Thursday, October 19, 2017

Noirsville Tune Of The Week

"Positively 4th Street"

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down you just stood there grinning
You got a lotta nerve
To say you gotta helping hand to lend
You just want to be on the side that's winning

You say I let you down
You know it's not like that
If you're so hurt why then don't you show it
You say you've lost your faith
But that's not where it's at
You have no faith to lose and you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd you're in with
Do you take me for such a fool
To think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide what it don't know to begin with

You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, "How are you? Good luck."
But you don't mean it
When you know as well as me
You'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once and scream it

No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief perhaps I'd rob them
And though I know you're dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don't you understand it's not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And for just that one moment I could be you
Yes I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is to see you

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cidade Baixa (Lower City) (2005) Beautiful Brazilian Noir

A  Brazilian Neo Noir masterpiece, directed by Sérgio Machado, written by Karim Aïnouz, Sérgio Machado, Adriana Rattes, and Gil Vicente Tavares.

The excellent cinematography was by Toca Seabra and music was by Carlinhos Brown and Beto Villares.

The film Stars Alice Braga as Karinna, Wagner Moura as Naldinho. Lázaro Ramos as Deco, Dois Mundos as Dois Mundos, Harildo Deda as Careca, Maria Menezes as Luzinete, João Miguel as Edvan, Débora Santiago as Sirlene, José Dumont as Sergipano, and the beautiful locations around Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

The beginning of film is like a riff on all the truck driving and road noirs, They Drive by Night (1940), Thieves' Highway (1949), Highway Dragnet (1954), and particularly Road Movie (1973) and then adds bits and pieces of other noirs, and every film you ever saw about two guys fighting over one girl, making the whole something new.

The films femme fatale is Karinna a whore/stripper who needs a ride to Salvador. Two "brothers" Naldinho and Deco, childhood friends, own a cargo boat. They overhear Karinna asking a bodega owner about any trucks going to Salvador. Naldinho offers her a ride if she'll put out for the two of them. Karinna dickers the price and agrees to go. Naldinho and Deco draw straws to to see who goes first with Karinna, Naldinho wins. The next day the brothers are in both love with Karinna which sends the tale and the crew sailing off to Noirsvilleas as jealousy begins to gnaw at their relationship.

Karinna (Alice Braga)

Deco (Lázaro Ramos) 

Naldinho (Wagner Moura)
After tieing up for the night they all go to a bar where a cockfight is taking place, they lose 100 on the bet they made with their chicken but the winner continues to torment them. A fight starts Deco grabs a bottle breaks and kills the guy. Deco picks up Naldinho and the brothers run out of the place back to their boat and cast off. In Salvador, a Doctor patches up Naldinho, but the brothers need rent and eating money.

In the bodega "a ride for a ride."

Karinna negotiates

Drawing straws
Deco looks for a job, getting some work as a sparring partner at a boxing gym. Karinna takes off to work for Xanadoo, a strip joint/whore house. Karinna get's the brothers a job using their boat to ferry hookers out to the various ships anchored out in the harbor. They also got a con scam working where Karinna fakes ODing and in the panic the captain of the ship offers them money to clean it all up.

The Cockfight Sequence

As things heat up between Karinna and both Naldinho and Deco, each brother jockeys for the upper hand, Deco concentrates on boxing, Naldinho goes to local mobster Dois Mundos (Dois Mundos) and begins to rob pharmacies for the Brazilian equivalents of Cialis, Viagra, etc. When Karinna finds out that she is pregnant, as you would expect, things build to an explosion.


A 10/10, and a good example of what can be done without spending tons of dough, a Neo Noir about simple people in convoluted situations. Bravo!