abandoned by his father,  a teenage boy tries to find his place in the world while simultaneously caring for his […]

  • Veteran director Carlos Manga dead at 87

    Director Carlos Manga dead at 87

    Carlos Manga, a film and TV director best known for a string of classic 1950s comedies, died Thursday in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro. Born in 1929, Manga toiled behind the scenes at now-defunct Atlântida Cinematográfica studios until rising to the rank of director in 1952. Working regularly with Oscarito and Grande Otelo, two […]