In February, the Helena Solberg Cineclub, in partnership with Ciné Lumière | Institut Français Royaume-Uni, celebrates one of the most playful and free-spirited Brazilian filmmakers: Fernando Coni Campos. His three most acclaimed feature films, newly digitised and remastered, will be shown in London for the first time in the special mini-season FERNANDO CONI CAMPOS: LUCID DREAMS.
The witty fable THE WIZARD AND THE SHERIFF launches the programme on 7th February at the Embassy’s Auditorium. On the 10th, carnival Saturday, the nouvelle-vaguean film-collage JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE WORLD and the carnivalesque comedy SWEET THIEVES take over Ciné Lumière.
THE WIZARD AND THE SHERIFF | O MÁGICO E O DELEGADO
Dir. Fernando Coni Campos | 1983 | Brazil | 103 min. | Portuguese with English subtitles
A wizard and his assistant travel to a small town to present a variety show at the decaying local theatre. The village’s sheriff wields a tyrannical power over the people, fuelled by a moralistic and repressive discourse. The outsider pair catches everyone’s attention and shakes up their mores and imagination, unleashing the sheriff’s wrath, who ends up arresting the wizard, considered a menace to order and authority. Extraordinary things start to happen, disrupting the routines of the prison and the town.
A poetic metaphor of the dictatorship, the story opposes magic and art with brute force and ignorance. The representation of military power, which was collapsing at that time, is faced with the stance of resistant creators, who respond with the continuous exercise of filling the world with beauty and dreams – as the same Coni Campos, who had his films banned or cut by censorship a number of times. Winner of four prizes at the Brasília Film Festival (including Best Film), the director’s film testament is a return to the fantastic world of childhood and circus amusement to recreate the microcosm of a country under an economic and political wreck.
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