Way before the explosion of blogs (over 156 million according to the latest statistics), way before they were named blogs (web+log), there were “open diaries” written by young techies willing to expand the limits of the web.
“Vanya on 42nd street”, the movie by Louis Malle, was a blast. Such a long time since I have watched a group of actors performing a text with so much intensity. Saw it on Sunday, but on Monday night I was still excited, and couldn’t take it from my mind. Simple shots, no cutting, and great theater. Actors showing the best of the profession, an step beyond being naturalistic: as a great performance of an actor or actress is achieved when he/she is able to include non-natural reactions which tell you all the conflicts of the characters. Doing that while reciting the long lines of Chekov is extremely hard, but essential. Magic, pure magic.
(Nov. 30th, 94)
Pinhanez, who wrote a few posts during a 1.5 year period, starting on 14 November 1994, got first a Math degree at Universidade de São Paulo and then his PhD at the MIT. Today he works for IBM. In a recent interview to Veja weekly magazine, he said he conceived his open diary (which didn’t include a mechanism to accept comments) to communicate in real time with other researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
So, were blogs invented by a Brazilian? Yes. I rest my case.
Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art practiced all over the world, was originally a criminal activity. Even after the abolition of slavery, in 1888, the police would repress any manifestation of Black culture. Lots of the early records were destroyed and capoeira disappeared from several parts of the country, thanks to the repression. It only survived in regions where African culture was particularly strong, such as the cities of Salvador and Rio. In Recife, capital of Pernambuco, it morphed into frevo, a popular dance that was quite rough in the beginning of the 20th century. As recently as the 60s, the umbrella – at the time not covered with fabric – was used as a weapon. Today, it is hard to believe frevo descends from a martial art. Continue reading Capoeira through the ages
Brazilian TV, namely Rede Globo network, produced some high-quality historic series. These ones definitely deserve a visit:
1 – Casa das Sete Mulheres – Probably the best historic series ever produced in the country. Its about the Revolução Farroupilha, also known as Guerra dos Farrapos, a 10-year revolution that opposed the landowners of the Southern state of Rio Grande do Sul and the federal government. It also depicts the Brazilian phase of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian revolutionary that sided with the gaúchos and then went back to Europe, where he fought to unify his country.
Always imitated, never equaled, singer/actress/persona Carmen Miranda died in 1955, but she remains one of the country’s main icons and ambassadors. A favorite of comedians and drag queens, Carmen is frequently impersonated. This is just a little sample:
First, the hors-concours comedian Lucille Ball, followed by Brazilian rocker Rita Lee, Italian actor Ricardo Billi in 1951 film “Arrivano in Nostri”, and Derico (musicianat Jô Onze e Meia Brazilian TV program).
Let’s celebrate Brazil’s national day with some music. The National anthem may be the most popular – sang in parades on Independence Day and in the opening of soccer games -, but it is certainly not the country’s most beautiful anthem. Do you know the other ones?
1 – Hino à Bandeira – the 1906 Flag Anthem has lyrics by poet Olavo Bilac and music by Francisco Braga. You can read the lyrics here. It has a peculiarity. There are two versions for the refrain, with only one difference: the word juvenil (youthful) sometimes is substituted by varonil (manly). Traditionally, young people sing the first version, while adults choose the second.
Recebe o afeto que se encerra
em nosso peito juvenil/varonil,
Querido símbolo da terra,
Da amada terra do Brasil!
Settled by 2,000 Swiss immigrants in the northern mountains of the state of Rio, Nova Friburgo has a vague alpine feel that attracts tourists since the 19th century, as you can see in these pictures that belonged to Dom Pedro II, an avid photo collector. They were probably taken by Henschel and Benque, two “Imperial photographers”. You can see other images of this collection at the National Library website.
And, for the record: in the beginning of this year, very heavy rains killed several people in Nova Friburgo. The city is still recovering.
Only 73,000 people lived in Porto Alegre, the capital of the Southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, in 1900. Today, its population is around 1.4 million – but the latest Census informs that now it began to grow in slow motion, like most of the major cities in the region. These post cards show very clearly how it evolved during this period.
The photos made by Marc Ferrez during the last years of the Empire and the beginning of the Republic regime are the best register of life in Rio between the mid 1860s and the late 1910s. He left more than 5,000 images, most of them portraying the city, then the Brazilian capital.