Marcel Camus’ Black OrpheusViewing Questions1.Marcel Camus sets his retelling of the Orpheus myth at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. This, of course, renders the streets of the favelas (Brazilian slums) as a kind of “land of the living.” How does choice of setting begin to make you think about the myth? What does positioning the land of the living as a holiday place out of time do to our understanding of the story?2.Black Orpheus’ principal contribution to American popular culture was its introduction of the bossa nova to dancing. Indeed, the film is noted for a relentless and continuous music score: how does continuous music shape your encounter with the story and film?3.Again, Black Orpheus, like Cocteau’s Orpheus, expands the cast of characters to include Orpheus’ friends, Eurydice’s family, and a number of other important secondary characters. Why? What does this expansion do to the things we look for (and at) in the film?
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Rio de Janeiro, Orpheus, Bossa nova, Black Orpheus, Marcel Camus