IuIi Gerbase’s first feature film is gaining traction…
Paris-based MPM Premium has picked up the Brazilian filmmaker’s The Pink Cloud, a banner title that’s part of a slate of first features from a new generation of young female Brazilian directors.
Gerbase’s sci-fi thriller was shot in 2019, but was filmed while still anticipating the COVID-19 lockdown.
Produced by Patricia Barbieri, who also backed Gerbase’s latest short, the coming-of-age adventure thriller The Stone,” Gerbase’s first feature begins with a mysterious pink cloud appearing across the globe. It proves deadly, killing anybody who remains outside in 10 seconds, forcing everybody to stay home.
Having met the night before, Giovana (Renata de Lelis) and Yago (Eduardo Mendonça) try to invent themselves as a couple as the days of lockdown become years.
Yago stays positive, adapts, and wants to have children, but Giovana feels trapped by Yago’s traditionalist agenda and by the cloud.
In a director’s statement, Gerbase said she wasn’t interested in a typical post-apocalypse story where the battle for survival is more physical and practical. Rather, she wanted “to explore the different emotional paths of the two characters with very different visions of what freedom and happiness are.” Giovana, in particular, has “a strong internal feminist battle with the cloud.”
“From the first minutes of the film, The Pink Cloud struck me with its colorful cinematography and thrilling tension,” said Quentin Worthington, head of sales at MPM Premium.
He added: “Just like Pedro Almodóvar declared that cinema is the antidote to lockdown, The Pink Cloud could be that antidote that will help us process our emotions and anxieties after a year of a global lockdown.”
“The Pink Cloud” forms part of MPM Premium’s push into emerging talent via its New Visions auteur label.
Also part of Brazil’s regional movie build, now often challenged by the decimation of federal film funds by Jair Bolsonaro’s government, The Pink Cloud is produced by Gerbase’s Porto Alegre-based label Prana Filmes, and supported by the Fundo Sectorial Audiovisual (FSA) film fund, managed by state agency Ancine, drivers of a once vibrant Brazilian film scene.
Porta dos Fundos is readying for its latest Christmas special…
The controversial hit Brazilian comedy troupe will release its annual Christmas Special, The Edge of Theocracy, on December 10.
A play on Petra Costa’s Oscar-nominated documentary, The Edge of Democracy, a trailer released on November 20 on its dedicated YouTube channel lured more than 300,000 views in three days.
Porta dos Fundos’ Christmas specials are renowned for their ironic, some would argue profane, take on the life of Christ.
Taking its cue from Costa’s The Edge of Democracy, which points to Brazil’s spiral into far-right politics as a cautionary tale to the world, The Edge of Theocracy satirizes Brazil’s political scene and delivers tart comments on global issues, like polarization, through the prism of Biblical events thousands of years ago. A delighted Costa gave her blessing and makes a brief appearance as herself in the show.
Shot in less than a week, the troupe opted for the documentary format in order to better adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols. The use of talking heads and testimonials were the perfect solution to rules on social distancing, said co-founder/writer Fabio Porchat, who spoke to Variety while filming some scenes outdoors last September.
Porchat, who plays Jesus, was standing in the middle of a field in sweltering 95F (35C) heat, with trees and mountains in the distance, while just behind him, his actors were playing out some scenes.
Their 2019 Xmas special, The First Temptation of Christ, featured a gay Christ, which unleashed a firestorm of complaints, a petition to ban the special signed by more than two million people and worst of all, a Molotov cocktail on their headquarters, which caused a fire that was fortunately put out by alert security guards.
“This is our seventh Christmas Special and they’ve always been provocative; only last year’s special produced a backlash,” he pointed out, suggesting that being the first one released during the tenure of current populist President Jair Bolsonaro made it a target. “His government is promoting fundamentalist religious thought,” he asserted.
There were some calls to cancel Netflix subscriptions, which the trailer cheekily refers to. “If you cancelled Netflix, get ready to cancel YouTube,” it declares, signaling the troupe’s return to their dedicated YouTube channel.
Their last two Christmas Specials, The First Temptation of Christ and The Last Hangover,” were Netflix Originals. The latter won a Best ComedyInternational Emmy in 2019.
“We reach a bigger audience on YouTube,” said Porchat who added that ViacomCBS, which took a majority stake in Porta dos Fundos in 2017, co-produced this year’s special with Porta dos Fundos.
Porchat admitted that the bombing of their headquarters raised their international profile so he’s grateful for that.
He is a self-confessed Monty Python fan, especially their irreverent comedy about a hapless man who is mistaken for the Messiah, Life of Brian. “We don’t insult the Bible, we research the subject matter quite extensively,” he noted.
No one is spared their satirical touch, including Buddha, Shiva and some alien creature who replies, “Ask Tom Cruise!” when asked to explain what he is in The First Temptation of Christ.
In The Edge of Theocracy various “messiahs” weigh in on an investigation of Jesus’ legitimacy.
