Bacurau - The Eclectic Cinema

The Eclectic Cinema
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Bacurau   18                 screened with English sub-titles
(Brazil-France/2019)                         132 minutes
Juliano Dornelles|Kleber Mendonca Filho

Sonia Braga|Udo Kier|Barbara Colen
WELCOME to the Weird West (yes, this is a recognised cinematic term), in which the genre of the western is blended with others, in this case Sci-Fi and Thriller. Bacurau is a fictional, small and isolated town in Brazil. Apparently set in the near future, the film opens with a gathering of the townsfolk for the funeral of Carmelita, matriarch of the community, who has died at the age of 94.

Soon after, there are strange, inexplicable events to add to the long-running problems with water supply and access routes: there are UFO sightings, the town disappears from satellite maps, and the water bowser is riddled with bullets.

Despite its isolation, the residents of Bacurau seem to enjoy a life of relative plenty, having established various community facilities separate from anything offered by the corrupt state - represented by the obnoxious Tony Junior, who rolls up early on to court Bacurau for its votes in an upcoming election. So far, so mysterious. The film settles down into its modern western genre upon the sudden appearance of Udo Kier as leader of a malevolent gang of misfit foreigners. The town, fiercely independent, and with a history of resistance, as documented in the local museum, ultimately proves more than a match for the interlopers in the film’s gripping and violent climax.

The writer-directors, who have collaborated on some previous interesting Brazilian films, went to some lengths, through cinematography, to achieve the look and feel of a 1960s/70s western, using special Panavision lenses and eschewing the use of steadi-cam technology in favour of tracking shots. The film won the Jury Prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
14 November 2022 MONDAY 19:30
Playhouse Main Screen
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