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Black Orpheus

(Orfeu Negro)
Brazil/France/Italy 1959. Dir: Marcel Camus. 107 min. 35mm

35mm PRINT! A mad frenzy of Brazilian colour, music, and dance, French filmmaker Marcel Camus’s intoxicating bossa nova version of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice was an international sensation in 1959, capturing the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Oscar for best foreign-language film. Set against Rio de Janeiro’s famed Carnival, and made with a non-professional cast, Black Orpheus lays on the exotic splendour as it relates the tale of charismatic streetcar conductor Orfeu (Breno Mello), betrothed to hot-tempered beauty Mira (Lourdes de Oliveira), but destined to fall for ill-fated country girl Eurydice (Marpessa Dawn). Celebrated Brazilian poet and composer Vincius de Moraes co-wrote the screenplay, adapting his own his own hit play Orfeu da Conceição. He and Antônio Carlos Jobim, co-composer of the film’s popular soundtrack, would later co-author the bossa nova anthem “The Girl from Ipanema.”


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REVIEWS

"Black Orpheus stands alone as a glorious window into the power of positive energy."

Slant | full review

★★★★ "Mermerizing ... A treat for the eyes and ears."

Empire | full review