Marcel Camus: Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus) - KarazwLaimoon

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Marcel Camus: Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus)

Cinema Talks > 2014 Autumn (Season 7)

Cine Club: Wednesday 3 December 2014 (7 pm)

Title: Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus)
Marcel Camus (France)
Portuguese (Eng S/T)
1 hour and 40 min
Key Actors:
Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira

Orfeu Negro: (also known as Black Orpheus) is a French-made, Portuguese-language film that tells the old Greek love story of Orpheus and Eurydice but set in black Rio at the time of the Carnival. The film is a magical product using color in the late 50s to mix the happiness and joy of the Brazilian Carnival with the tragic story of Orpheus and Eurydice. The film is a one streak Samba dance, the percussion and music never leave the soundtrack.


The music is composed by Luiz Bonfá and then-ascending composer Antônio Carlos Jobim with lyrics by poet Vinícius de Moraes (who also wrote the 1956 play on which the film Black Orpheus was based). The songs sung by Orfeu were dubbed by Agostinho dos Santos. The songs were part of a blossoming Brazilian musical style called bossa nova, which hadn’t yet reached the U.S. Black Orpheus and its soundtrack were the first exposure in the west (North) to Samba and Bossa Nova.
Interesting Links about the Film:
Trailer on YouTube: Click Here
The Lucid Nightmare Click Here
The Criterion Contraption Click Here
Smithsonian Click Here
Shotgun Cinema Click Here
Turner Classics Click Here
Film Reference Click Here
based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice which appears in Ovid, Plato, Rubens, Titian, etc. In both the Greek story and the film, Orpheus plays amazing songs on his stringed instrument (lyre, guitar). He falls in love with Eurydice but then she is killed by a snake (electric current in the film). Orpheus goes to get her back from the underworld of Hades (Voodoo woman in the film) but he is told that if he looks back at her before he leaves he will lose her forever. He looks back. Orpheus carries her body and is killed by some women who have gone mad.
Director: Marcel Camus (1912 –1982) (Adapted from Wikipedia: Click Here)
Camus was a French film director. He is best known for Orfeu Negro, which won the Golden Palm at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and the 1960 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Camus studied art and intended to become an art teacher. However, World War II interrupted his plans. He spent part of the war in a German prisoner-of-war camp. Prior to directing films, Camus assisted filmmakers in France, including Jacques Feyder, Luis Buñuel, and Jacques Becker. He directed nearly a dozen films. In 1960, Camus made a second Brazlilian-themed film, Os bandeirantes. Twenty years after Orfeu Negro, Camus returned to Brazilian themes for what would prove to be his last film, Bahia (also known as Otalia da Bahia and Os pastores da noite), based a novel by Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado. These films, however, failed to recapture the success of Orfeu Negro. In 1970, Camus had a moderate success with a World War II comedy, Le Mur de l'Atlantique (The Atlantic Wall), starring the well-known French comedian Bourvil. Camus ended his career working primarily in television.
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