Brazil’s Best, Restored and Ready for a 21st-Century Audience





The French film critic Georges Sadoul called it “an unknown masterpiece” and once flew all the way to Brazil, in vain, in hopes of seeing a complete version. Orson Welles, in Brazil in the early 1940s to make a movie of his own, did view it in its entirety and pronounced the experience “fabulous.” More recently, both David Bowie and Caetano Veloso have also promoted it.

Over the years, the Brazilian experimental silent film “Limite,” made in 1930 by the director Mário Peixoto, has become something of a legend among film enthusiasts, a movie more talked about than seen. But a complete, newly restored two-hour version now exists, and its showing is one of the highlights of the World Cinema Foundation festival that begins at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Wednesday and will continue for two weeks.

“ ‘Limite’ is a great work in world cinema in the sense that it is a completely independent film that has a unique place in Brazilian and film history,” said Kent Jones, executive director of the foundation. “It’s a glorious film, a work of exquisite, handcrafted visual beauty that exceeds its reputation.”...


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