Saura tunes into Brazil

Auteur falls for 'Amor de Deus'

Expanding his geographical range and courting inspiration from foreign shores, vet Spanish auteur Carlos Saura is set to direct “Amor de Deus,” a Portuguese-lingo musical drama with romantic elements set in Rio de Janeiro.

Rolling in early 2007, venture will be the first time Saura has shot in Brazil, Rio-based Total’s Iafa Britz said in Berlin.

“Dios” teams Saura with two of his recent Spanish producers, Morena and son Antonio Saura’s Zebra, plus Rio-based Total Ent., one of Brazil’s more internationally-minded production houses.

Centering on preparations for a tuner in Rio, “Amor” will mix musical numbers with harder-edged off-stage action following the lives of the dancers and musicians in Rio.

Dance styles will include capoeira. Saura will pen the screenplay with a Brazilian writer.

“Rio and Carlos Saura will be a pretty explosive creative mixture,” Britz said.

“The film meshes two film types that Carlos Saura has explored through his career: raw street life as in ‘Deprisa, Deprisa’ and musicals with story lines such as ‘Carmen,’ ” added Morena producer Alvaro Longoria.

“Amor” gives Saura a busy agenda: The director rolls in April on Mozart librettist pic “Io, Don Giovanni,” cuts to Portuguese dance film “Fado” later in the year, then moves on to Rio for “Amor de Deus.”

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