Oscar Ahoy

    Oscar Ahoy

    Is Central do Brasil a long shot for the main Oscar? Michael
    Barker, Sony Pictures Classics’ president, doesn’t think so. He is behind the marketing
    strategy to make the Brazilian film a household name in the next few weeks..
    By Alessandra Dalevi

    Central do Brasil (Central Station), the movie, is poised to go where no
    Brazilian film has gone before. The work, which won this year’s Berlin Festival Silver
    Bear, is getting the red carpet treatment by Sony Pictures, the film’s distributor in the
    United States. The company acquired the rights to the movie in January during the Sundance
    Film Festival.

    Sony wants to see the film among the five nominated for an Oscar, not in the foreign
    movie category, but together with the best English-language movies. Sony would also like
    to see veteran Brazilian Fernanda Montenegro chosen as one of the five best actresses.
    Montenegro would be competing with some favorite actresses for the upcoming Oscar,
    including Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, and Susan Sarandon.

    A long shot? Don’t tell this to Michael Barker, Sony Pictures Classics’ president, who
    is behind the marketing strategy to make the Brazilian work as much a household name as
    past foreign movies like My Life as a Dog, and The Postman.

    Barker indicated that before February 1999, when the list of nominated movies is
    released, Sony will spend millions to accomplish that. In its campaign kicked off in late
    September with ads in the movie industry papers, Sony talked about the exquisite emotional
    experience Central do Brasil is and cited five other foreign movies that made it
    into the main category, among them Costa-Gavras’ Z (1968), Ingmar Bergman’s Cries
    and Whispers (1972) and The Postman( (1995).

    What is the prerequisite for a foreign or any movie to compete for a place in the main
    category? To have played in the US before December 1st, to have premiered in
    the country it was made after January 1 and then to have been shown for at least six
    months. The film can even compete for best picture in the foreign and main categories at
    the same time, as happened with Z.

    Sony started to put its plan into action in late November opening the movie in a few
    key markets. It expects that promotion, good reviews and word of mouth will help when the
    release expands to up to 500 screens nationwide.

    Talking to Rio’s daily Jornal do Brasil, Barker explained the Brazilian movie’s
    appeal: "Central do Brasil is a universal film. It transcends the Brazilian
    cinema in reflecting feelings that have meaning to any culture. I am sure it will tug at
    Americans’ heartstrings, exactly as The Postman did. The film has everything to get
    to the mainstream and conquer the great public."

    According to Barker, preview sessions to test the public’s reaction have shown the
    movie touching people of all ages. Starting in December, Vinícius de Oliveira, the boy in
    the movie and actress Fernanda Montenegro will tour 15 US cities to promote Central do

    The nominations will be announced February 9, 1999. And the Oscar awards will be given
    on Sunday, March 21. Brazilians hope they will have an extra incentive to be up late in
    front of the TV set.

    The New and
    the Newer

    Since mid November and extending to January 23, 1999, the New York MoMA (Museum of
    Modern Art) is presenting a vast portrait of the Brazilian movie industry. It is a panel
    composed by 82 movies (17 shorts and 65 feature length ones) produced in the last 40

    Called Cinema Novo and Beyond and co-sponsored by the Culture Ministry, the
    festival is being held in the same space that the incipient Brazilian Cinema Novo (New
    Cinema) was presented to Americans in the late 60s. Paul Schrader, Peter Bogdanovich, and
    Martin Scorsese were some of the Yankee movie directors who were exposed to the Brazilian
    cinematography at that time.

    As expected in a festival about Cinema Novo, late Gláuber Rocha will have several of
    his works shown. They are Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol, Terra em Transe,
    and O Dragão da Maldade Contra o Santo Guerreiro). The director with the most
    movies, however, will be 70-year old and still very active Nélson Pereira dos Santos, a
    precursor of the Cinema Novo Movement. New York will be seeing his best, like Vidas
    Secas, Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês, O Amuleto de Ogum, and Memórias
    do Cárcere.

    Among other directors in the exhibit: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade (Macunaíma and Guerra
    Conjugal), Cacá Diegues (A Grande Cidade, Xica da Silva, and Bye Bye
    Brasil.), Leon Hirszman (A Falecida, São Bernardo, and Eles Não
    Usam Black Tie), and Arnaldo Jabor (Toda Nudez Será Castigada and Tudo Bem).

    The list:
    From the ’60s

    Assalto ao Trem Pagador by Roberto Farias

    Bahia de Todos os Santos by Trigueirinho Neto

    O Pagador de Promessas by Anselmo Duarte

    Vidas Secas by Nélson Pereira dos Santos

    Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol by Gláuber Rocha

    Os Fuzis by Ruy Guerra

    Noite Vazia by Walter Hugo Khouri

    O Desafio by Paulo Cezar Saraceni

    A Grande Cidade by Carlos Diegues

    A Hora e a Vez de Augusto Matraga by Roberto Santos

    A Falecida by Leon Hirszman

    São Paulo S.A. by Luiz Sérgio Person

    Menino de Engenho by Walter Lima Júnior

    Terra em Transe by Gláuber Rocha

    Memória de Helena by David Neves 

    A Margem by Ozualdo Candeias

    O Bandido da Luz Vermelha by Rogério Sganzerla

    Copacabana Me Engana by Antônio Carlos Fontoura

    Macunaíma by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

    O Profeta da Fome by Maurice Capovilla

    O Dragão da Maldade Contra o Santo Guerreiro by Gláuber Rocha

    O Anjo Nasceu by Julio Bressane

    From the ’70s

    Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês by Nélson Pereira dos Santos

