TIFF17 REVIEW: Motorrad [2017]

“How did you get past the wall?” You won’t find a better locale for a film than Serra da Canastra in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Its rocky landscapes and serene hills are gorgeous, their quiet solemnity a perfect contrast to the loud gas-guzzling motorcycles director Vicente Amorim has roaming their dirt paths in Motorrad. The only […]

REVIEW: Tabu [2012]

“You will not escape your heart” There are definite thematic similarities between Miguel Gomes‘ Tabu and F.W. Murnau‘s Tabu: A Story of the South Seas from its forbidden love to its descriptions of paradises lost. The structures are even identical—albeit in reverse—showing the joy of romance and the pain of losing it. If I were […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: O sinaleiro [The Signalman] [2015]

“The train was on time” Writer/director Daniel Augusto definitely cultivates a dark tone for his short film O Sinaleiro [The Signalman]. Between the quiet isolation of the titular character (played by Fernando Teixeira) and the almost supernatural occurrences surrounding him, you can’t help but conjure ideas of some spectral evil looming at his door. The […]

TIFF13 REVIEW: Faroeste caboclo [Brazilian Western] [2013]

“A real man always pays his debts” Composed by Renato Russo in 1979 and finally released in 1987 on his band Legião Urbana’s album Que País É Este, “Faroeste Caboclo” became a folk song hit in Brazil. It was Russo’s family —Renato died in 1996 due to complications from AIDS—who began the process of finding […]

REVIEW: Mistérios de Lisboa [Mysteries of Lisbon] [2010]

“Between the sanctity of our affection and the demon of social convention” Finally making its way into American theatres on the cusp of its director’s passing, Mistérios de Lisboa [Mysteries of Lisbon] gives us an epic look into the bourgeois dramatics of Portugal’s capital city. The press notes for the film contain a pretty accurate […]