South Africa and Brazil are probably the most beautiful tourist destinations for tourists. Why do people ruin paradise for everyone else? Poverty, of course, is the answer to that and after being mugged twice in South Africa back in the 1990s on my adventure in Southern Africa it’s kinda put me off going to Rio and Brazil. After one too many scrapes on my backpacking adventures its time to hang up the rucksack before I fall over the edge. I do miss it all though. Rio remains the one city I really really want to see. The girls are as stunning as the weather, why I enjoy watching their movies. Who will eve forget City of God. No one. Who will forget Blame it on Rio? Everyone.
Neighboring Sounds is a rather subtle and interesting film and not your regular movie. There is no narrative of sorts and basically an exploration of the anatomy of Brazil’s class and social structure through the everyday goings on and tensions in the lives of some Brazilians living in and around a middle-class gated community in Recife. It’s from first time Recife born director Kleber Mendonça Filho and its very impressive film making. Its one of those movies that you know its areal director behind the camera as it’s visually clever with all its metaphors and characters as it is well written and constructed. Yes it’s a bit long but you can’t get everything right first time.
It seems a pleasant metropolitan middle-class milieu but another car has been broken into, that of the new girlfriend of thirtysomething estate agent Joã (Gustavo Jahn), pretty student Maria (Mauricéia Conceição). Number one suspect is Joa’s wayward cousin Dinho (Tony Dia), who denies it when confronted. Meanwhile, Bia (Maeve Jinkings), a married and mother of two, must find a way to deal with the constant barking and howling of her neighbor's dog, sleeping pills for both on the table. On the same street we meet her jealous sister Sofia (Irma Brown) and, in the biggest flat on the block, is Francisco (Montserrat Blake), Joã’s grandfather and a retired sugar baron who wants owned most of the house in the block and slowly selling them off through his grandson.
The tensions slowly rise when sly and confident Romualdo pitches up offering a security service on the manor, the membership fee 20 Real’s a month. Some residents think it’s a protection racket while others think it’s needed after the recent break in’s. Some think Romualdo did the recent break in’s to get the business. Either way Romualdo and his guys set up their canopy on the street and begin to offer their agreed services from 7pm to 7am, mostly redirecting drunks and shooing off street kids.
Bia is a snob and has a private tutor teach her kids Mandarin for prestige reasons and continues her battle with the neighbor’s dogs, now reduced to throwing fireworks at it. Joa gets serious with Maria and continues to sell crime free dreams to other Recife residents with his grandfather’s property business while Romualdo tries to sign up Francisco to his services. It seems the two are from the same rural area of Brazil and should have common ground. But all is not as it seems as the various agendas and grudges rise to the surface in a small leafy suburb of Recife.
This film is about race as it is crime. The darker your skin in Brail the more likely you are to be in service or poverty and the lighter you are the richer you are. In Brazil thye have the servant, maid system they have in South Africa and the biggest form of employment for poor Brazilians. During the build up to the World Cup the left wing white and mixed race Brazilian middle-class rioted in protest against the cost of the build and the inequalities that could have been dealt with by using those billions. Most of the new stadiums are two thirds empty for games and some of them not used at all, corrupt FIFA leaving Brazil with 4.1 billion dollars of that much needed cash in their bulging suitcases. But that same middle-class packed out the stadiums and enjoyed the football and it’s that guilt that wealth brings that really draws the social class fault lines there.
The film is simply to end movie making and its hidden intensity and dark humor keeping you enthralled, even though its way too long at 133 minutes. Not a lot happens in that time and only a good filmmaker can get away with that. It’s very nuanced as it simmers to its climax as you wait for something significant to happen. You know it’s going to happen but just how violent and apocalyptic will it be in this quiet street is the question, the tension like a fly about to be zapped by one of those blue neon rings in takeaways.
The acting is in a very real style and the characters not overly attractive in look and manner and certainly not telenovela stuff. The nondescript suburb ad’s to the silent menace of the unseen Brazil .for once not served up the violent favelas of City of God and the like. It’s that innocuous feeling or normality and calm in a country known for its violence that keeps you on your toes. The look and cinematography is also fabulous as the director delivers subtle metaphors by the bucket load, none more so than Bia using the vacuum cleaner pipe to suck up the smoke and smell of her sneaky joint. Checkout the official trailer below to get a feel for it.
Imdb.com – 7.1/10.0 (3,424votes)
Rottentomatos.com –92 % critic’s approval
Metacriitc.com – 77 % critic’s approval
Sky Movies Comedy has to be one of my favourite movie channels with sky. Unlike sky movies premier it doesn't have a +1 feature which means that you cannot view the same films an hour later if you missed the start.
-----Why would you want it-----
If like me you love to have a laugh, the this is the channel for you. For 24 hours a day there are different types of comedies to suit all tastes and suitable for all ages. There are two different times during the day that each movie will play, this means that if you couldn't manage to watch it at one time of the day and didn't want to record it, or if you don't have sky+, then you can watch it later.
-----How do you receive it-----
This channel is only available the customers that have the movies pack or the full sky world pack.
-----When can you watch-----
Daily 24 hours a day.
Sky Movies Comedy is one of my favourite channels. I love watching funny films, and remember that laughing makes you live longer. At the moment Sky Movies Comedy has a 'Murphy marathon' on from Monday 24th of November, this is a compilation of his best films. I really like Eddie Murphy especially when he was in the nutty professor. So you know what I will be doing for the next few nights then, I bet I will be sore the next day from all that laughing.
SKY MOVIES COMEDY is a movie channel available in the UK on the Sky Digital satellite system.
As many regular readers of my reviews will know, I am mad about movies and watch as many of them as I can. To this end the Sky Movies selection of channels is very useful as they show a wide variety of movies, and show them repeatedly, so if I miss them one time I know that it will come round again soon enough, giving me another chance to see it. SKY MOVIES COMEDY is no different in this respect. It is available as part of the 'Movies Mix' which costs a different amount depending on the package that you are on. Personally I pay £34 for the 'Movies Mix' and the 'Variety Mix'. The 'Variety Mix' alone would cost £16 so in total I pay £18 per month for the privilege of receiving all of the Sky Movies channels.
Movies that are coming up soon on SKY MOVIES COMEDY that I am particularly looking forward to include:
Starring Jack Black as a Mexican wrestler. I saw this movie at the cinema and was mildly amused - hopefully I may take to it more fondly on TV.
I've not seen this film (starring Simon Pegg) although my fiancee thinks that its fantastic. I'll find out for myself soon enough.
A very funny movie starring Matthew Broderick as a high school teacher who comes a cropper when he attempts to curb the ambitions of student Reese Witherspoon. I always enjoy seeing Witherspoon on screen as she is such a good actress.
All in all, SKY MOVIES COMEDY is well worth watching if you like comedy movies.
Channel numbers: KIT: 60-65. Sky: 301-309. Virgin TV (ex NTL only): 702-703, 705-712. Virgin TV (ex Telewest only): 401-410. WightCable (IoW): 105-116. WightCable (North): 301-315.