'Linha de Passe' not to be passed up

Latest film of 2014 IWL film series is unorthodox, exposing

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Linha de Passe potrays the realistic life of a family trying to get by in Sao Paulo.


The Institute of World Languages hosted the latest in a succession of movies for the 2014 IWL Film Series Feb. 26. Last week’s main event was Brazilian picture “Linha de Passe,” or “Line of Passage,” continuing in the series of “family bonds”-themed foreign language films that started Feb. 5.

“Passe,” directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas, follows a single mother and her four sons as they attempt to scrape by in the suburbs bordering São Paulo. With a fifth child on the way, the family struggles to realize individual dreams, faced with looming money concerns and an unsafe neighborhood.

The film originally premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival to a warm critical reception. Nominated for the coveted Palme d’Or, the film took home the Cannes Best Actress Award, with an excellent performance by female lead Sandra Corveloni.

The film was selected by Asst. Portuguese Prof. Eli Carter in part due to its relative obscurity when compared to some of director Salles’ other works, such as “Central Station” — a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actress in a Lead Role at the 71st Academy Awards. Carter called particular attention to the film’s unorthodox portrayal of familial relationships and its realistic depiction of São Paulo’s disenfranchised citizens.

“It doesn’t glamorize São Paulo,” Carter said. “This film really embodies [a family’s] attempt to stay together.”

The IWL’s film series was the brainchild of Chinese Prof. Miao-fen Tseng and the Department of East Asian Languages, said Italian Prof. Cristina Della Coletta, associate dean for the humanities and the arts.

The event launched last October and is an effort by the institute to promote global awareness and cultural appreciation, though Carter said the events have not always attracted many moviegoers.

“Attendance has seen some ebb and flow due to renown of some of the films and other competing events,” he said.

Though the screenings manage to receive inter-departmental viewership and sometimes attract an audience from outside the University, less obscure pictures, such as Italy’s “The Bicycle Thief” get much higher attendance that smaller films like “Passe.”

The IWL Film Series is already forming a lineup for its second season.

“[The] long-term plan is to be perfectly inclusive, and feature as many cultural and linguistic areas as we can,” Coletta said.

At present, films are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis, though the IWL also plans to include and accommodate student suggestions in the near future and welcome the voice of the student body.

The next screening will be March 26 of the Chinese film “Yi Yi.”


Published March 5, 2014 in Arts and Entertainment, tableau





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