Going to Brazil to see movies is inconvenient. First of all, it's plenty far away. Second, it's really hard to keep the theater seats hygienic in the tropics when everyone wears only a thong.
Fortunately, a whole slew of Brazilian films are tanned, hairless, and on their way to you as a part of the 17th Brazilian Film Festival.
For eight days starting on Saturday night, more than 20 features and shorts will be screened at the Miami Beach Cinematheque and Colony Theatre, many of them playing for the first time in the US or even outside Brazil. You bring your pants, they'll bring the popcorn. Fique tranquilo!
Aside from the premieres and films in competition, there is also a sidebar festival called Cinefoot: A World Cup Tribute, which comprises several films about the sport called "futbol", which is a lot like soccer but makes you sound like kind of a jerk when you say it out loud. Included are Zico in the Net, a documentary about the Brailizian superstar Zico; and Heleno, a drama about Heleno de Freitas, another Brazilian soccer legend, but focusing more on his drunken and womanizing ways than his performances on the pitch. This is probably a good thing for Americans who probably dislike watching people pretend to play soccer even more than they dislike watching people actually play soccer.
The festival will open with West Encounters East, a documentary about Japanese-Brazilian artists. Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, so if your goal is to see movies about every single Japanese person living outside of Japan, this might be a good place to start. The closing film is Reaching for the Moon, about Pulitzer-winning poet (and longtime Key West resident) Elizabeth Bishop and her intense and ultimately tragic relationship with a female self-trained architect. This is the perfect date movie for you and your own self-trained architect lover, especially if you expect her to die of an overdose of tranquilizers and want to show her a good time first.
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There are also comedies that were massive hits in Brazil, including My Mom is a Character -- about a housewife looking for freedom from her grown children -- and Head Over Heels 2, about two women opening a sex shop in New York. It's the sequel to Head Over Heels, about two women opening a sex shop in Brazil. Stay tuned for Head Over Heels 3, about two women opening a sex shop in your armpit. They're getting closer and closer, those sex shop women.
There's tons more playing at the festival and many of the stars and directors will be making appearances. The festival runs Aug. 17-24. Most tickets cost $10 and are available at Ticketmaster.com. Visit BrazilianFilmFestival.com.