Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lower City directed by Sergio Machado

With his first fiction feature, Walter Salles protégé Sergio Machado makes a thorough study of the Brazilian bas-fonds, from a bloody cockfight with a knife-fight coda to strip clubs, whorehouses, sweat-stained flops, low-rent boxing gyms, rusty cargo ships filled with slobbering gobs, back-alley sex, late-night holdups—everything, it seems, but a crack den. You may well wonder if Machado's protagonists—a pair of boat-owning buddies and the young hooker who triangulates them—ever just go to the movies, or watch a soccer match in a bar not filled with sweaty women and drooling criminals. The ambience resonates off the walls—in what has become the proto-professional template for exportable Brazilian films, Machado's imagery is saturated with the high-contrast colors of rotten fruit, and the grungy lowlife is never less than convincing.

You can find the review here

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