RIO DE JANEIRO – The venue for the Rio Fest’s Oct. 1 out-of-comprtition world premiere of Paulo Machline’s “Trinta,” the biopic of Joaozinho Trinta, could not be more suitable. Theatro Municipal, Rio’s magnificent downtown opera house, is where Trinta worked as a ballet dancer in his youth before he became a myth of the city’s world-famous Carnival parade contest. Trinta is a legendary carnavalesco, the very Brazilian profession of the number one person in a samba school team (often with hundreds of members) that plans, puts together and carries out its annual Carnival parade.
The biopic, which focuses on the period of Trinta’s arrival in Rio to his first win (of eight) in the contest, moved the audience, who both wept in dramatic parts and cracked up in a scene Trinta (Matheus Nachtergaele) had a swearing spree.
“Trinta” is the third and most awaited feature of Machline, who has also helmed episodes of HBO Brazilian series “Psi” and French series “Petits Mythes urbains.” His first feature is “A Raca Sintese de Joaosinho Trinta,” a 2009 doc about the carnavalesco, which provided the research for “Trinta.”
Why did you decide to make a biopic of Trinta?
I had the idea when I was in France in 2002 and read an online article on a Brazilian paper about the period of life of Joaosinho Trinta we see in this film. I had already directed a short about Pele. I was interested in soccer, Carnival and telenovelas, which comprise the universe of Brazilian popular culture. When I was back to Brazil, I contacted Joaosinho Trinta. He was organizing the Carnival parade of samba school Grande Rio. I moved from Sao Paulo to Rio to follow his work, and that’s when I understood who he has.
Who was Joaosinho Trinta?
He managed to merge erudition and popular culture. He had a classic, erudite knowledge, something he acquired without going to college or any other formal educational institution. It was initially difficult for him to communicate with people from the Carnival world.
Is “Trinta” a film for the fest/art or commercial circuit?
I believe it is a film for the big audience. Fox is in charge of the release on November 13, and it will be fairly sizable one.
Do you expect “Trinta” to travel outside Brazil?
The film is set in Carnival and is very Brazilian, but it is not a Carnival film. I believe it will have an international career.