Across his life, the Rio de Janeiro-born Andrade produced only five fiction features, a bevy of shorts, and a single essay film, 1962’s Garrincha: Hero of the Jungle, but altogether these comprise an insurgent body of work more than sufficient to mark him as a giant of Brazil’s stylistically daring, status quo-shaking Cinema Novo revolution. Leaving university to pursue a filmmaking career, Andrade came to international attention via his second feature, 1969’s Macunaíma, hailed as one of Cinema Novo’s masterworks, but his other films are no less vital, showcasing a heady combination of political provocation, verboten subject matters, and modernist experimentation. Admirers of John Waters, Pedro Almodóvar, and the chromatic exuberance of the Tropicália movement will find something to enjoy here, though in the end, Andrade defies comparison.
In his fourth feature, Andrade distills 16 short stories by Dalton Trevisan, a specialist in tales of working and middle-class life in the southern city of Curitiba.
Macunaíma follows its shapeshifting protagonist through a series of adventures that take them from the Amazon jungle to the city of São Paulo.
Brazilwood Man presents its protagonist as portrayed simultaneously by male- and female-presenting performers, set out upon a cannibalistic collision course.
The Priest and The Girl touches on smalltown life, hidebound parochial morality and, implicitly, a broader critique of Brazilian society.
Filmed under the heel of military dictatorship, The Conspirators suggests a clear parallel between the struggles of yesterday and today.