May 6, 2008

11th May 2008 ; Screening of Central Station

Central Station
Central Do Brasil (Drama -- Brazilian - French)
A Film By Walter Salles
Year 1998
Country : Brazil

Portuguese with English sub tiles

11t May 2008 ; 5.45 pm
Ashwin Hospital Auditorium

In Walter Salles' "Central Station," a hit at Sundance and the winner of top honors at this year's Berlin Film Festival, a cynical, joyless woman crosses paths with a lonely young boy.Beautifully observed and featuring a bravura performance by the Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro, it gracefully watches these oddly paired characters develop a fractious bond that winds up profoundly changing both of them.

"Central Station" slowly settles into the pleasures of a road movie, in which we see modern Brazil through the eyes of the characters: the long-haul trucks that are the lifeline of commerce, the sprawling new housing developments, the hybrid religious ceremonies, the blend of old ways and the 20th century. Whether they find the father is not really the point; the film is about their journey and relationship.

The movie's success rests largely on the shoulders of Fernanda Montenegro, an actress who successfully defeats any temptation to allow sentimentality to wreck her relationship with the child. She understands that the film is not really about the boy's search for his father, but about her own reawakening. This process is measured out so carefully that we don't even notice the point at which she crosses over into a gentler person.

The boy, 10-year-old Vincius de Oliveira, was discovered by the director in an airport, shining shoes. He asked Walter Salles for the price of a sandwich, and Salles, who had been trying for months to cast this role, looked at him thoughtfully and saw young Josue. He plays Josue so well, the performance is transparent.

On a precise but restrained symbolic level, "Central Station" speaks in a cautiously hopeful manner about the possibilities for Brazil's future, suggesting that the deep scars left by the social ills of the recent past might somehow be survived and surmounted by a creative union of the old and the new Brazils.

Walter Salles

Walter Moreira Salles Jr. (born April 12, 1956, Rio de Janeiro) is a Brazilian filmmaker and film producer of international prominence. He is the son of Walter Moreira Salles, a Brazilian banker and ambassador, and the brother of João Moreira Salles, also a filmmaker.

Salles attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.Salles's first notable film was Terra Estrangeira (Foreign Land), released in Brazil in 1995. In 1998 he released Central do Brasil (Central Station) to widespread international acclaim. His next , Abril Despedaçado (Behind the Sun), starring Rodrigo Santoro, was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Golden Globes. Both films were produced by veteran Arthur Cohn and had worldwide distribution.

His biggest international success has been Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries), a 2004 film about the life of young Ernesto Guevara, who later became known as Che Guevara. It was Salles's first foray as director of a film in a language other than his native Portuguese (Spanish, in this case) and quickly became a box-office hit in Latin America and Europe.

In 2005, Salles released his first English-language feature film, which is also his first Hollywood film, Dark Water. In 2003, Salles was voted one of the 40 Best Directors in the World by The Guardian.

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