Review: ‘Real Stories of a Liar’

A fun diversion that should play well on the smallscreen.

He’s billed as one of the most successful con men of our time: Marcelo Nascimento da Rocha isn’t the type to turn heads, but as chronicled in Mariana Caltabiano’s amusing docu “Real Stories of a Liar,” the guy has a knack for making people believe what they want to believe. Caltabiano doesn’t hide an incredulous engagement with her protag — also the subject of Toniko Melo’s feature “VIPs” — and she fails to analyze why people are such suckers for con men, but she’s crafted a fun diversion that should play well on the smallscreen.

Long before the Brazilian public was hoodwinked by his pose as a high-flying airline magnate and society darling, Marcelo was a master of gauging ways to make himself stand out. While his stint as an A-list partygoer is the best documented here, it’s his earlier incarnations that fascinate, revealing a psychopathic nature devoid of inhibitions: How else to explain his masquerading as an elite cop, or a drug-trafficking pilot (beat that, “Catch Me if You Can”)? “South Park”-style animation and game talking heads, including Marcelo in the slammer, keep the short pic barreling along.

Real Stories of a Liar



A Mariana Caltabiano Criacoes production. Produced by Mariana Caltabiano, Thais Bastos. Directed, written by Mariana Caltabiano, based on her book "VIPs -- Historias Reais de um Mentiroso."


Camera (color, DV), Humberto Hokama, Maritza Caneca, Carlos Timoteo; editor, Livia Serpa; music, Alexandre Guerra. Reviewed on DVD, Rio de Janeiro, Sept. 28, 2010. (In Rio de Janeiro Film Festival -- Premiere Brasil, competing.) Running time: 71 MIN.


Marcelo Nascimento da Rocha, Joselia Nascimento da Rocha, Cynthia Nascimento da Rocha, Mauricio Cesar, Ricardo Horn, Paulo Cordeiro, Ricardo Macchi, Ed Sa, Amaury Junior, Maria Paula.
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