Daily Archives: September 6, 2000


It’s been about 40 years since I’ve seen Black Orpheus, and much as I sympathize with Carlos Diegues’s desire to do a politically correct remake of the Vinicius de Moraes playthe view of a Brazilian rather than a French tourist, without the racism, and updated to incorporate contemporary economic realitiesI wish he’d made this as much fun as the original. Focusing on the misery of crime and corruption in the favelas, Diegues has kept the Rio carnival too much in the margins, and since the story is just as mythological as it ever wasexcept that hell is now the junkyard where dead bodies are thrownI’m not sure how much has been gained in the updating. Still, the ‘Scope cinematography by Affonso Beato is colorful and attractive (as is the city itself), and the music and dancing are as infectious as ever; too bad that Diegues won’t let us enjoy more of them (1999). 110 min. (JR) Read more