Urbania | Chicago Reader

Urbania

Sao Paulo in the 1940s is juxtaposed with the city today in Brazilian director Flavio Frederico's self-consciously impressionist chronicle of a journey (2001). An old man returns to the city in a chauffeur-driven convertible, while his ruminations about the lover he left behind are heard on the sound track. The man stops to talk to people on the street—a hooker, a transvestite—who offer impromptu candid confessions. The sordid urban sprawl, shown in grainy color, contrasts tritely with the elegant old neighborhoods, all in period-looking black and white. And the odd mix of fiction and documentary ultimately sheds little light on the sad-faced man who seems to be fading as quickly as his memory. In Portuguese with subtitles. 70 min.

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