Two Streams

Executive producer, Maria Ionescu.

Executive producer, Maria Ionescu.

Directed, written by Carlos Reichenbach. Camera (color), Pedro Farkas; editor , Cristina Amaral; music, Ivan Lins; art director, Luis Rossi. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (competing), Aug. 12, 1999. Original title: Dois corregos. (In Toronto Film Festival — Contemporary World Cinema.) Running time: 112 MIN.

With: Carlos Alberto Riccelli, Beth Goulart, Ingra Liberato, Vanessa Goulart, Luciana Brasil, Kaio Cesar.

Admirers of Brazilian post–cinema novo figure Carlos Reichenbach will be perplexed by the prosaic course he takes in “Two Streams,” the writer-director’s first feature since 1994’s playfully eccentric “Buccaneer Soul.” An often overripe melodrama about the confluence of past and present, this handsome production has little to distinguish it from countless other stodgy Latin American sagas and looks commercially to be a fairly local item.

Framed by a present-day sequence in which a woman returns to the remote property she has inherited outside Sao Paulo, the rites-of-passage story follows her recollections of summer 1969, when she last visited the homestead with an adolescent friend. The presence there of her mysterious uncle Hermes, a communist political exile hiding out during the dictatorship, fuels the young girls’ romantic fantasies. Tortured by memories of his estranged children and guerrilla bride, and by his attraction to housekeeper Teresa, Hermes is responsible for more smoldering glances than the entire cast of most soaps, while the women also do their share of mooning and swooning. The melodramatic excess is further aggravated by Ivan Lins’ lush score.

Two Streams

(DRAMA -- BRAZILIAN)

Production: A Dezenove Som e Imagens production in association with TV Cultura, Fundacao Padre Anchieta, State Secretary for Culture of Sao Paulo. Produced by Sara Silveira.

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