Upon its release in 1959, Black Orpheus won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and since then it has sustained a cult following and status as a modern classic. It captures the precious moment in time when Brazil was transitioning into a modern nation, and distills the beauty of the Brazilian people and landscape and the Technicolor radiance of Carnival.
Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfa, two prime movers of the Brazilian music scene of the 1950s forward, were enlisted to compose the score. Overpowering samba rhythms pulsate through the film from start to finish, and the film's rhythmic underpinning is what makes it pure magic that barely needs words. Music lovers everywhere are indebted to Black Orpheus for bringing samba and the graceful, aching melodies and harmonies of bossa nova to the rest of the world. --Maria Brubeck
In Portuguese with English subtitles. Presented on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2:30 p.m. as part of A Year at the Movies: Rediscovering Classics, a series that screens videos from the 1920s to the '60s from the Carolina Theatre's collection. Includes pre- and post-film discussions with Laura Boyes, N.C. Museum of Art. Main Durham County Library, 300 N. Roxboro Road, Durham. 560-0171. Free.