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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Political > Silent > Brazil > Margarette's Feast

Margarette’s Feast


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: B-



The silent movie comes back, sort of, in Renato Falcao’s all-music, no-dialogue Margarette’s Feast.  This 2002 film from Brazil is a comedy about Brazil today and its class division, but this is not always obvious and its form shows that seeing the truth in such matters is at the roots of silent comedy to begin with.  Though not always successful, the film is filled with enough energy to offset any repetition and things we have seen before.  This is likely the first film of its kind since Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie (1976), which only had one word of dialogue in the entire film as a gag.


That film too was political, but in different ways as it mocked Hollywood, et al.  Another thing Falcao manages to pull off is never allowing the style, humor or pace to trivialize the subject matter.  The idea of a suitcase that never runs out of money is amusing, though there are still-humorous opportunities that may have been missed out on.  At 80 minutes, the film quits while its ahead and is one of the few such artsy high concept projects of late that works more often than not, making it worth a look.


The letterboxed 1.85 X 1 image is all in black and white, but of the newer kind with weak blacks and many grays, plus a transfer here that has microdigital hazing throughout.  This could be from a PAL to NTSC conversion, but it is harder to tell with the more commercial monochrome stock.  It still does a good job of trying to look like old silent films under the circumstances.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no real surround information, but is clean and clear for its all music score.  Extras are few, but include text information and trailers for other Global Lens series installments, deleted scenes that are not bad, a discussion guide, statement from the director, his text biography and a film in context section that is the highlight of these mostly text features.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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