Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Festivales de Buenos Aires


april 14

Malba Cine

Room: Auditorio


Film information

Director ← [ + info ]

Carlos Prates

Two cities fight for the title of Brazil’s cultural epicenter, but the Rio-Sao Paulo axis is not a theme in the mountain paths through which the girls of Noites do sertão walk by; or the fallen wagon in the western/style shootout at the beginning of Minas-Texas; or the train where the elegant main character of Cabaret mineiro meets the girl of his dreams.

Carlos Alberto Prates Correia (born in 1941 in Montes Claros, Minas Gerais), who prefers to be called just Carlos Prates, found the materials and meaning of his cinema in this homeland.

This secret filmmaker who worked with Joaquim Pedro de Andrade in several films seats not only on the geographical margins, but also the imaginary map of currents and avant-garde movements acknowledged by the cultural elite. And not just those ones: Prates is also outside of Sganzerla and Bressane’s marginal cinema, although it is revealing to find common features between their films, all of them made during the years of dictatorship. Extravagant eroticism, renegade characters, eccentric humor, dancing, and references: these were some of the things that wouldn’t be mentioned through words and could only get smuggled beyond censorship through inflamed gestures.

But Prates y and his colleagues at the CEMICE (Centro Mineiro do Cinema Experimental, which he founded in 1965) regarded those formal reliefs with conspiracy intentions –typical of a cursed, marginal, anti-vanguard cinema– were much more than an aesthetic stand. They didn’t intend to revolutionize cinema, or attract and shock the audience –they were simply seduced by the opportunity to experiment with whatever they had at hand. Mythical Montes Claros, his music, landscapes and love-affair: that “breeze that ran from the back to the front of the camera since the first film”, O milagre de Lourdes (1965).

For every shot –which feature a simple composition that is yet extraordinary refined and detailed– Prates orchestrates extraordinary situations in which we can guess his shooting processes must have been unique experiences charged with vitality. The actors are completely devoted to their histrionics, enjoying every gesture and modulated sound; and the actresses exude sensuality whether they’re dressed or naked. Prates’ shots are like unique pieces, which he later will gather and contrast through his singular raccords.

Throughout his body of work –which the Bafici screens almost complete, with the exception of Guilherme, an episode of Os marginais (1968) of which there is no restored copy– Prates brings together imagination and reality. A talent that makes this elusive man (he doesn’t like to fly, show himself in public, or be photographed: he keeps himself behind the cameras like the title of one his films) a true author, who knows how to let the breeze run through the film screen.

Eloísa Solaas

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