Written by Maria do Rosario Caetano
Director Marcio de Andrade and producer Ana Carina de Carvalho were so passionate about the subject of the documentary that they released Thursday, May 26, on broadcast, that they lost objectivity.
And what is the topic of this? The track of the Paraíba brothers, Vladimir, 87, and Walter Carvalho, 75, are both dedicated to cinema. They are the central characters and the raison d’être of “When Something Turns Else”. In other words, “the cinema of inequality by Vladimir Carvalho.”
Because the title, even if accompanied by a translation, is unable to define this documentary, the fruit of a fruitful and loving conversation between two brothers, one born in the outback, in Itabiana, the land of accordionist Sivoca, and the other, on the coast in João People.
Vladimir, who is about 13 years older than Walter, was orphaned at a young age. With the premature death of his father, Seo Lewis, he realizes that he must help his mother, Donna Maze, raise the boy and the Tino. Be a brother and a father. And that’s what he did.
Documentary filmmaker Marcio de Andrade, in the beautiful poster promoting the film, added photos of Paraíba people in the cinematic work, one driving and the other with camera in hand. And finally, he got to the gist of his project: “A conversation about cinema with Vladimir Carvalho and Walter Carvalho.”
Vladimir is approaching the age of ninety, which he will complete in February 2025, full of energy and film projects. This vitality can only be the result of his own DNA, commented those who found out his true age. After all, it is really amazing to see him at festivals, cinemas, debates, political and cultural turmoil. Slim, skinny, full of vital energy and excessive enthusiasm. The son of a craftsman fascinated by socialism, the boy was named after Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution. He will study philosophy in Bahia, be Caetano Veloso’s university classmate, become a journalist, cover peasant unions and collaborate with Eduardo Coutinho on his first fictional film, “Cabra Marcado para Morrer”.
In the future, industrial design student, Walter Carvalho, will present as Director of Photography (in the documentary “Incelença para um Trem de Ferro”, 1972). He told everything in the film to Marcio de Andrade, a 49-year-old from Rio de Janeiro, who is an adopted native of Brasilia. Today, in addition to the director of photography, Walter is the documentary director (“Janela da Alma”, with João Jardim, “Raul – O Inicial, o Fim eo Meio”, “Brincante”, “Um Filme de Cinema”, “Mater Cordillera Line” without fainting easy”) and novels (“Kazoza, or Tempo now Bara,” with Sandra Wernick, and “Budapest”).
The director of “Quando a Coisa Vira Outra” (people, what a strange title! Why didn’t he consult Marcio Vladimir, the ace in the title???) and producer Anna Karina spared no effort in making the new film: they got excerpts from dozens of productions. From Lindwart Noronha’s “Aruanda” (1960) to “Cabra Marcado para Morrer” (1964-1984), passing through almost every Vladimir production (we see excerpts from 19 of his films) and some of Walter Carvalho’s work. Which gives the narrative great dynamism. The conversation between father-brother and son-brother is wild, paternal, fraternal, friendly and generous.
Vladimir remembers that he ended up participating in cinema in the late 1950s, joining Lindwart Noronha’s small team on “Arwanda”. Then came “Romeiros da Guia” with João Ramiro Melo and “Cabra Marcado para Morrer”, a project that would end up preventing the 1964 military coup from being filmed. It was considered a work of fiction, and the film is slated to star in a “normal” cast. Vladimir, then, was a reckless journalist who was trying to establish himself as a film director. It will be up to Coutinho to include him in his squad once he arrives in Paraíba. What has been done. Vladimir became the assistant director of “Capra”. With the fall of the Django government, the young Itabiana is given a non-cinematic task – to hide the film’s heroine Elizabeth Teixeira, 97, the widow of a peasant leader, to prevent her from being arrested. João Pedro Teixeira, was killed by landowners. The director of “Pedra da Requeza” did not remember such a story in Marcio’s documentary. But it’s worth knowing what he did: “We arranged clothes, lipstick, rouge, and other eye-catching makeup items to turn Donna Elizabeth into a ‘woman of life.’ That is, into a prostitute. That’s how I arrived in the small town of Rio Grande do Norte, where she lived, under a pseudonym, washing clothes and giving tutoring to the neighbourhood. She only took her civil (and real) name again when Coutinho sought her out, in the early 1980s, in the second phase of “Cabra Marcado para Morrer” (which had already turned into a documentary project)” .
