Tropicalia

(Brazil, 2012, 82 mins, Digital Betacam)
In Portuguese
Director:
CAST Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Ze, Os Mutantes, Glauber Rocha, Jorge Ben, Rita Lee

Showtimes

Join us for the opening of The Copacabana Social Club Series with a special event featuring the film Tropicalia, live music, food and a free Caipirinha!

Doors open at 7.00pm, Film at 7.30, followed by music and mixer. Tickets $20 ($22 non-members). No student/senior discounts, guest or volunteer passes apply.

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Produced by Fernando Meirelles (Blindness, City of God), the film focuses on the musical portion of the turbulent, inspiring cultural movement headed by Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso in the late 1960s. With a psychedelic aesthetic much in vogue at the time, the film mixes archival footage (some rarely seen), with interviews, animation, and cool graphics.

Long before the so-called global village came into existence, and the Internet made it easy to spread your name around the world, Brazil was already global. It is a country which is culturally cannibalistic by nature, in which the new and the old, the foreign and the indigenous, not only lie side by side but are mixed, assimilated and recreated day in day out. What sort of country is it, in which, at the height of the 60’s, a capoeira song, played with the aggressive drive of rock n’ roll, found its way into thousands of homes, entitled ‘Sunday in the Park’? What do you call this huge melting-pot? Tropicalism!

And, what exactly is Tropicalism? It is this simple, yet complex, question that a Portuguese TV host puts to an exiled and downbeat Caetano Veloso right at the start of Marcelo Machado’s film. The director, who grew up listening to the groundbreaking sounds of Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, the Mutantes and Tom Zé, and who did not understand lyrics in English, though had a passion for something called rock n’ roll, takes the audience on a tour through sounds and images and into the history of one of Brazil’s most iconic cultural movements.

In an affectionate panorama, built up from a miscellany of references, interviews, material dug from archives, images and, of course, songs, the viewer travels through the fertile, controversial and violent years of 1967, 1968, 1969.

Recommended listening:

Various Artists - Tropicalia: Ou Panis et Circencis (1968)

Caetano Veloso - Caetano Veloso (Tropicália) (1968)

Os Mutantes - Os Mutantes (1968)

Gilberto Gil - Gilberto Gil (Frevo Rasgado) (1968)

Tom Ze - Grande Liquidicao (1968)

Jorge Ben - Jorge Ben (1969)

Caetano Veloso - Araçá Azul (1972)

Look for further films in this series: Loki: Arnaldo Baptista (July 15); A Night in 67 (July 22); Maria Bethania: Pedrinha de Aruanda (July 29).