Pssst, want to check out Orfeu Negro in our new look?
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Incredible movie! The most famous carnival in the world, in the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro.. A beautiful love story with great soundtrack of Vinicius de Moraes. The classic greek tale!
Black Orpheus is not a direct translation of the Orpheus myth to modern-day Brazil, but rather lets itself be inspired by its details, and unless I'm very much mistaken, mixes in elements of the similar "rescue from Hades" myth of Demeter and Persephone, and from them also stems the cyclical nature of day/night and death/rebirth that intersects with this retold story. Though set in the favelas overlooking Rio, Camus' roving, often documentary-style, is looking for Greco-Roman imagery, finding it in a building her, a clutch of chorus-like faces in a window there. And sometimes, he loses himself in the Bacchanal, though one can hardly deny the music and visuals are lush and beautiful. A new Orpheus and Eurydice meet, turning their lives upside down, and things get strangely hallucinatory during Carnival when the figure of death shows up. If you know the myth, you know it's a tragedy, but the movie still got an audible gasp from me at a certain point (and I don't remember the last time that happened). But it's the coda that really got to me with its promised rebirth, just a wonderful ending that, like the film ultimately, revels in life and not in death.
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In 9 official lists
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This movie ranks #12 in Academy Award - Best International Feature Film
This movie ranks #24 in Cannes Film Festival - Palme d'Or
This movie ranks #24 in Academy Award - Best International Feature Film Nominees
This movie ranks #48 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #52 in Spike Lee's Essential List of Films for Filmmakers
This movie ranks #92 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #342 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #621 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #922 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films