Remezcla readers love to take in culture, but don’t always have the cash for tickets. That’s where we come in. A Theater Near You is Remezcla’s guide to awesome Latino movies for the lazy and broke; you can watch these all at home (because sabemos que son flojos).
The Movie: O som ao redor (Neighboring Sounds)
Directors: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Production Year: 2012
Language: Portuguese (English subtitles)
Kleber Mendonça Filho was a journalist, film critic, and programmer who decided, after years of reviewing films, to make one of his own. He wrote a script based on his observations of everyday life in his native city of Recife in Brazil. Basically, he wrote about what he saw when he looked out the window.
He watched his neighbors and the servants who live alongside them. He was struck by the palpable uneasiness, the feeling that something bad was about to happen. The result is Neighboring Sounds, a slice of life in a quiet middle-class neighborhood where rising crime has put everyone on edge.
The characters are encaged by their own fear and the buildings they live in. They are always behind locked doors and gates. They stare out of windows that are criss-crossed with metal bars. The camera follows the characters as they watch each other using security cameras and binoculars. There is a constant state of surveillance and tension. The creaking noises and menacing score forces the audience to exist in the same state of heightened anxiety as do the characters they are watching on the screen. You just never know what might happen next.
Brazil has selected Neighboring Sounds as its official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.