Brazil Week Screening: BLACK ORPHEUS

Director Marcel Camus
Year 1959
Starring Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira
Rating PG
Run Time 100min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

BLACK ORPHEUS was a significant film in the early 1960s for two reasons: it blew open the doors on Brazil's then-new music called Bossa Nova with its explosive soundtrack, and it exposed the world to the magic of Rio's kaleidoscopic and dynamic Carnaval celebrations.

Much of the iconic music was composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim, and many of the film's songs have gone on to become classics of Bossa Nova and jazz. The film very effectively sets the classic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the colorful preparations for Carnaval in the predominantly Black favelas, or slums, of 1950s Rio.

It is impossible to watch this film by French director Marcel Camus and not be affected by its human emotion, its music, and its humor. Most who have seen BLACK ORPHEUS admit it has marked them forever.

Before the film, Dr. Jason Borge, Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at UT-Austin will give a brief introduction to the film to discuss its significance.

After the film, members of Acadêmicos da Ópera, the Austin Samba School, will give a performance of Rio-style Carnaval samba. Surely they will overpower even the most sound-effects laden films showing in flanking theaters!

Also in attendance will be Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, a long-time fixture on the Rio Carnaval scene and was a musician/extra in the film!

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