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Roberto Farias, Film-Maker who Understood the Power of TV Mass Audiences Dies

05/15/2018 - 11h59




The trajectory of Roberto Farias, who died from cancer on Monday (the 14th) at 86, sheds light, as no other, on the complexity and contradictions of Brazilian cinema during the last 70 years.

With a degree in popular cinema, Farias was thrust directly into the decadence of the period, which is portrayed in his "A Brazilian in Belacap" (1960) [Um Candago na Belacap]

At this time he started seeking new directions. More in tune with the cinema from the 1950's, he returned to police stories, through which he turned out to be one of the great Braziian artisans with "Threatened City" (1960) [Cidade Ameaçada] and above all "Assault on the Pay Train" (1962) [Assalto ao Trem Pagador].

His affinity with the popular cinema grew markedly during that long decade dominated by the new cinema.

Ana Carolina Fernandes/Folhapress
Roberto Farias
Roberto Farias

Farias took the counterpoint to this movement. He directed the comedy "Toda Donzela's Father Is a Beast" (1966) [Toda Donzela Tem um Pai que E uma Fera" and produced the triology of Singer Robeto Carlos "Roberto Carlos in Adventure Mode" [R.C. Em Ritmo de Aventura], "Roberto Carlos and the Rose-Colored Diamond" [R.C. e o Diamante Cor-de-Rosa], "Roberto Carlos at 300 Kilometers per hour" [R.C. a 300 Quilômetros por Hora] between 1968 and 1971.

Even his style and performance in management was clearly linked to the popular cinema and directed at the mass public. In the middle of the 1970's he took over the direction of Embrafilme, at a moment when the traditional popular cinema and film-makers from the new cinema were courting each other.

At the same time that he tried to bring together the traditional and new cinema he was always seeking the widest audience, and the film distributor had a long running fertile association with "The Stooges" (Os Trapalhões), which opened up the possibility for other films, with a smaller reach, but that managed to get decent distribution.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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