13 May, 2006

What I loved of the last TRANSMEDIALE 06

Denise Garcia :: FUNK CARIOCA
The brazilian filmmaker Denise Garcia presents the funk carioca scene in Brasil and gives an account of the social changes involved in this music movement. The funk carioca has origins in the brazilian favelas, where it is independently produced, recorded, promoted and sold without requiring support or acceptance from the upper classes. This music represents the genuine rythm of the favelas, it reflects the situation of these areas, the inhabitants of these communities with their own rules and government. Through funk young people from the favelas, who had before no perspective for the future, got the possibility to be known as artists. The role of the woman gained in this environment particular importance: the violence and the fights among gangs, which characterised the funk events until 2001 and led to definy them "the brazilian fight clubs", was eliminated through the active participation of women to the production of funk music, through their sensual songs and dancings, which attracted the attention of men. The same aspiration to independence from the government characterises the production of Toscographics, a small company which has been producing animation and documentaries for seven years and in which Denise Garcia collaborates.

"I'm Ugly but Trendy" is Denise Garcia first documentary as a director. The film was released on March 2005 at the Slum Dunk Music Film Programme, a London film festival about Brazilian music trends.
The Funk scene of Rio de Janeiro is filled with MCs and bands formed by women, because in the dance hall business their gigs are essential to the night's success. Tati Quebra-Barraco (Tati Shack Breaker) for example draws the crowd that sings along every dirty word. There are many other "bondes" (dance and vocal ensembles) that make the audience go crazy with their wiggling. The result is a party where thousands of youths repeat gestures, choreographs, lyrics and have fun. "I'm Ugly but I'm Trendy" attempts to map the Rio de Janeiro funk universe from the point of view of female funkers, who are also mothers, wives, students, workers.

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