Mimes, Monkeys, And The Ghost Of 'Fitzcarraldo': Inside Brazil's Amazonas Film Festival
There are no movie stars in Brazil. When a local comedy show asked people to list the most famous Brazilians, the top three were Gisele Bundchen, Pele, and Blanka — the green ogre from Street Fighter 2 who got his powers from the bite of an Amazonian electric eel. So far in 2012, not a single Brazilian-made movie has cracked the top ten in the country's own box office — in fact, to find a domestic hit, you have to go all the way down to the romantic comedy E Ai...Comeu?, which to date has made about half of as many reals as Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. [Ed. correction: The production Até que a Sorte nos Separe does rank as Brazil's #10 box office performer of 2012.] But Brazil does have soap stars. And at the Amazonas Film Festival in Manaus, Brazil — the heart of the Amazon — soap stars, dozens and dozens of them, all handsome and cheerful and thrilled by their own fame, were the main event.