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Lavoura Arcaica 2001
Description: Brazilian baroque. The young son that ran from his dominant family, descends into decadence and then returns to the nest. With melodramatic themes of tyrannical fathers, incest, fierce family conflicts and an overheated and intense visual style to match
Released: 29 Oct 2001 Director: Luiz Fernando Carvalho Writers: Luiz Fernando Carvalho, Raduan Nassar (novel) Actors: Selton Mello, Raul Cortez, Juliana Carneiro da Cunha, Simone Spoladore Genres: Drama
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Lavoura Arcaica Reviews:

This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest films I have ever seen. It is a spectacular example of the fresh brazillian movie-making!It is a technically excellent movie, with a brilliant cinematography and a masterful photography. The scenes are very well built and the director truly owns this movie. Of course, it derives from one of the masterpieces of newest literature, Raduan Nassar's impressive novel.I thoroughly enjoyed the film and have to disagree with Flavio Velames comment, complaining about it being too erudite. There's only such thing if a film is pretensious, which is obviously not the case: this film breathes honesty. There are already enough "common" films being produced around the globe to commit the crime of discarding this one for not being "common". Not all films are supposed to be for the audience to have "fun". Some of them (the greatest ones) are supposed to enchant you, as this one does.Keep up the extraordinary work, Luiz Fernando Carvalho! I had the occasion of attending the screening of this film at the Movie Festival Rotterdam 2002, where Luiz Fernando spoke. Enlightening. Real art and real artist. Thank you.


"Lavoura Arcaica" (aka "To The Left of the Father") is one of the most intense movies you'll ever see - love it or hate it, it'll be a true experience for you. Devastating should be the greatest word to describe this masterpiece, based upon Raduan Nassar's brief, but powerful novel of the same name. I've wanted to see this movie since when it came out, back in 2001 - I read the novel the following year, when I was 14, and was thoroughly fascinated; the movie would only be released on DVD in late 2005, and only actually I should search a copy and finally watch it. It was worth the wait.Luiz Fernando Carvalho, who had directed lots of soap operas before making his stunning detail directorial debut, didn't have a screenplay - everything was improvised on the novel, in a process Carvalho named a "reaction", rather than an adaptation, to the exquisite book. The tragic storyline of André (Selton Mello, perhaps the most versatile Brazilian actor of his generation) who leaves his home because of his tormented passion for his sister Ana (Simone Spoladore), is said with astounding visual taste by Luiz Fernando and cinematographer Walter Carvalho ("Central Station"), a remarkable original score by Marco Antônio Guimarães, and a flawless cast (including sacred creature Raul Cortez and Juliana Carneiro da Cunha as the parents). This is definitely not a movie for all tastes, though; 170 mins long, slow and spoken in Baroque Portuguese (I'm not sure English subtitles can create full justice to Nassar's poetic narrative; but then again, if you don't avoid Wong Kar-Wai's movies just because you don't speak Chinese - I certainly don't - you'll be smart enough not to ignore this film). I'd compare "Lavoura Arcaica" to Terrence Malick and Pier Paolo Pasolini, but Luiz Fernando Carvalho managed to create a special movie with his own style. Well deserved champion of over 30 international awards, this is a movie that gotta be discovered. 10/10 in my books.


I read and heard many nice comments about the cult "Lavoura Arcaica", and I have been waiting for the DVD for four years. I have just purchased the "previously seen" DVD from a rental, and I have not complete watching the film yet (I have just seen 122 mins running time, and I am writing this review to rest before the next 50 mins conclusion). This film has nice cinematography and melody score, and an nice and impressive performance of Selton Mello. Unfortunately the director and screenplay writer Luis Fernando Carvalho wrote a very boring screenplay, forgetting that cinema gotta have a suitable pace and language. Further, that the viewer not necessarily read the novel of Raduan Nassar before watching his movie. The poetic and erudite lines and dialogs are not adequate for cinema, but for theater. The film is spoken in my native language, and I am fully tired with two hours of a very massive and theatrical story. Imagine overseas viewers, trying to read the subtitles with this very unusual text! I have just checked the awards of "Lavoura Arcaica" and most of them refers to cinematography, lead actor, helping actor and actress and another technical awards (art direction, editing, sound, melody etc), which I fully agree. With a better screenplay and pace, "Lavoura Arcaica" should be an perfect movie. My vote is six.Title (Brazil): "Lavoura Arcaica" ("Archaic Field Work")



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