The new special promises to be a gleeful poke in the eye to the troupe’s critics.
Gomez, one of nine Latino/as to make this year’s list, has been recognized for “unabashedly spreading her wings and influence into whatever lane her passions lead her,” writes America Ferrera in an essay about the artist.
“He’s opened up the doors for Latino artists everywhere by making the world hear and fall in love with our culture, our sounds and our spirit,” says pop star Camila Cabello in an essay about the man born as José Álvaro Osorio Balvín. “What I truly admire and love the most about José is that he is just himself. He’s himself to the world, he’s himself to his friends and his peers, and he’s got the kind of heart that makes him a person everyone is rooting for. When he wins, we all win.”
Anne Hidalgo has been named to the Time 100.
The 61-year-old French–Spanish politician, who has served as Mayor of Paris – is the first woman to hold the office – since 2014, is being recognized for being a leader in the movement to solve the global climate crisis.
“Even in the midst of confronting the global pandemic, Mayor Hidalgo has turned Paris into a shining example of how cities can lead the transition to cleaner, healthier and more prosperous societies,” writes former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. “She is transforming the city’s landscape to make it friendlier to pedestrians and bikers, cutting car traffic and making the air safer to breathe.”
Dr. Cecilia Martinez is also being recognized for her environmental work…
“As a leader in everything from international projects to grassroots organizing, Cecilia Martinez has dedicated her impressive career to a moral imperative: the pursuit of environmental justice and the inclusion of equity and justice in environmental policy,” writes U.S. Senator Cory Booker about the co-founder and executive director at the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED).
Bonnie Castillo, the 60-year-old Latina registered nurse and executive director of National Nurses United, has earned her spot on this year’s list for support of frontline health workers.
“She was among the first to call attention to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to nurses across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, and fought layoffs and pay cuts that nurses faced despite their vital frontline work,” writes civil rights activist and United Farm Workers of America co-founder Dolores Huerta. “Bonnie’s commitment to the labor movement and unions is unwavering; she states that unions are the foundation of a democratic society. Bonnie does not just work to heal patients; she works to heal society.”
Felipe Neto has also made this year’s list…
The 32-year-old Brazilian social media star, who has 39 million YouTube subscribers and 12 million Twitter followers, is considered the most consequential digital influencer in Brazil and possibly in the world.
“A decade ago, from his family’s humble Rio de Janeiro home, he began creating content for YouTube and quickly found fame, a huge and loyal young audience, and lucrative endorsements,” writes Brazilian congressman David Miranda. “What has changed—radically—is how Neto uses his platform. His early notoriety was generated by standard fare for online adolescents: video games, celebrities and girls. But with the 2018 election of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and the empowerment of his proto-fascist movement, Neto, risking his brand and safety, repurposed his popularity to become one of Bolsonaro’s most effective opponents.”
For the second year in a row, Jair Bolsonaro has been named to the Time 100.
“The story of Brazil’s year can be told in numbers: 137,000 lives lost to the coronavirus. The worst recession in 40 years. At least five ministers sacked or resigned from the Cabinet. More than 29,000 fires in the Amazon rain forest in August alone. One President whose stubborn skepticism about the pandemic and indifference to environmental despoliation has driven all these figures upward,” writes Time’s international editor. “Yet the number that really matters is 37—the percentage of Brazilian society that approved of Jair Bolsonaro in a late-August poll, the highest rating since he took office early last year. Despite a storm of corruption allegations, and one of the highest COVID-19 death tolls in the world, the right-wing firebrand remains popular with a large section of Brazilians.”
Sister Norma Pimentel is being heralded for her work with immigrants…
“Sister Pimentel has been on the front lines of mercy for three decades, supporting migrants who are seeking refuge in the U.S. along Texas’ border with Mexico. As executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, she directs efforts to provide shelter, food, sanctuary and comfort to people often treated as less than human. Her organization has housed and assisted well over 100,000 people at the border,” says former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. “Her work has taken on greater importance in the era of Donald Trump, and for good reason. As he has acted with cruelty toward migrants, she has acted with compassion. As he has preyed on the vulnerable and sought rejection, she has preached community and acceptance. As he has promoted fear, she has taught love.
Gabriela Cámara is being recognized for being “more than a chef—she is a Renaissance woman on the front lines of our industry,” writes chef Jose Andres about the Mexican chef.
Through her visionary career, Camara has become one of Mexico’s leading culinary diplomats, both in spirit and in practice.
“Not only does she run two of the most iconic kitchens on the continent—Contramar in Mexico City and Cala in San Francisco—offering the very best of her cultural heritage, she is also an adviser to the Mexican President, showing by example how food can have an impact far beyond the walls of a restaurant kitchen,” continues Andres.
Pabllo Vittar has released her first-ever single sung entirely in English.
The 24-year-old Brazilian singer and drag artist has joined voices with longtime collaborator Charli XCX on “Flash Pose.”
