The Red Light Bandit | Chicago Reader

The Red Light Bandit

Rogerio Sganzerla, a 23-year-old film critic and champion of the Cinema Novo movement, directed this 1968 Brazilian feature about a small-time thug's rise to notoriety, and its strident, absurdist tone is heavily informed by the radicalism of the times. Sganzerla has little regard for dramatic niceties, employing guerrilla-style acting and very little dialogue; he's far more interested in bombarding the viewer with topsy-turvy visuals and neo-Marxist commentary on the sound track. His indictment of all ranks of Brazilian society is nearly incoherent, but the film has a scuzzy lyricism that's oddly engrossing. In Portuguese with subtitles.

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