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As Canções
dir. Eduardo Coutinho / Brazil 2011 / 91’
subtitles: Polish and English

Film description

Brazilian documentary master Eduardo Coutinho draws a portrait of Rio de Janeiro residents’ inner lives – as expressed in their favorite songs. Love, desire, heartbreak – feelings sometimes too difficult to put into words floe more easily on the airs of sambas and bossa novas. Coutinho set about making the film much in the same way he did with Playing (8th NH): by placing a newspaper ad. The director interviewed no less than 240 people, of whom 18 sing their favorite song on-screen, a capella, and talk about its significance in their life. The participants are a cross section of Rio’s colorful population – women and men, young and old, poor and rich, puritans and hedonists. Identified only by their first names, they sit down with Coutinho to talk and to sing. On the surface, it may not seem like much: weepy songs and incidental fragments of life. But the director’s genius lies in his ability to peer beneath the popculture snippets to see the unique experiences underneath, giving us penetrating psychological sketches in a work of surprising depth and lyricism.

Prepared by: Ewa Szabłowska

Information about director

Eduardo Coutinho

Eduardo Coutinho was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1933. Director, screenwriter, producer, and actor, he studied cinematography in Paris. He began working in film as a writer, notably on Leon Hirszman’s The Deceased (1965) and Garota de Ipanema (1967), and Bruno Barreto’s Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976). His Twenty Years Later (1985) today stands as a reference point for documentary filmmakers. His name is synonymous a calm approach to the subject and stylistic purity.


Selected filmography

1968 O Homem Que Comprou o Mundo / The Man Who Bought the World (short)

1985 Cabra Marcado Para Morrer / Twenty Years Later (doc.)

1993 Boca de Lixo (doc.)

2002 Edifício Master (doc.)

2007 Gra / Jogo de Cena / Playing (doc.)

2011 Piosenki / As Canções / Songs (doc.)

Prepared by: Ewa Szabłowska


director: Eduardo Coutinho
screenplay: Eduardo Coutinho
cinematography: Jacques Cheuiche
editing: Jordana Berg
producer: Eduardo Coutinho, João Moreira Salles, Mauricio Andrade Ramos
production: Videofilmes Produçoes Artisticas Ltda.
sales: Videofilmes Produçoes Artisticas Ltda.
language: Portugese
colouration: colour
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