The big film on Elite Squad director Jose Padilha's radar is his reboot of RoboCop, which stars The Killing's Joel Kinnaman and Samuel L. Jackson and is scheduled for a 2014 release. But in 2010, the same year that Padilha came to global attention when Elite Squad 2 broke box office records in Brazil, the director kicked off an unusual project: a documentary on the Yanomami tribe from a wedge of the Amazon River that straddles Brazil and Venezuela. The tribe came to fame in two curious and contradictory ways: as the focus of controversial anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon's study Yanomami: The Fierce People, and as the supposed subjects in the gory 1980 horror film Cannibal Holocaust. Padilha's documentary, Secrets of the Tribe, is meant to be a more honest and longform exploration of the Yanomami culture starting with the increased attention it received after Chagnon's book was published in the '60s. Secrets of the Tribe will be released in Brazilian theaters on 2/22.
Watch the trailer for Secrets of the Tribe.
The corruption thriller Disparos has released a new trailer. Directed by Juliana Reis, the film tracks a photographer who comes into conflict with the local police after being assaulted by bikers and hit by a car. When the cops confiscate his camera as evidence, they discover photos that implicate him in a serious crime. Julio Adrião of Elite Squad 2, one of the highest-grossing films in Brazilian history, stars.
Watch the trailer for Disparos:
Carnival, which ends today, has dominated Brazil for four days. Now that the country is sobering up and headed back to work, two U.S. films will test their luck at the Brazilian box office. The choices are an odd fit: this weekend's new releases are the paraplegic sexual drama The Sessions, starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes, and Kathryn Bigelow's epic and serious terrorism thriller Zero Dark Thirty. As neither fit with the national mood of the last week, the test for the two adult films will be to see if they serve as smart counter-programming to a country with a hangover, or a total buzzkill. Carnival is often a box office boost. In 2012, the box office bumped 10.8% at the end of the festival with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance driving away with the top spot.
Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing) is in Salvador, Brazil this week shooting footage for his upcoming documentary Go, Brazil, Go! His visit is timed to Carnival, the week-long national celebration that shuts down much of the country. In addition to filming revelers, Lee has also sat down with the Mayor of Salvador, Antonio Carlos Magalhaes Neto, and singer Ivete Sangalo. Lee has been working on the documentary for 10 months and has already interviewed soccer star Neymar, musician Caetano Veloso, and rapper Criolo, and plans at least four more visits to the country before Go, Brazil, Go! debuts in Cannes in 2014, just before the start of the World Cup in Brazil.
Brazilian audiences have a sweet tooth for Hansel and Gretel. The Jeremy Renner fantasy flick held on to the #1 slot at the box office for the third weekend in a row, raking in an estimated $2 million over the weekend, only a slight dip from the $2.5 million earned last weekend. Hansel maintained its edge despite several new debuts on the charts, including the Denzel Washington drama Flight ($807K) and the 3D adventure cartoon, Tad, The Lost Explorer ($1 million), which this December became the highest-grossing cartoon in history in its native Spain.