Combustible Celluloid
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With: Lázaro Ramos, Wagner Moura, Alice Braga, José Dumont
Written by: Karim Ainouz, Sérgio Machado, Adriana Rattes, Gil Vicente Tavares
Directed by: Sérgio Machado
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, nudity, language, some violence and drug use
Language: Portuguese with English subtitles
Running Time: 98
Date: 05/16/2005

Lower City (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Brazilian Noir

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Brazilian director Sérgio Machado once worked as an assistant to Walter Salles, but fortunately, he learned nothing from his mentor's honey-covered, award-ready movies (Central Station, The Motorcycle Diaries, etc.). His new film as director, Lower City, is alive in ways that Salles could not conceive. Opening today at the Lumiere/Opera Plaza, the film is a simple love triangle. Two old buddies, Deco (L�zaro Ramos) and Naldinho (Wagner Moura), who use their boat for sporadic hauling jobs, pick up a young, blond prostitute, Karinna (Alice Braga) on her way to Salvador, and both fall under the spell of her on-again, off-again fits of passion. Machado revels in the sleazy waterfront underbelly, dabbling in noir elements such as drugs, booze, boxing and dancing girls. Several of the talents behind the hit City of God worked on Lower City, and it shares that film's energy, albeit in a minor key.

DVD Details: Palm Pictures released this film on DVD, and though I only saw a check disc, the final product is supposed to include a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes and trailers.

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