CHARACTER STUDY

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Religion, football, politics, food and love. All of which – when combined with incredible scenery- makes for some rather spectacular film-making.

CENTRO DO BRASIL -1998

The Oscar award-winning Central do Brasil is regarded as one of Brazil’s most important cinematic works. An elderly woman who writes letters for the illiterate with distant families has a chance encounter with a young homeless boy whom she accompanies through the real, unglamorized Brazil on a search for his father. Winning seven international prizes and screening at more than two dozen film festivals, it won Best Film at Brazil’s annual film awards.

MOTORCYCLE DIARIES -2004

About ten years before Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara became the iconic Marxist guerrilla commander and revolutionary, he took to the road in search of adventure with his friend Alberto Granado – initially by motorcycle – across South America .The film recounts the 1952 expedition based on Ernesto’s memoir of the journey. Nominated for a raft of awards including The Oscars and BAFTA’s and winning an Oscar for best original song, Motorcycle diaries achieved both critical and box office success for good reason.

BLOW – 2001

George Jung was one of the most if not the most prolific cocaine trafficker for close to 20 years who at the age of ten finds himself and his family bankrupt and left with nothing, learning from his father that money is not important.
As an adult, George becomes a significant weed merchant within the university scene before moving on to cocaine where he earned the trust of Colombia’s Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel . Like many films about drug trafficking: If Hollywood makes a film about you, you probably got busted.
But hey, at least you travelled. There are some great location shots of California and Colombia.

MOONRAKER – 1979

Plot-wise, A space shuttle is stolen (while in Space) and Bond is requested to investigate. Everything in-between is standard Bond faire taking him from California to Venice, Rio de Janeiro, and the Amazon rainforest and finally into outer space. Just because.
It eventually became the highest grossing Bond film ever ($210,300,000 )maintaining that status until the release of Goldeneye in 1995.

CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER – 1994

This was the third film featuring Clancy’s fictional character Jack Ryan following on from The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games. It’s also the last time
Harrison Ford was involved in the franchise.
In this installment, Ryan is appointed U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Acting Deputy Director, and discovers he is being kept in the dark by colleagues who are conducting a covert war against drug lords in Colombia, apparently with the approval of the President of the United States. this is certainly a film to accompany the afore-mentioned Blow.

The-Motorcycle-Diaries-sm
A scene from Motorcycle diaries.

YU MAMA TAMBIEN – 2001

Falling into the category of road-trip movie with a coming of age theme, it’s set in 1999 against the backdrop of present-day Mexico as an uninterrupted 71-year rule by a single-party comes to an end, two best friends, live out a carefree existence in a cross-country escapade with a gorgeous older woman and in the process connect with each other, themselves and the world around them.
In Mexico, the film earned $2.2 million its first weekend in June 2001, making it the highest box office opening in Mexican cinema history and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards in 2003 and Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards in 2002.

CIDADE DE DEUS -2002

Depicting the growth of organized crime in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeirofrom the late 60’s to early 80’s, it follows two young men with increasingly divergent paths Rocket is a budding photographer who documents the increasing drug-related violence of his neighborhood. José “Zé” Pequeno is an ambitious drug dealer who uses Rocket and his photos as a way to increase his fame as a turf war erupts with his rival. All filmed on location in some of Brazils poorest districts, Most of the actors were, in fact, residents of favelas such as Vidigal and the Cidade de Deus itself.

cityofgod2-sm
A scene from Cidade de Deus

LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, 1992

Being the youngest daughter in a traditional Cajun family, Jubilee is forbidden to marry. Her duty is to care for her mother until the day her mother dies so when Pete (whom Jubilee has fallen in love with) and his father, come to ask for Jubilee’s hand in marriage, Jubilee’s mother, Mama Elise, refuses instead offering her other daughter Rosie, who Pete accepts in order to be closer to Jubilee.
I can’t see any problems arising out of that, can you?

BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB

This is a documentary covering the process of bringing a legendary Cuban Jazz ensemble of Cuban musicians to record an album (also called Buena Vista Social Club) and to perform two times with a full line-up: in April 1998 in Amsterdam (two nights) and the 1st of July 1998 in the United States (at the Carnegie Hall, New York City). Of course with travel between Cuba and the United States quite restricted at the time due to the political tension between the two countries, many of the artists were travelling there for the first time. The film shows their reactions to this experience, as well as including footage of the resultant sell-out concert and interviews with each of the main performers.

ROMANCING THE STONE – 1984

Romancing the Stone is by far the least critically acclaimed of the films on this list but the choice of locations is fairly spectacular from sliding through the jungle in a downpour to going over a waterfall in a car followed by panoramic mountain shots. And Micheal Douglas never disapoints in any film.

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