O Mandarim

  • 90'
  • Brazil
  • 1995
A fictional musical about the history of popular Brazilian music since the first half of the century. It focuses on the mythical figure of the singer Mário Reis (played by the actor Fernando Eiras) and his lonely and mysterious life and special repertoire - he was one of the first artists to record. Reis was very popular in the clubs of his home town Rio de Janeiro, especially in the Copacabana Pálace. The story is told using important Brazilian singers and composers such as Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Edu Lobo, Raphael Rabello, Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso, who are not only present as actors, but are also responsible for eighty percent of the sound track. Their work is influenced by early examples of popular Brazilian music, such as Sinhô, Tom Jobim, Noel Rosa, Ismael Silva, Carmen Miranda and Villa Lobos. O Mandarim also comprises historical material: we see the last performances by violinist Raphael Rabello and comic actor Costinha. Bressane constructed the film from a poetic and aesthetic approach and returns idiosyncratically to the early days of Brazilian cinema, with work by the Segretto Brothers from 1897, the Vapor Brazil (the scene around Gal Costa), the News-on-the-March newsreels from Welles' Citizen Kane and a rare recording of Mário Reis, made by an amateur.
Directors
Julio Bressane, Júlio Bressane
Country of production
Brazil
Production Year
1995
Festival Edition
IFFR 1996
Length
90'
Medium
35mm
International title
The Mandarin
Language
Portuguese
Producers
Júlio Bressane, Movie Track
Sales
Riofilme
Screenplay
Júlio Bressane
Music
Various artists