Tuesday, April 30, 2013

345. Orfeu Negro

Orfeu Negro
Black Orpheus
Directed by Marcel Camus

Well, that was interesting.  Most people know the myth of Orpheus.  This time, though, the story is set in Brazil during carnival time, Orpheus is a jackass, and Eurydice is a home wrecker.

This movie has gotten a lot of criticism because of the way that Brazil is portrayed as a giant dance party.  The costumes, the colors, and the dancing are all quite beautiful, but of course, the release of this film didn't exactly do wonders for breaking stereotypes.

Anyway, like I said, Orpheus is a horrible character in this film, which ruined the entire movie for him. He is engaged to Mira but treats her like crap and won't even buy her an engagement ring because he wants the money for his guitar (she ends up loaning him the money).  He constantly humiliates her in public as well, flirting with other girls and pushing her away.  And, of course, Eurydice is portrayed as this sweet, innocent girl who just happens to be sleeping with a married man.

Add that to the fact that the acting is average at best (Camus used non professionals) and you have a forgettable movie with annoying characters.  Skip it.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Panned in Brazil but won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


  1. Ha ha, I think we got a very different take on this movie.
    Mira is a dominating bitch, dragging Orfeu into something he does not want and Euridike shows him where to go...
    Anyway I loved the samba party, it was just amazing, but I was much less excited by the Opheus and Euridike myth aspect. That felt forced in the extreme.

    1. I had a writing professor that insisted that every story ever told is a variation on a Greek myth. Usually Orpheus. I guess other movies are, ahem, more subtle about it.

  2. I saw the characters T's way as well. And, besides, the more classical the story the better generally to avoid applying modern moral standards to what people do. It's all symbolic for the purposes of a higher vision.

    I'm with you on the patronising Brazilian stereotypes though.