1985. UK. Dir: Terry Gilliam. With Jonathan Pryce. 132 min. 35mm print.
A sheepish government peon with grand romantic dreams attempts to correct a simple paperwork error only to find himself hurled into a treacherous world of terrorism, torture, and plastic surgery. Elaborate production design, hysterical performances and manically kinetic direction mark a fantastical satire of bureaucracy gone wrong.
If you’ve been following the news recently, you have likely seen that Brazil has been reeling with protests on and off since early June. Diego Calderon ’13 interviewed a number of Brazilians to get a sense for why they are protesting. A description of the protests – and of his process in making the video – follows after the jump:
Take a trip back to 1960s Brazil with the psychedelic funk/soul/garage of Sessa and The Trip and the dusty vinyl of Joel Stones, the man with the deepest Tropicalia record collection in NYC.
SESSA AND THE TRIP
The new project of Sergio “Sessa” Sayeg, the former guitarist of São Paulo Tropicalia enthusiasts Garotas Suecas. Carry Brownstein of Sleater Kinney/Portlandia said of Sessa’s former band: “It has literally been a decade since I went up to a stage, closed my eyes, danced like a fool and never wanted the moment to end.”
Sergio Sayeg – Guitars and Vocals
Jorge Chafey – Bass
Robin Macmillan – Drums
Joel Stones – Spiritual Guidance
DJ JOEL STONES
The proprietor of the recently defunct Tropicalia in Furs, an East Village record store of entirely psychedelic Brazilian music from 1960s and 1970s. He has DJ’ed parties for the Beastie Boys and curated a compilation of Tropicalia rare cuts called Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas.
How about a little tropical flair to warm up your winter-like Spring Break?
Annie Shepard ’09 is the founder and main mamacita of the fashion photography websiteNeon Mamacita,and her latest project is a fabulous photoshoot featuring none other than Harry Hanson ’12. With photographer Aaron Colussi, they dressed Hanson in a pretty spot-on spoof/homage of Brazilian film and stage actress and singer Carmen Miranda— well, if Miranda had a beard. The bright surroundings are courtesy of the Bronx Zoo, where I’m sure random passerby gave a few confused stares at the trio before continuing on their merry way.
That signature tutti-frutti hat, which you have most definitely seen before, was famously part of Miranda’s outfit in the trippy, bizarre, but sort of awesome 1943 Busby Berkeley-choreographed musical, The Gang is All Here. And notably, her image was also co-opted for the weirdly colonialist and male-gaze-tastic “Chiquita Banana” commercials (which rhyme “equator” with “refrigerator” in a tune sung by Miranda, who plays the role of an animated banana. It’s so perfectly 1940s).
It would be wrong of me to say that O Presidente plays music from another time. That’s simply missing the point. While the band, comprised of Andrew Zingg ’13, Nathaniel Draper ’12, Tobias Butler ’13, and Thomas Yopes (UC Berkeley ’13), writes music with very particular and sometimes peculiar influences, they’re not really reaching back into the past to steal sounds. Rather, their debut album Clube De Futebol collapses the past 60 years of music history into 10 succinct songs and adds their own, very 21st century sense of humor right on top.
A quick taste of that humor: According to lead singer Zingg, the band formed around a failed student group that he and guitarist Draper attempted to start during his freshman year. Clube de Futebol, originally, was the proposal for “this club that would get SBC funds to pay for a TV and the Fox Soccer channel so we could get together with our friends and watch soccer. The Portuguese spelling was an homage to Brazil’s beautiful way of playing the game. Needless to say, SBC never agreed to give us any money. But the name stuck.” The band name, O Presidente, was a product of the same failed Clube—it was Draper’s official title, in Portuguese of course.
That’s not the last bit of Brazillian influence you’ll hear on this record. On the 50s throwback “Take My Baby,” the group sings its final verse in—you guessed it—Portuguese. You’ve got to give these guys credit for continuity. That song is notable for its American inspiration as well. Beginning with a classic slide into an upbeat surf-guitar riff, “Take My Baby” is a concise tune with easy-to-place roots.
William Pinch, Chair of the History Department wrote in a couple of days ago, informing us about a couple of events that are happening in the Department today.
Unfortunately, we totally missed the email ’til right about now, and as such the History Department Open House Pizza Lunch that took place earlier today at noon came and went like an absurd seagull. (Sorry Prof!) Still though, you should totes go tap up Prof. Pinch or any other History professor if you’re interested in the major. Added benefits of being a History major includes: being mad cool, being mad old-school educated, and being mad seksi. But I’m not speaking from experience, so I can’t say for certain.
STILL. There’s one more event for the department THAT’S HAPPENING LIKE ALMOST NOW.
Former Wes Grad and History major, Gabriel Paquette ’99, now Assistant Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, is here to drop knowledge bombs with a lecture called, “Empire and its Discontents: Regional Rebellions, Slave Revolts, and Political Conspiracies in Brazil, 1800-1850.”