Path Alias: 

Loki: Arnaldo Baptista

Program Running Time 120 min.

Films in Program

(Brazil, 2008, 120 mins, Digital Betacam)

The "Brazilian Beatles", Os Mutantes combined rock, psychedelia and South American sounds to spearhead the Tropicalia movement. A singer-songwriter who also played bass and the keyboards, Arnaldo Baptista gave the band its pulse - guitarist Sergio Dias was his brother, and lead singer Rita Lee became his wife. In 1973, though, everything fell apart, marriage, band, and eventually Baptista’s health (copious binges on LSD did not help). Yet against the odds Baptista has been able to recover his creativity and his career. This intimate documentary has a powerful, sometimes painful story to tell. Baptista is joined by collaborators and admirers Gilberto Gil, Sean Lennon, Devendra Banhart and Roberto Menescal.

"A magnificent documentary." Claudio Carvalho


(2012, 82 mins, Digital Betacam)
In Portuguese
CAST Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Ze, Os Mutantes, Glauber Rocha, Jorge Ben, Rita Lee


Join us for the opening of The Copacabana Social Club Series with a special event featuring the film Tropicalia, live music, food and a free Caipirinha!

Doors open at 7.00pm, Film at 7.30, followed by music and mixer. Tickets $20 ($22 non-members). No student/senior discounts, guest or volunteer passes apply.


Produced by Fernando Meirelles (Blindness, City of God), the film focuses on the musical portion of the turbulent, inspiring cultural movement headed by Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso in the late 1960s. With a psychedelic aesthetic much in vogue at the time, the film mixes archival footage (some rarely seen), with interviews, animation, and cool graphics.

Long before the so-called global village came into existence, and the Internet made it easy to spread your name around the world, Brazil was already global. It is a country which is culturally cannibalistic by nature, in which the new and the old, the foreign and the indigenous, not only lie side by side but are mixed, assimilated and recreated day in day out. What sort of country is it, in which, at the height of the 60’s, a capoeira song, played with the aggressive drive of rock n’ roll, found its way into thousands of homes, entitled ‘Sunday in the Park’? What do you call this huge melting-pot? Tropicalism!

And, what exactly is Tropicalism? It is this simple, yet complex, question that a Portuguese TV host puts to an exiled and downbeat Caetano Veloso right at the start of Marcelo Machado’s film. The director, who grew up listening to the groundbreaking sounds of Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, the Mutantes and Tom Zé, and who did not understand lyrics in English, though had a passion for something called rock n’ roll, takes the audience on a tour through sounds and images and into the history of one of Brazil’s most iconic cultural movements.

In an affectionate panorama, built up from a miscellany of references, interviews, material dug from archives, images and, of course, songs, the viewer travels through the fertile, controversial and violent years of 1967, 1968, 1969.

Recommended listening:

Various Artists - Tropicalia: Ou Panis et Circencis (1968)

Caetano Veloso - Caetano Veloso (Tropicália) (1968)

Os Mutantes - Os Mutantes (1968)

Gilberto Gil - Gilberto Gil (Frevo Rasgado) (1968)

Tom Ze - Grande Liquidicao (1968)

Jorge Ben - Jorge Ben (1969)

Caetano Veloso - Araçá Azul (1972)

Look for further films in this series: Loki: Arnaldo Baptista (July 15); A Night in 67 (July 22); Maria Bethania: Pedrinha de Aruanda (July 29).

A Tribute to James Gandolfini: Killing Them Softly

(2012, 97 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, James Gandolfini, Richard jenkins, Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta

Inexplicably repudiated by most critics and audiences last year, Killing Them Softly is ripe for rediscovery, a highly stylized, caustic satire which uses a hired killer (Brad Pitt) as an emblem for the last word in private enterprise. Based on George V Higgins’ novel Cogan’s Trade, but updated to the economic meltdown (and Presidential election campaign) of 2008, and set in a mildewed, post Katrina New Orleans, the movie may be the last great film noir. Gandolfini is at his very best as another professional killer, a bloated, vicious, self-pitying wreck of a man, perhaps the ghost of Cogan’s Future.

"A caustic, corrosive piece of pulp nihilism… In the movie’s superb, sour centerpiece, there are two lengthy conversations — monologues, almost — featuring James Gandolfini as a bloated, alcoholic, bitter and defeated killer. He’s an aging hit man gone to seed facing a third long spell in jail and no one there at home when he comes out again. Gandolfini is brutal in this role, all his tenderness turned vicious and repulsive through self-pity. But still, at least we discern the ashes of emotion in this wreck of a man." CNN

"Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly is a slick ensemble-nightmare of middle-management mobster brutality and incompetence in the tradition of Goodfellas and Casino, Pulp Fiction and TV’s The Sopranos, with something of the opening voiceover monologue from the Coens’ Blood Simple: the one about being on your own. It is outstandingly watchable, superbly and casually pessimistic… a smart, nasty, gripping movie." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

A Tribute to James Gandolfini: Not Fade Away

(2012, 112 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, Dominique McElligot, James Gandolfini, Bella Heathcote

The unexpected and ridiculously premature death of actor James Gandolfini last week (June 19) shocked fans the world over. As Tony Soprano the actor made an indelible mark on the psyche of his generation, finding pathos, complexity, warmth, humour, confusion and even compassion in the middle-aged mob boss. Created by David Chase, the show ran from 1999 to 2007, made Gandolfini a household name and set a new benchmark for the standard of TV drama.

Gandolfini was almost 40 years old when success came - and he had already established himself as a character actor in more than a dozen movies, including True Romance, Get Shorty and Crimson Tide. The roles only got bigger and better after The Sopranos, but Gandolfini remained the essence of a character actor, bringing his skill and personality but no vanity or ego to whatever project appealed to him.

Our tribute consists of two recent feature films, both released at the tail end of last year, neither of which found the audience they deserved. The first feature written and directed by Sopranos creator David Chase, Not Fade Away is an overtly autobiographical piece about a young man (newcomer John Magaro) trying to make it in rock n roll in the 1960s. Gandolfini has a relatively small yet crucial role, as the young man’s conservative father, dismayed by his boy’s directionless. It’s a part that could have been clichéd, but Gandolfini invests his scenes with such expert comic timing and emotion, he transcends any such traps. Reminiscent of Barry Levinson’s Diner, Not Fade Away is a personal movie in the best sense, true and honest and lived in, and Gandolfini has much to do with that.

"A warm, funny, poignant scrapbook." Hollywood Reporter

"A gritty, graceful salute to rock and roll." Rolling Stone

Maria Bethânia: Pedrinha de Aruanda

(2007, 61 mins, DVD)
In Portugese with English subtitles
CAST Maria Bethania, Caetano Veloso


This intimate documentary captures the great singer Maria Bethânia during a 60th birthday celebration in her hometown, Santo Amaro da Purificação—alongside family including brother Caetano Veloso—as well as an emotional performance in Salvador, Bahia.

A Night in '67

(2010, 85 mins, DVCam)
CAST Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Roberto Carlos, Edu Lobo


In the theater: applause and screams. On stage: young Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Roberto Carlos, Edu Lobo. Songs: "Roda Viva," "Ponteio," "Alegria, Alegria," "Domingo no Parque." It was a contest, but everybody won. This vivid record offers an invitation to relive the finale of the III Festival da Record, an event that forever changed the course of Musica Popular Brasileira.