    Bang Bang by Andrea Tonacci

    Toda Nudez Será Castigada by Arnaldo Jabor

    São Bernardo by Leon Hirszman

    Uirá by Gustavo Dahl

    Iracema by Jorge Bodanski and Orlando Senna

    Triste Trópico by Artur Omar

    O Amuleto de Ogum by Nélson Pereira dos Santos

    Guerra Conjugal by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

    Lição de Amor by Eduardo Escorel

    Coronel Delmiro Gouveia by Geraldo Sarno

    Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos by Bruno Barreto

    Xica da Silva by Carlos Diegues

    Tudo Bem by Arnaldo Jabor

    From the ’80s

    Eles Não Usam Black Tie by Leon Hirszman

    O Homem que Virou Suco by João Batista de Andrade

    Bye Bye Brasil by Carlos Diegues

    Índia by Fábio Barreto

    Pixote by Hector Babenco

    Inocência by Walter Lima Júnior

    Nunca Fomos Tão Felizes by Murilo Salles

    Sargento Getúlio by Hermano Penna

    Cabra Marcado para Morrer by Eduardo Coutinho

    Memórias do Cárcere by Nélson Pereira dos Santos

    A Hora da Estrela by Susana Amaral

    A Marvada Carne by André Klotzel

    A Cor do Seu Destino by Jorge Duran

    Anaw6kx da Noite by Wilson Barros

    Anaw6kx do Arrabalde by Carlos Reichenbach

    Noites do Sertão by Carlos Alberto Prates Corrêa

    From the ’90s

    Terra Estrangeira by Walter Salles

    Alma Corsária by Carlos Reichenbach

    Os Matadores by Beto Brant

    Um Céu de Estrelas by Tata Amaral

    Como Nascem os Anaw6kx by Murilo Salles

    O Sertão das Memórias by José Araújo

    Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business by Helena Solberg

    O Quatrilho by Fábio Barreto

    Yndio do Brasil by Sylvio Back

    Bocage, o Triunfo do Amor by Djalma Limongi Batista

    Miramar by Júlio Bressane

    Pequeno Dicionário Amoroso by Sandra Werneck

    Boleiros by Ugo Giorgetti


    Aruanda by Linduarte Noronha

    Viramundo by Geraldo Sarno

    Memórias do Cangaço by Paulo Gil Soares

    A Pedra da Riqueza by Wladimir Carvalho

    Teremos Infância by Aloízio Raolino

    Eu Sou a Vida, Não Sou a Morte by Haroldo Marinho

    Oxente Pois Não by Joaquim Assis

    Meow by Marcos Magalhães

    O Melhor Amigo do Homem by Tânia Savietto

    As Três Moedas da Fonte by Cecílio Neto

    Mato Eles by Sérgio Bianchi

    Ilha das Flores by Jorge Furtado

    Rota ABC by Francisco Cezar Filho

    O Enigma de um Dia by Joel Pizzini

    À Meia Noite com Gláuber by Ivan Cardoso

    A Alma do Negócio by José Roberto Torero

    Chapeleiros by Adrian Cooper

    comments to

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    You May Also Like

    Brazilian Zen

    The Zen of Brazil

    It’s a cliché to say it takes longer to get things done in Brazil. ...

    Amnesty Calls for End to Impunity after Murder of Nun in Brazil

    Amnesty International condemned the killing of 74-year-old Sister Dorothy Stang, on February 12, in ...

    Brazil’s Oficina de Design Wants to Change How Furniture Is Made

    The furniture hub of Arapongas, in the north of the Brazilian state of Paraná, ...

    Lula Asks Blair More Care So Jean Charles Killings Won’t Happen Again

    British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, telephoned President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, yesterday, to ...

    Brazil and the Yankee Way of Being Black

    Francis Wardleby: Adital In the proliferation of academic articles and books that have been ...

    Brazil's Environment Minister, Marina Silva

    Less Profit to Cut Brazilian Amazon Reduces Deforestation by 1/3

    Destruction of Brazil's Amazon rainforest has dropped by nearly a third during the last ...

    18,000 Slave Workers Rescued in Brazil, But No One Went to Jail

    Brother Xavier Plassat, coordinator of Brazil’s Land Pastoral Commission’s Campaign to Combat Slave Labor, ...

    Sugarcane cutter in Brazil

    No Water, No Toilet, US$ 6 a Day: The Life of a Brazilian Sugarcane Cutter

    The mobile group of inspectors from Brazil’s Ministry of Labor and Employment (Ministério do ...

    Brazil Fears Many Soybean Growers Will Be Ruined

    A study by the Applied Economic Research Institute (Ipea) shows that the amount of ...

    Brazilian Financial Market Applauds Tax Exemption for Foreigners

    The President of Brazil’s National Association of Financial Market Institutions (ANDIMA), Alfredo Neves Penteado ...