Milton Gonçalves looking pensive in A Rainha Diaba (1974)
Stories & Ideas

Wed 25 Jan 2023

Now! Crime, politics and revolution in 1960s Brazilian cinema

Film Melbourne Cinémathèque Retrospective
Melbourne Cinematheque icon

Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society

Notes for the 18 October – 1 November 2023 Melbourne Cinémathèque program.

The 1960s was a time of great upheaval in Brazil, as it was the world over. During this rich cultural period cinema went through a moment of radical flux, as did music and the other visual arts. Shadowed by a decade of repressive dictatorship, censorship decrees, and an exodus of dissidents, many of the films produced experimented with narrative, design, collage and music. This led to a diverse slate of films that were influenced by world cinema from the USA, the Soviet Union, Italy, France and the rest of Europe, but that were also distinctly Brazilian.

With a focus on the revolutionary, this season presents a vibrant collection of narratively and formally transgressive works made by some of the country’s most prolific filmmakers and recognisable actors. At the same time, it celebrates the communal and artistic collaborations that made the country’s cinema unique. From Cinema Novo to the explosive Cinema Marginal, as well as works outside of these movements and spanning an era where black and white transformed into colour, this season traces the shifts in the political and sociological tone of Brazilian cinema from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s. This is a very rare chance to see such an historical survey in Australia, and to discover why filmmaker Rogério Sganzerla (director of 1968’s incendiary The Red Light Bandit) suggested that in the Brazilian cinema of this period “anything can happen”.


Now! Crime, politics and revolution in 1960s Brazilian cinema

Assault on the Pay Train (1962) – Wed 18 Oct, 7pm
Tocaia no Asfalto (1962) – Wed 18 Oct, 9pm
Antes, o Verão (1968) – Wed 25 Oct, 7pm
The Red Light Bandit (1968) – Wed 25 Oct, 8.35pm
A Rainha Diaba (1974) –Wed 1 Nov, 7pm
Macunaíma (1969) – 9.05pm

Person laying on sand, with their face reflected in a puddle

Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven. 

Learn more | View the 2023 program | See membership options