Cinema: Clube da Esquina by themselves

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After those boys gathered on a street corner in Belo Horizonte, nothing would be the same in MPB. Ana Rieper’s documentary, with musical consultancy from Charles Gavin, seeks to account for the avalanche of good music that descended from the mountains of Minas Gerais from the 1960s onwards. To achieve this, she needed the help of critics and specialists. The history of Clube da Esquina would be told by the members themselves in informal meetings, based on memories and chords.

Milton Nascimento, Lô and Márcio Borges, Beto Guedes, Toninho Horta, Wagner Tiso, Nivaldo Ornellas, Novelli, Ronaldo Bastos, Flavio Venturini, Robertinho Silva and others remember the first bonds of friendship, the formation of many partnerships, the modus operandi always very group, the influences of cinema, rock, jazz, the Beatles, classics, regionalist and religious music that forged such an eclectic sound.

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Things do not come orderly, but in a precariously organized flow. From Clube da Esquina itself, we know the place and genesis of the name and the album, but it is far from exhausting the stories and importance of that double album. We don’t even see the famous album cover, with the boys sitting in the clay, perhaps because it was the recent object of a lawsuit filed by the models, at the time photographed and exposed without authorization.

The impression of a jam-session of music and conversation has its virtues. He is loyal to the Minas Gerais atmosphere of the guys, all of whom are in the prime of their senior years. How good it is to see them together playing and singing again. The absence of stardom only increases the enchantment due to the rich melodies and the poetic modernity of the lyrics. However, from time to time we find ourselves adrift in the face of references that are not very clear and, in my case, I missed a voice that could fill in the gaps and transcend simple evocation.

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As for the use of archive materials and film scenes, the result did not always seem satisfactory to me. The use of images of political street conflicts in Latin America during the execution of For Lennon and McCartney, for example, suggests a certain extrapolation of meaning. An illustration of Clube da Esquina II features long scenes that look like an old Rural Willys commercial.

Nothing Will Be Like Before It is, without a doubt, a delicious reminder of an unparalleled chapter in our popular music. But it leaves room for another film that complements this picture with an outside perspective.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Cinema Clube Esquina

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