Tropicalia storm hits Melbourne
Brazil's colorful cultural coming-of-age is celebrated at ACMI for the Melbourne Festival.
A record by Tropicalia movement leader, Gilberto Gil
The Tropicalia movement is a Brazilian artistic manifesto that arose in the late 1960s which served to disintegrate the artistic strangle-hold of the Brazilian military, bring less conservative music to the country and popularised Brazilian music the world over.
Tropicalia fused elements of western pop culture and the avant-garde with traditional Brazilian art forms and musical styles, creating an original expression of Brazilian culture and bringing about the cultural coming-of-age of a nation.
The Melbourne Festival program combines exhibition, musical performances and film screenings, for this cultural investigation. ACMI will present a day of events to contextualise these cross-artform elements on Saturday 24 October.
From 2pm, local bands and artists including Sophie Brous, Bum Creek, The French, Pikelet, Francis Plagne and Qua will reinterpret the music of Os Mutantes in a jam session in the cinema, and at 3pm a specially commissioned film on Rogério Duarte will be shown.
Ticket holders to this event get preferential entry to the afternoon's free film sessions; documentary Brasil, Brasil - Tropicália Revolution, and the feature Black God, White Devil.
Brasil, Brasil - Tropicália Revolution is an outstanding BBC documentary series which zooms in on a military era in Brazil, from 1964 to 1985. By featuring interviews with original Tropicalia movement leaders Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, both later exiled to Britain, the document goes right to the heart of the original manifesto revisiting the anti-authoritarian consciousness at the time. With music from Os Mutantes, Chico Buarque, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, you'll have a hard time sitting still in your seat. BYO maracas.
The 1964 feature film Black God, White Devil caused a sensation when it screened at Cannes that same year and was nominated for the Golden Palm. Director Glauber Rocher was only 25 at the time and today it is regarded as his magnum opus, credited with launching the Cinema Novo movement.
Lauded as a "dynamic visual feast" by Variety and a "masterpiece" by The Guardian, Black God, White Devil is a work of fiction set in the dry far north of Brazil, the protagonist a poverty-stricken cowhand, Manuel, who kills his employer and flees with his wife for a future as an outlaw. The film is beautifully accompanied by a score from Villa Lobos and Batch.
Don't miss Tropicalia when it hits Melbourne on Saturday 24 October. More here
Published Thursday, 15 October 2009