On a quiet city block in the coastal city of Recife, ruled by an aging patriarch and his sons, a recent spate of petty crime has rattled the nerves of the well-to-do residents. When a mysterious security firm is brought in to watch over the neighborhood, it sparks the fears and anxieties of a divided society still haunted by its past.
KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN starts within the narrow walls of a Latin American prison cell. Molina (William Hurt) is telling his new cellmate, Valentin (Raul Julia), his favorite story. Molina is a delicate homosexual imprisoned for seducing a minor; Valentin is a bearded revolutionary still bleeding from his interrogation. As they trade stories, each draws a new, surprising level of difference between the two heroes: escapism versus realism, romance versus politics, gay versus straight, hero versus coward. Their unstable friendship grows more real, and their stories become more vivid--whether Molina's fondly remembered Nazi propaganda noir, Valentin's tortured romantic history, or a tropical island fable told merely to pass the time. By the end, each man has changed just enough to taste the other's tragedy--a transformation that gives each the strength to define freedom on his own terms, despite the brutality of the prison and the bleak world beyond its walls. This groundbreaking movie was the first independent film to receive the top four Oscar nominations; William Hurt delivers an Oscar-winning performance in this tribute to the power of film and fantasy as escape from inhumane conditions.
Iremar works at the Vaquejadas, a rodeo in the north east of Brazil where two men on horseback try to bring down a bull by grabbing its tail. It’s dusty and back-breaking work, but Iremar is a natural ‘Vaqueiro’, feeding, prepping and taking care of the bulls. Home is the truck used to transport the animals from show to show, which he shares with his co-workers; Galega, an exotic dancer, the truck driver and mother to the young & spirited Cacá, and Zé, his rotund compadre in the bullpen. Together they form a makeshift but close-knit family. But Brazil and the Northeast are changing and the region’s booming clothing industry has stirred new ambitions in Iremar. Swinging in his hammock in the back of the truck, his head is filled with dreams of pattern cutting, sequins and exquisite fabrics as he mentally assembles elaborate new fashion designs…
Academy Award-nominees Andy Garcia and Juliette Lewis join Camilla Belle and Colin Egglesfield in this heartwarming coming-of-age story. Angie (Camilla Belle) is a free spirit living on her own terms and occasionally waitressing to make money. But when she makes connections with a drifter (Andy Garcia), a handsome cop (Colin Egglesfield), and his sister (Juliette Lewis), she finds herself torn between her life of absolute freedom and being tied to people who care about her. Beautifully filmed and acted, it's an inspiring film about love in all its many forms.
An excitingly fresh take on some classic themes and ideas, THE SECOND MOTHER centers around Val, a hard-working live-in housekeeper in modern day Sao Paulo. Val is perfectly content to take care of every one of her wealthy employers needs, from cooking and cleaning to being a surrogate mother to their teenage son, who she has raised since he was a toddler. But when Vals estranged daughter Jessica suddenly shows up the unspoken but intrinsic class barriers that exist within the home are thrown into disarray. Jessica is smart, confident, and ambitious, and refuses to accept the upstairs/downstairs dynamic, testing relationships and loyalties and forcing everyone to reconsider what family really means.
Music, sweat, drugs and Brazilian beaches - Erika and her friend Lara are having the best time of their lives at a musical festival. The girls let go and share a passionate moment with the mysterious Nando. Can paradise really last beyond the summer?
Set in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, A WOLF AT THE DOOR is based on real events, and is a nerve-rattling tale of a kidnapped child and the terror of the parents left behind. When Sylvia (Fabíula Nascimento) discovers her six-year-old daughter has been picked up at school by an unknown woman, police summon her husband Bernardo (Milhem Cortaz) to the station for questioning. There Bernardo confesses his extra-marital affair with the beautiful young Rosa (Leandra Leal), whom detectives believe to be involved in the kidnapping. Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Coimbra’s suspenseful debut feature captures the heightened anxiety of every parent’s worst nightmare, casting a light upon the cruelties of which humans are capable.
Part gay romance, part inquisitive self-journey, FUTURO BEACH is a stunning examination of lives lost and found. Donato (Wagner Moura) works as a lifeguard at the spectacular but treacherous Praia do Futuro beach in Brazil; Konrad (Clemens Schick) is an ex-military thrill-seeker from Germany vacationing with a friend. After Donato saves Konrad from drowning, but fails to save his other friend, initial sexual sparks give way to a deeper, emotional connection. Donato decides to leave everything behind, including his ailing mother and younger brother, Ayrton, to travel back to Berlin with Konrad. There, he finds both confusion and liberation, and his journey for love soon turns into a deeper search for his own identity. Eight years later, an unexpected visit from Ayrton, brings all three men back together as they struggle to reconcile the pain of loss and longing, instinctively drawn to each other in search of hope and a brighter future.
Marcelo (Wagner Moura, Elite Squad), an average teenager, always wanted to be someone... else. Always impersonating those around him and dreaming of traveling the world and living the high life as a pilot like his father, he runs away from home. But what begins, as just another flight of fancy will send Marcelo from seamy criminal underworld to the glamorous world of high society. Changing everything from his name to his looks to keep up, Marcelo must figure out who he is and who he wants to be - before he loses himself entirely.
Paulo Morelli's film is a pacy, bloody thriller that pays warm tribute to a diverse cross-section of American directors including Quentin Tarantino and Michael Bay. Bullets zing across the screen, heavy artillery is deployed at all times, and Morelli makes great use of the twisty favela streets during some frantic chase sequence. Silva and Cunha, who both had roles in CITY OF GOD, carry the picture with impressive ease, and while CITY OF MEN isn't an official sequel to Meirelles's lauded picture, it does serve as a neat continuation of that film's unshakable portrayal of the violence that has beset so many young lives in the slums of Rio de Janeiro.
Young Mona idolizes her father, a brilliant mathematician. When he suddenly demonstrates signs of mental illness, Mona begins to obsess about numbers, using them to interpret an unpredictable and threatening world. Now an adult (Jessica Alba), Mona's old superstitions and compulsive behaviors continue to flourish, but a new job as an elementary school math teacher (a position she both relishes and dreads), may force her out of her protective shell. With imagination and humor, as well as a special sensitivity to the realities of mental illness, AN INVISIBLE SIGN carries a magic all its own.