Casa Grande Screen 6 articles

Casa Grande

2014

Casa Grande Poster
  • Casa Grande follow the path opened by Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighboring Sounds: it is an arrogant and resentful work disguised as sociological essay made by an individual that, coming from the exact place where the film takes place, intents to attack by all means the place where he was born, grew up and lives today. Not satisfied, the film also attacks the people who are from there, too. And for Barbosa there is an aggravating: one of his targets is his own family.

  • ...These scenes may shock American audiences, or make them chuckle, but for Brazilians they amount to the most obvious rehashing of stereotypes. The real scandal may thus not be the collective white privilege that the film exposes, but the way it uses its critique as a means to woo the legitimizing gaze of international audiences.

  • Brazilian cinema hangs in there with Fellipe Barbosa’s Casa Grande, a nothing-new but solid drama about class in which an underachieving teenager at an elite school searches out sexual experiences while his parents, struggling to hold on to a luxurious lifestyle they can no longer afford, jettison the servants. Proof that films like Neighboring Sounds don’t grow on trees.

  • Cinematographer Pedro Sotero brings the same lucid precision as he did to Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighboring Sounds, turning the hollow-feeling casa grande into a character, and showing equal skill at opening up the poor neighborhoods Jean comes to explore. This isn’t the first Latin American drama to follow a rich family on a downward spiral, but the eloquent visuals, strong central performance, and empathetic humor push it to the forefront.

  • An incisive character study that’s never malicious.

  • The manifold lines in Casa Grande, be they class, race, sex, age or any number of other potential denominators are as clear as day, which is why they are easily crisscrossed by so many of its intriguing characters. No border stays clean and no person stays clean, seems to be what Barbosa is telling us. His expansive film has the classical structure of a bildungsroman-cum-social blueprint that paints across demarcations in tender tones, never straying into simplistic blind alleys.

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