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two shorts by Jorge Furtado

Posted by martinteller on April 24, 2015

After being very amused and impressed with Ilha das Flores, I wanted to check out more by this Brazilian director.  Neither of these are as impactful, but they’re still good. In O Dia em Que Dorival Encarou a Guarda, Dorival (João Acaiabe) is a military prisoner in solitary confinement.  He wants to take a shower, but there are “orders” against it.  Dorival keeps threatening and insulting his way up the ranks in order to achieve his goal.  This is early in Furtado’s career (his second film) but he makes crafty use of footage from King Kong and Casablanca (and also a scene based on the Italian comic book character Tex Willer, but I can’t tell if Furtado shot it or if it’s from an existing western).  Particularly when the voices of Dorival and a guard are coming out of the mouths of Bogart and Dooley Wilson!  The film tries to balance humor and social criticism — on issues of both power and race — and doesn’t quite succeed, but there are strong elements and a solid ending.  Rating: Very Good (81)

In O Sanduíche (The Sandwich) we see a couple going through a break-up.  The man (Felipe Mônaco) is moving out and having a parting conversation with the woman (Janaína Kremer Motta).  Suddenly we learn they’re a pair of actors rehearsing for a play.  The woman makes the man a sandwich and the two start talking about their own past break-ups.  And then…. well, it gets meta.  In an almost annoyingly predictable way at first, but it keeps escalating until it becomes pretty clever.  I think Mohsen Makhmalbaf would dig this.  It doesn’t have a lot of heft to it but it works on a lot of different levels.  And it’s fun.  Rating: Good (79)

In looking for more Furtado to explore, I discovered he directed The Man Who Copied, a film I started watching a couple years ago and got bored with.  I may have to give that a second chance.

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