Vladimir lived for a short time in Salvador. Then he went to Brasilia. As he will say in the Marcio de Andrade movie, he is from the Northeast and from Brasilia. He loves his native Paraiba and Brasilia by adoption. He became a professor at UnB and, with Fernando Duarte (the photographer for the first stage of “Cabra Marcado para Morrer”), produced his first short film from Brasilia, the beautiful and atmospheric “Vestibular 70”.
In the Northeast, he was to direct his first feature film: “O País de São Saruê”. The film was selected for the Brasilia Festival, but ended up being banned. It was only released in 1979, nearly ten years later. Censorship was painfully determining the course of the documentary filmmaker. His most famous epópera “Conterrâneos Velhos de Guerra” (1991) talks about the inhabitants of the north-east who reached the central plateau with the aim of building “modern Thebes”, Brasilia, the new capital of the republic. In one fell swoop, he was able to incorporate my two biggest passions – the Northeast and the capital that Kandango built.
In a happy selection, Márcio de Andrade of “Aula-Espetáculo de Ariano Suassuna”, photographed by Vladimir of Paraíba to record one of the adventures of his colleague from Pernambuco, took a delightful excerpt: what tells us the attention the dog attaches to a theatrical representation of Greek tragedy. Killing with laughter.
Another point to be highlighted in Marcio’s documentary: He wanted to create (and was able to) a broad overview of Vladimir’s path and his colossal friendship with his brother in life and work, Walter. And for this, there was no plea for valuable contributions to the work of colleagues from Brasilia. To evoke Vladimir’s homeland, Itabiana, he turned to the wonderful documentary “Conterrâneo Velho de Guerra”, made in 2015 by Dácia Ibiapina for DocTV, a project produced by SAv-MinC.
“Vertuv das Katingas” – Glauber Rocha had considered “Arwanda”, by Lyndwart Noronha, and “Arraial do Capo” by Paolo Cesar Sarasini and Mario Carneiro, as primary sources for Nouveau Cinema. He met Vladimir Carvalho when he studied in Bahia.
After his exile in Cuba and Europe, at the end of the seventies, the director of “Terra em Transe” returned to Brazil. He then decided to tell his impressions of his fellow generations in a book called “Revolução do Cinema Novo” (Editora Alhambra-Embrafilme / 1981).
Seven lines are dedicated to Vladimir. The text, full of epsilon, dubolius, and calyx, credits Vladimir with a series of bets. The first of them (“Vertov of the kaatinga”) evoked one of the greatest masters in the history of documentary cinema: the Soviet Denis Arkadyev Kaufman (1896-1954), also known as Dziga Vertov, author of The Man and His Camera . This film was named the “Best Documentary in the World” in a survey conducted by BFI (British Film Institute) and the magazine sight and sound.
In the second paragraph of the short and powerful Glauberian text, Vladimir is called “Rossselini of the sertão”. Then, from “Globo’s Karcará”, “Euclydes’ Flaherty”, “The Flying Machine of the Black Step”, “The Court of the Rattlesnake”, “Disciple of Santo Lindoart”, “The Messenger of Geraldo Sarno”, “The Poet of Paolo Dantas”.
Only a deep connoisseur of the works and ideas of Vladimir Carvalho could identify him with such commitment and enthusiasm. After all, Glauber, when Roberto Rossellini, father (with Cesare Zavatini) summoned neo-realism; Dziga Vertov, the spinning shirt that turned Soviet documentary cinema; Flaherty, father of “Nanook, o Esquimó,” and Euclides da Cunha, who implanted “Os Sertões” into our imaginations, learn about the enriched matrices of the cinematic spirit of the creator of “O País de São Saruê,” “O Homem de Areia,” the Gospel according to Teotônio “,” Conterrâneos Velhos de Guerra “,” Barra 68 – without losing tenderness “,” O Engenho de Zé Lins “,” Rock Brasília “,” Cícero Dias, O Compadre de Picasso “,” Giocondo Dias, Brilliant Secret”.
When Thing Becomes Else – The Cinema of Inequality by Vladimir Carvalho
direction: Marcio de Andrade
Produce: Anna Carina de Carvalho
With an animated excerpt from Fred Assuncao and Rodrigo Neiva
for the first time: May 26, live, on Claro Net, Sky, Vivo TV and Oi TV. On June 29, it will be shown on Channel Brazil, within the program É Tudo Verdade, directed by Amir Labaki (at 8 pm).
Period: 94 minutes