By Felicity Clarke, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – ¨Because cinema is our cachaça¨ runs the tag line for the Cachaça Cinema Clube, the popular monthly film event that celebrates the intoxicating escapism of independent short films and Brazil’s national firewater cachaça.
Every second Wednesday of the month, the usually blockbuster-showing Odeon Petrobras in Cinelândia plays host to the alternative film event that shows a diverse compilation of short films washed down with a sampling session of quality cachaças.
Created by film students Karen Barros, João Mors, Débora Butruce and Lis Kogan (who is no longer involved) in 2002, The Cachaça Cinema Clube was initiated as a means to create a platform to show new short works by Brazilian directors.
“The event started as a result of the need of filmmakers to have a place to show their work,” says Lis, who along with her fellow Cachaça Cinema Clube founders studied at the prestigious film department at the Federal Fluminense University. “João and I had made a film, Urban Animals, and resolved to launch it in grand style at the Odeon” relates Karen, “and Lis had been speaking to the people at the Estação cinema group who suggested we do a film party there every month.”
The first event in August 2002 featured six films made by students at UFF and signalled the start of a regular platform for young and emerging filmmakers who often only have the opportunity to show work at alternative film festivals.
The emphasis on innovative art films on the fringe by young experimental filmmakers is what makes the event such a refreshing addition to the cinema and art landscape in Rio. The program of between four and seven short films is loosely curated around themes that have included the power of the image, a focus on Brazilian directors and the construction of the Latin-American identity.
The films are the focal point but there is also, of course, the cachaça. Following the film screenings all ticket holders are invited to muse over the works with samples of the finest cachaças that demonstrate the complexity and subtlety of flavors that can be achieved in the sugar-cane spirit.
After a Carnival break in February, the event returns next Wednesday March 10th with four short films by Brazilian directors around the theme of Science Fiction, including the premiere of Cold Recife by Kleber Mendonça Filho plus a selection of classic shorts by the French director George Méliès whose 1902 film A Trip to the Moon is still considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
The cachaça will come from Minas Gerais artisan producers Claudionor and there is an after party with music from the band Os Vulcânicos as well as a blend of retro rock n roll tunes from resident DJ H. Tickets are R$12 full price and R$6 concessions. The screenings are programmed to start at 9PM and it gets busy so to ensure a ticket you’re advised to arrive early.
The Cachaça Cinema Clube, Cinema Odeon Petrobras, Praça Floriano, nº 7. Cinelândia.
Correction: March 13, 2010
This article was first published on March 2nd with the wrong spelling of Débora Butruce’s name, and we also clarified that Lis Kogan is no longer involved.