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Black Orpheus (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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And if you watch this movie you will see that they do it very near the end of the last reel, as in the morning when the truck comes round spraying water, just one of a thousand little details that director Marcel Camus got right, and one of the most insignificant. But it is from a multiplicity of detail that an edifice of cinematic genius is constructed.
The true brilliance of Black Orpheus lies in the people who live on the side of the cliffs overlooking the harbor at Rio. It is their energy that prevails. Then there is the color, the costumes, the pounding rhythms, the spectacular vitality of life that is depicted as a carnival of dance and song in which we are driven along as on a wave. And yet there is the constant reality of death. And it strikes in ways we cannot comprehend, fatalistically, and we are helpless to do anything about it. And then Orpheus sings, a new Orpheus perhaps, and the sun rises again, and a little girl in white, looking like Eurydice in miniature, begins to dance as the little boy Orpheus plays his guitar, telling us that time has come round again.
Well, that's the plot as adapted by screen writer Jacques Voit from the play by Vinicius d Moraes as divined from the Greek mythology. Supporting this arresting conception is the music by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa. I recall the former as the composer of bossanova who gave us "The Girl from Ipanema" and made the samba international. Starring in the title role as the streetcar conductor who is loved by all is Breno Melo, who might be seen as the natural man and native of paradise.Read more ›
Links to the original Greek tragedy will test your knowledge of mythology and the trip to "Hades" with its voodoo incantations will stick in your mind like a fever-induced dream. The beauty and rhythm of this film will make you think of your first true love, and, if you're one of the lucky ones out there, make you glad you never let that person go.
I first saw Black Orpheus in New Orleans. One of my life's fondest memories is viewing this film at a local repertory theater. Whenever there were carnival street scenes, balcony-bound moviegoers would let loose with Mardi Gras beads and doubloons, adding to the carnival atmosphere.
Also, although I have a copy of the subtitled Orpheu Negro, which I would never part with, I have seen a dubbed version, only once and then on television. I would very much like to acquire a dubbed copy. Can anyone out there help? I remember there being much more to the story line revealed with the dubbed version. (For example, when at the pawn shop, as patrons are passing the guitar down to Orpheus, they are saying, "This is for Orpheus. This is for Orpheus." This phrase is transposed from person to person into "This is Orpheus. Here's Orpheus.", giving the guitar mystical properties and seeming to make it the embodiment of the spirit of Orpheus. Inscribed on the guitar are the words "Orpheus is my master."
I would give this film my highest recommendation and would encourage anyone to view it at least one a year.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fun Movie. like a time capsule of the late 50s to early 50s BrasilPublished 27 days ago by bonesdug
great love story,well acted. Using carnival as backdrop was excellent.Published 1 month ago by David LoPolito
A favorite movie from my childhood. Although there is much criticism, the music is classic and timeless and despite the unfortunate title, makes one reminisce for a bygone era,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joaquin Mixco
I THINK THE MOVIE WAS VERY GOOD, I BOUGHT THIS MOVIE FOR A FRIEND. I'VE HAD NO COMPLAINTS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.Published 2 months ago by BLUZMAN1
the movie is great. the technicolor flawless, the subtitles perfect. one of my favorite films.Published 3 months ago by Sam
Black Orpheus has one of the best endings in film. Overall, it has the charm, spirit, and talent that one looks for in an indie film. Read morePublished 4 months ago by rbrogan3
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|I CAN'T FIND THIS DVD FOR REGION 1. CAN ANYONE HELP ME? My world was...||
It's available from Amazon in a Criterion Collection dvd ($16.99)
Jun 23, 2009 by V. Orselli | See all 2 posts
|RIP, Breno and Marpessa||Be the first to reply|
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