Brazil semester selection a challenge

The fifth selection in the Brasil Film Festival, Bye Bye Brazil, directed by Carlos Diegues, has received several recommendations from outside sources.

Bill Kumbier, professor of English, is not familiar with the film, but chose to allow it to be viewed for the Brazil semester.

 “We didn’t have anyone on campus that was an expert or big fan of Brazilian cinemas, so we had to go with descriptions we found on the Internet,” Kumbier said.

While better-known films such as City of God and Black Orpheus, which played on Sept. 21, made the cut, the rest of the films were chosen by this research. The job of choosing the films was laid before Kumbier and Harrison Kash earlier this year. The two cut down on the movies to be shown this year.

Attempts to contact Kash were unsuccessful.

“Brazil has a strong film industry but it’s not as well-known as say Italy or France, or last year’s Canada,” Kumbier said. “We had way more films to choose from in the Canada semester than the Brazil semester. We cut down on the number of films because there weren’t as many choices. Even then we tried to get a range of films from different periods of Brazilian cinema.

“Even then, we only had a couple of films that we knew before we went into the choice.”

The two began studying different cinematic eras of Brazil, choosing films which received high critical acclaim and had varying content.

“It’s one of the ones we read about that people said would be a good one to shop if you’re only showing seven or eight,” Kumbier said. “It appears to be in the genre of films we call road movies. It’s a movie about a small and kind of tacky, out of date, almost obsolete circus company that travels across Brazil.”

The story follows an accordion player who falls in love with a rumba dancer. He and his wife then begin to travel with the circus, which is losing popularity to television.

The story deals with interpersonal relationships of the characters as well as the advent of technology destroying the past popularity.

Reviews said the film had good camera work, was well-acted and was very reflective.

The show begins at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 in Cornell Auditorium.