As moving pictures enter their third century, it somehow seems appropriate that Brazilian filmmaker Renato Falcão's debut feature, Margarette's Feast, is a black-and-white silent film. At once homage to a glorious cinematic past and an audacious present exploration of narrative and technique, Falcão plunges the viewer into a dramatic universe that initially seems familiar and then inexorably unsettling. Making dazzling use of exhilarating Brazilian music, intentionally under-lit photography that superbly evokes the look of early silent films, exuberant acting styles, and a cast of characters spanning the social spectrum that would be the envy of Dickens or Balzac, Margarette's Feast tells the incredible story of an Everyman (Hique Gomez) who loses his job and comes into possession of a miraculous suitcase that never runs out of money. The results of the fantastic changes in his life mirror the conflicting social strains of contemporary Brazil (which just elected its first truly man-of-the-people Leftist president), and both characters and audience are left breathless and shaken by the insidious tragedy revealed at the root of perfect fulfillment. It's as though Chaplin's Little Tramp found himself in Fassbinder's Alexanderplatz. Falcão's modern silent film gem is an ode to classic originals about tough-luck protagonists whose dreams become a miraculous--or possibly mistaken--reality. Pedro receives a seemingly bottomless bag of money as severance from his lost job, setting off a spending spree that culminates in an extravagant birthday feast for his wife Margarette. With lively Brazilian music and without the benefit of dialogue or even inter-titles, the great cast still manages to conjure the entire range of human emotions.
- Bo Smith (Tribeca Film Festival)
About the Director
Born in Passo Fundo, Brasil in 1963, Renato Falcao is an award-winning cinematographer and director. He has shot five feature films and more than 20 short films, as well as numerous documentaries, television miniseries, and music videos, winning several awards for his work at film festivals around the world.
As a cinematographer, Renato shot his first internationally acclaimed short film, “Presage”, in 1993. His 1994 short film, “Save me”, received awards at the 1995 Houston Worldfest and the Columbus International Film Festival. In 1997, his short film, “Dearly Beloved”, produced by The Shooting Gallery and starring Eric Stoltz, received the Best Short Film Award at the 1997 Houston Worldfest. Renato has also served as cinematographer for the critically acclaimed feature, “Neptune's Rocking Horse”, and the highly grossing independent film, “American Desi”.
Renato made his directorial debut in 1994 with the documentary, “Um Ato de Amor à Vida”, which played a consequential role in the AIDS prevention movement in Brasil. In 2002, Renato served as director, as well as writer and cinematographer, for his first feature film, “Margarette’s Feast”, which received the Best Music Award at the “Cine Ceara 2002 — Brasil”, and the awards for Best Art Director and Best New Director at the “35 Festival de Cinema de Brasilia — Brasil”, the oldest and most respected Brazilian Film Festival.
Renato has studied with well-known directors of photography such as Laszlo Kovacs A.S.C, Sol Negrin A.S.C, and the Oscar winning Richard Shore A.S.C., as well as the great Cuban filmmaker Humberto Solás.
He is currently in postproduction for the documentary, “Iberê”, about the great Brasilian painter Iberê Camargo.