Daily Archives: February 16, 1996

Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business

Highly personal and informative, Helena Solberg’s feature-length 1994 documentary about Brazilian musical star Carmen Miranda and her complex identities–a Broadway and Hollywood icon who caricatured Brazilian traits, a woman who became a campy “bombshell”–is an eye-opener. A Brazilian-American herself, Solberg may have more invested in this subject than she can handle, but most of what she has to say and show is so interesting and intelligent you’re not likely to object. Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday, February 16, 7:00 and 9:00; Saturday and Sunday, February 17 and 18, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00; and Monday through Thursday, February 19 through 22, 7:00 and 9:00; 281-4114.

–Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.… Read more »

A Tale of Love

Like her previous works, Trinh T. Minh-ha’s fifth film, her first in 35-millimeter and her first narrative feature, is both beautiful and difficult (1995). The difficulties begin with the title: this is not a tale, and it doesn’t really concern love–though one of its points of departure is “The Tale of Kieu,” the 19th-century Vietnamese national poem of love. Set in San Francisco, the story focuses on a Vietnamese writer named Kieu who works for a women’s magazine and as a photographer’s model to help support her family back in Vietnam. The beauties include the aggressive music score and the oddly contrapuntal mise en scene, which often seems to have a very different agenda from that of the actors. At times a frankly erotic film that interrogates its own eroticism, it challenges the audience as well with its acting styles and disorienting means of storytelling. Clearly not for everyone, but nothing else around is even remotely like it. Kino-Eye Cinema at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division, Friday and Saturday, February 16 and 17, 8:00, 384-5533.

–Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.… Read more »