Touted as the first single off her upcoming album 111, “Flash Pose” is an infectious club anthem that feels eminently danceable, fun as hell and offers a new take on classic Pabllo-sounds.
“Come over, come over baby/ Come in my picture, that’s right/ Because I wasn’t trying to get a nice picture by myself!” Vittar sings wickedly.
“I can’t describe the feeling — I am super excited! This is my first song in English and I have my friend Charli with me,” Vittar tells Billboard. “I couldn’t be happier right now.”
Vittar, who’s known for creating modern dancehall tracks in both Portuguese and Spanish, has become increasingly popular Stateside, even among non-multilingual listeners.
Her fresh take on international pop music as well as her powerful message of queer empowerment — she’s an outspoken critic of Brazil’s conservative president, Jair Bolsonaro— has won her powerful accolades and brought her performances to Pride festivities across the U.S., including a headlining spot on Pride Island during WorldPride NYC 2019.
“We have to show those kinds of people that you can be who you want and do whatever you want, as long as you respect other people’s space and feelings,” says Vittar. “I am not hurting anyone, I am trying to do my share to make a better world for everyone. I am an LGBTQ artist and I am proud of it, and no one can tell me what I can or cannot do.”
With her popularity in North America growing, it makes sense that Vittar’s next move would be to release an English-language song.
Gabriel Jesus is being hailed a hero in his home country…
The 22-year-old Brazilian professional footballer, a forward for Premier League club Manchester City and the Brazil national team, scored and assisted on goals before being sent off in Brazil‘s 3-1 win over Peru in the Copa America final on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 15th minute after Jesus slipped past two defenders and crossed the ball for Everton to finish first time past Peru keeper Pedro Gallese.
The two teams traded goals right before halftime with Paolo Guerreroconverting a spot kick for Peru after Thiago Silva was whistled for handball and Jesus cooly finishing from the top of the penalty area to restore Brazil’s lead at 2-1 before the break.
Peru had not won this tournament since 1975 and they bounced back quickly with an equalizer a minute before halftime when Paolo Guerrero scored from the penalty spot after Silva was adjudged to have handled the ball.
The goal was the first Brazil had conceded in six games since the Copa America began.
Jesus was controversially sent off in the 70th minute for a foul on Carlos Zambrano with the Man Citystriker being shown his second yellow card and leaving Brazil to finish the match with 10 players.
“I want to apologize,” said Jesus. “I could have avoided it and I also need to grow up a lot.”
Despite being down a man, Brazil was still able to force the issue on the field and goalscorer Everton drew a penalty, which substitute Richarlisonconverted to give Brazil their ninth Copa America title and first major trophy since 2007.
Peru coach Ricardo Garecarecognized Brazil was the superior side but said his team, who played at their first World Cupin 36 years in 2018, were competitive throughout.
“It was fair that Brazil won,” he said. “We had our momentum but the second goal…
“They took advantage of their opportunities.
“We came here hoping to win but they were very effective,” he added. “But looking beyond the pain of the defeat, I think we are on the right path, that is the feeling that I have.”
An injured Neymar and his son sat close to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro among the crowd of nearly 70,000 at the Maracana as the Selecao secured a historic one for Brazil manager Tite, who becomes the first coach to oversee a win in the Copa America, the Copa Libertadores( Corinthians, 2012) and the Copa Sudamericana(Internacional, 2008).
Caetano Veloso is speaking out about the political turmoil in his beloved Brazil…
The 76-year-old Brazilian musician and political activist has published an op-ed in the New York Times about the possible breakdown of democracy his home country is facing.
A two-time Grammy winner, Veloso gaimed acclaim through participating in the Tropicalismo artistic movement at the beginning of the military dictatorship that Brazil (the fourth-largest democracy in the world) operated under in the 1960s.
In the editorial, titled “Dark Times Are Coming for My Country,” Caetano writes about the populist right-wing conservatism influencing Brazilian politics, and claims that Brazilians “can expect a wave of fear and hatred” if projected election winner Jair Bolsonaro becomes president. The election is scheduled for Sunday, October 28.
“Like other countries around the world, Brazil is facing a threat from the far right, a storm of populist conservatism,” Caetano says. “Our new political phenomenon, Jair Bolsonaro…is a former army captain who admires Donald Trump but seems more like Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ strongman. Mr. Bolsonaro champions the unrestricted sale of firearms, proposes a presumption of self-defense if a policeman kills a “suspect” and declares that a dead son is preferable to a gay one.”
Caetano goes on to provide background information about the decline of Brazilian political life in recent years, the impact of the news media on Bolsonaro’s success, and his history of artistic activism. Caetano spent time in prison for his political beliefs, along with other artists, students, and intellectuals.
Caetano ends the piece by expressing that he was forced into exile before, but won’t see that happen a second time, saying “I want my music, my presence, to be a permanent resistance to whatever anti-democratic feature may come out of a probable Bolsonaro government.”