Film Society Selection
Second of two shows this month
book a ticket for this and forthcoming BFS screenings please contact the
SHP Box Office on 01344 484123 or click the logo below to book via the
Tickets: Mon-Thur evenings & all matinees £9.10, Conc £8.10, Members £7.50
Fri-Sun evenings £9.10, Members £7.50
BFS Members £7.10 for BFS films - you may be asked to show your membership card. Phone reservations can be held for 4 days.
FILM RECEIVED 4 WINS AND 2 NOMINATIONS
Camus, Brazil, 1959, 103 minutes, Portuguese with subtitles
Cast: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes De Oliviera
A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth set during the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
Swirling, spectacular cinematography, ecstatic, delirious samba and the joy of a fabled city,
make for a sensational and rewarding feast for the ears and eyes.
inspired reinvention of the underworld
"Black Orpheus" is a cinematic adaptation of Vincius de Moraes' play "Orfeu da Conceicao," which in turn is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus: a musician and poet who could charm all living things with his beautiful voice, and who travelled down to the underworld to rescue his true love.
Directed by French auteur
Marcel Camus, but set in Brazil during Carnival season (with the actors
speaking Portuguese), "Black Orpheus" is the story of a playboy
musician named Orfeu, who - even though engaged to another woman - falls
madly in love with the new girl in town, Eurydice, and tries to save
her from her dark past. Danger and tragedy besets our hero and heroine
at every turn.
Why it's great:
I first saw this film - at least bits and pieces of it - a few years ago, while sitting at a bar outside of Philadelphia. Obviously unable to watch the film properly - the sound was off and it was filled with commercial breaks - I still had trouble taking my eyes from the tiny screen behind the bartender's head.
Succulent and desirable even under these circumstances, I just knew I had to see this film properly at some point. The fact that I, someone who prides themselves on knowing a lot about film and film history, and someone who has seen thousands and thousands of films throughout his forty-five years here on planet Earth, had not seen this film, was a point of shame in my head, and one that had to be remedied quickly.
So, cut to a bit later, and there I am, sitting in front of the giant movie screen at Midtown Cinema, a few hours before we open, and watching one of the most beautiful films this critic has ever seen. From the enchanting samba soundtrack, to the delectable colour palette of Camus' sets and costumes, to the mesmerizing, almost hypnotic manner in which Camus spins his camera, to the stellar performances of its lead actors, "Black Orpheus" is a film one should not, cannot take their eyes off of - even for the shortest of seconds.
Seriously, my only way of really describing this film is to simply state, "This is a beautiful film." Watching it on the big screen was an added delight. I was expecting something fun, but I was definitely not expecting the spectacular and sublime film I got.
An easy addition to my personal top 100 list, "Black Orpheus," with its sheer exotic beauty and non-stop music, is a thing of visual and aural radiance. Marcel Camus weaved together a film that anyone who loves cinema must see - and as soon as humanly possible.
Kevyn Knox, Pennsylvania Entertainment
Kevyn Knox is a film historian and critic, and has been writing professionally about the cinema for sixteen years. His reviews and other film ramblings can be found at his website, The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World.