Carlos Diegues

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
A former poet, journalist and film critic, Carlos Diegues emerged as one of the foremost proponents of Brazil's Cinema Novo movement (akin to the French New Wave). Since making his first features in the early 1960s, he ... Read more »
Born: 05/18/1940 in Maceio, Alagoas, BR

Filmography

other (64)

A Estrela sobe 2014 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

5 x Favela, Now by Ourselves 2009 (Movie)

(Producer)

40X15: Forty Years of the Directors' Fortnight 2007 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

O Maior Amor Do Mundo 2006 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

O Maior Amor Do Mundo 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

Orfeu 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Orfeu 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Tieta 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Tieta 1998 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)

Tieta 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Rio's Love Songs 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rio's Love Songs 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Dias Melhores Virao 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Dias Melhores Virao 1989 (Movie)

(Producer)

Dias Melhores Virao 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Um Trem para as estrelas 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Um Trem para as estrelas 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Dede Mamata 1987 (Movie)

(Producer)

Quilombo 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Quilombo 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Bye Bye Brazil 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bye Bye Brazil 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

A Summer Rain 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

A Summer Rain 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

Na Boca de Mundo 1977 (Movie)

(Book as Source Material)

Xica da Silva 1974 (Movie)

(From Story)

Xica da Silva 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Xica da Silva 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

Anibal Machado 1973 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Anibal Machado 1973 (Movie)

(Director)

Cinema Iris 1973 (Movie)

(Director)

Cinema Iris 1973 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Joanna Francesa 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Joanna Francesa 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Joanna Francesca 1972 (Movie)

(From Story)

Joanna Francesca 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Joanna Francesca 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Quando o carnaval chegar 1972 (Movie)

(From Story)

Quando o carnaval chegar 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Quando o carnaval chegar 1972 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

Quando o carnaval chegar 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Les Soleils De L'ile De Paques 1971 (Movie)

(Actor)

Receita de futebol 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Receita de futebol 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Receita de futebol 1970 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Un Sejour 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Un Sejour 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

The Inheritors 1968 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Inheritors 1968 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))

The Inheritors 1968 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Inheritors 1968 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Inheritors 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

Earth Entranced 1965 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

Black God, White Devil 1963 (Movie)

(Assistant Director)

Ganga Zumba 1963 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))

Ganga Zumba 1963 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Ganga Zumba 1963 (Movie)

(Producer)

Ganga Zumba 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

Cinco vezes favela 1960 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Cinco vezes favela 1960 (Movie)

(From Story)

Cinco vezes favela 1960 (Movie)

("Escola de samba, Alegria de viver") (Director)

Domingo 1960 (Movie)

(From Story)

Domingo 1960 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Domingo 1960 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

A former poet, journalist and film critic, Carlos Diegues emerged as one of the foremost proponents of Brazil's Cinema Novo movement (akin to the French New Wave). Since making his first features in the early 1960s, he has explored various aspects of Brazilian life in political, social and historical contexts, with particular emphasis on slavery and its legacy to his native land's culture. Diegues is nothing if not passionate, but that passion comes at a price. Perhaps the most common criticism of his work is that his films are not audience friendly; they demand scrupulous attention but to those willing to make the commitment, they yield many riches.

