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SIXTEEN-OH-SIXTY

Brazil, 1995 (MIFF 1996, Contemporary World Cinema )

Director: Vinicius Mainardi

In this scabrous debut feature. Sao Paulo producer/director Vinicius Mainardi takes on the Brazilian class struggle with a vengeance-sparing no one. Businessman Vittorio foils a robbery by stabbing, but not killing, Jackson, a petty thief who breaks into his sumptuous villa. Worried about Jackson's subsequent threats against his family, the corrupt Vittorio orders him assassinated inside prison. Incompetence results in Jackson's cell-mate being killed by mistake. By way of compensation, Vittorio takes the murdered man's widow and three children into his home but the forced co-habitation turns Vittorio's protected life upside down. When Vittorio's wife. Eleanor, becomes obsessed with the sickly youngest child, her cold-blooded husband orders a second homicide as a macabre solution to the inconvenience.

From here Sixteen-Oh-Sixty spirals deliriously out of control sending up the excess of the melodramatic Brazilian soap operas, yet never losing sight of it's real targets, the greedy bourgeoisie who profit amontjst Sao Paulo's horrendous poverty.

Piling on even mote irony. Mainardi, (himsel! a veteran of over two hundred ads) casts Maite Proenca. one of Brazil's most loved TV actresses in the key role of the appallingly glamourous self-centred Eleanor. With high style and a distinct nod to Luis Biinuel. Mdinatdi has created a black comedy of manners amongst the oppressed. On one hand there is the savagery of Vittorio, on the other, as Gore Vidal so eloquently defined it 'the awful tyranny of the weak"

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