This son of anthropologist/sociologist Manuel Diegues Jr studied law in Rio de Janeiro before segueing to a career as a journalist. His father's influence coupled with the detective skills needed to ferret out stories dovetail in his screenplays which often take actual historical events and use them as backdrops. Diegues began experimenting with filmmaking in the late 1950s, producing a handful of amateur shorts and marking his professional debut with a segment of the 1961 omnibus feature "Cino vezes favela". His first full-length movie, "Ganga Zumba" (1964) is considered a landmark in Cinema Novo and introduced some of the director's recurring themes, notably slavery and politics. "Ganga Zumba" was a fact-based drama about the first slave uprising in the New World which led to the formation of an independent state. Diegues examined similar ideas in 1966's "Earth Entranced", in which an idealistic poet discovers that the elite and those in a radical movement have more in common than might be previously thought. His historical drama "Os Herdeiros/The Inheritors/The Heirs" (1969) traced the rise in power of a journalist's son that was bookended by the 1930s coffee crisis and a 1964 coup d'etat. Diegues enjoyed an international success with "Bye Bye Brazil" (1980), which tracked a troupe of travelling performers in northern Brazil and lovingly detailed the landscape. He returned to the historical epic with "Quilombo" (1984), which married his major themes as it recounted yet another true tale of a slave uprising and the subsequent formation of "the first democratic society we know of in the Western Hemisphere". For many, this films ranks as one of the director's best.

Several of Diegues' films have been built around strong central female figures. "Joanna Francesca" (1973), for example, traced how a French whore's marriage to a wealthy landowner led to ruin and destruction, and "Xica da Silva/Xica" (1975) followed the fortunes of a former slave who rises to the position of unofficial Empress through seduction and other machinations. "Dias Melhores Virao/Better Days Ahead" (1990) followed a struggling actress while "Tieta" (1996) details the homecoming of a village girl now the widow of a wealthy industrialist.

On occasion, Diegues has attempted more eclectic fare, like "Rio's Love Songs" (1994), an anthology that used four popular songs as the basis for the stories. Three of the four tales involved couples coming to recognize love while the fourth focused on street kids in Rio de Janeiro. The writer-director realized a long-held dream with "Orfeu" (1999), based on the Vincius de Moraes' play which in turn retold the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. while not a remake of Marcel Camus' "Black Orpheus" (1959), it did share some similarities as they both utilized the same source material. Diegues, who first saw the play in 1956, has called the drama "the myth that best explains the destiny and frustrated vocation of the Brazilian nation." For his take on the material, Diegues returned to the original and stressed its emphasis on Orpheus' familial and communal relations. Set in contemporary Brazil, "Orfeu" has an edge to it, including unscrupulous and violent characters like drug dealers and corrupt policemen and a musical score encompassing samba, love ballads and hip-hop. Brazilian audiences embraced the film, making it a certified box-office hit which partly restored Diegues' reputation, which received an added boost when Brazil selected "Orfeu" as its official entry for the 1999 Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film.

Relationships

Manuel Diegues

Father

EDUCATION

studied law in Rio de Janeiro

Milestones

1999

Realized dream of making a film based on Vinicius de Moraes' play "Oreu da Conceicao"; "Orfeu" selected as Brazil's entry for the 1999 Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film

1996

Wrote, directed and co-produced "Tieta"

1994

Used four popular songs as the basis for the omnibus film "Rio's Love Songs"

1990

Produced, directed and wrote "Dias Melhores Virao/Better Days Ahead", about a struggling actress

1984

Helmed and scripted the historical saga "Quilombo", a fact-based drama about 17th-century escaped African slaves who establish their own community in the mountains

1980

Enjoyed international hit with "Bye Bye Brazil", about a group of traveling performers

1975

Wrote and directed the acclaimed "Xica/Xica da Silva", a portrait of a former female slave who rises to power

1968

Produced, wrote and directed the historical political epic "Os Herdeiros/The Inheritors/The Heirs"

1963

Feature debut as director, producer and co-screenwriter, "Ganga Zumba"; film introduced a major theme in his work, the examination of slavery

1961

Helmed the episode "Escola de samba, alegria de viver", featured as part of the omnibus film "Cinco vezes favela"

1959

Made several amateur short films including "Fuga" (1959) and "Brasilia" (1960)

Worked as a journalist and film critic

Bonus Trivia

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"I don't make movies to teach, I make them to learn, and I'm happy that this movie ["Orfeu"] has been able to throw light on a subject and a reality [the isolation and neglect of slumdwellers] that a lot of people would prefer to ignore." --Carlos Diegues to The New York Times, June 29, 1999

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