About Critical Divide

Standing at the Critical Divide with Chris Pickard

110 Years on from the visit of Corinthian-Casuals

110 years ago, between 22 August and mid-September 1910, Corinthian-Casuals Football Club made its first tour of Brazil, and on 1 September 1910, Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, now one of Brazil’s most famous and successful football clubs, was born based on an admiration of some Paulistas for the elegant play of the Corinthians.

It was on 24 August 1910 that Corinthian Casuals played its first game against Fluminense in Rio, winning 10-1. The next game was against a Rio XI and saw Corinthians score eight to their opponents’ one. The next day there was a cricket match, played against the English Cricket Club, which ended in a draw. The final football match in Rio on 28 August was against a Brazilian National team and saw the game end in a 5-2 win for Corinthians.

The team then moved on to São Paulo at the invitation of former Corinthian Charles Miller, the man credited with introducing football to Brazil, and won all three games. Beating Associacão Atlética das Palmeiras (no relation to the current Palmeiras) 2-0 on 31 August; Paulistano 5-0 on 2 September; and São Paulo AC 8-2 on 4 September. Miller scoring one of the SPAC goals.

Corinthians returned to Brazil in 1913 and 1914. Upon arrival in 1913, Corinthians played Rio de Janeiro in their first match, losing 1-2, their only defeat on the tour. They won 4-0 against the Estrangeiros, the final game in Rio seeing Corinthians beat the Brasilieros 2-1. In Sao Paulo, Corinthians won two games against MacKenzie College and Club Athletico Paulistano before being held by Associação Atlética das Palmeiras. The crowds on this tour were all between 6,000 and 10,000 which highlighted what popular visitors they were.

The 1914 tour sadly resulted in no matches being played due to the outbreak of the First World War, which meant the players returned to Britain almost as soon as they arrived.

Learn more about the Corinthian-Casuals, that are based in Surrey, at: www.corinthian-casuals.com

1970 FIFA World Cup: Brazil’s Cup

50 years ago the 1970 FIFA World Cup took place in Mexico from 31 May to 21 June.

75 teams tried to qualify for Mexico, but only 16 could take part in four groups of four in the qualifying stage of the finals, with the top two from each group going into the quarterfinals. It was the first World Cup held outside South America and Europe; the first to be televised in colour; substitutes were allowed for the first time; and red and yellow cards were introduced, although no player was sent off during the tournament. Brazil was drawn in Group 3 with holders England, Romania and Czechoslovakia.

Wednesday, 3 June 1970, saw four group games at the FIFA World Cup in Mexico including the tournament debut of Brazil against Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia scored first, but Brazil went on to win the match 4-1 thanks to goals by Rivelino, Pele and two from Jairzinho.

On Sunday, June 7 1970, one of the greatest games in World Cup history was played in Guadalajara between Brazil and England. Brazil won the game one-nil, Jairzinho scoring. Either side could have won, and it would not have been unfair if it had ended 4-4. Gordon Banks made his famous save from Pele, and made a number of other key saves to keep Brazil out, while Bobby Moore played possibly his greatest game in defence. At the other end Felix proved he had more lives than many cats, while it was Brazil’s captain, Carlos Alberto, who had to do a lot of the tidying up. The result meant both team were favourites to progress from Group 3.

The third and final round of the group stage of the World Cup took place on Wednesday, 10 June. Brazil defeated Romania three-two to guarantee its place in the quarter finals and top its group. Pele scored twice for Brazil and, of course, Jairzinho netted one.

On Sunday, 14 June 1970, all four quarter final matches of the 1970 FIFA World Cup were played. Producing some classic games, West Germany, the only unbeaten side in the tournament along with Brazil, beat the holders, England, three-two after extra time in a rematch of the 1966 final. The hosts, Mexico, were beaten 4-1 by an Italian side coming into form, while it took Uruguay to the 117th minute and extra time to score the one goal that sent the Soviet Union home. The fourth quarter final saw Brazil beat fellow South Americans, Peru, four-two thanks to goals by Rivellino, Jairzinho, and two from Tostao.

The two semi-finals were played on Wednesday, 17 June, with Brazil facing Uruguay in and all South American semi-final while the other was an all European affair with Italy taking on West Germany. All the semi-finalists were past winners of the World Cup, Brazil, Italy and Uruguay having won it twice, and West Germany once. The only other country to win the World Cup was England. Brazil overcame Uruguay three-one, Uruguay scored first before goals from Clodoaldo, Jairzinho and Rivelino saw Brazil safely through to its fourth final.

The second semi-final is considered a World Cup classic with Italy finally overcoming West Germany four-three after extra time. Full time had ended one-one with Germany scoring in the final minute of normal time, before five goals were scored in extra time. Germany would beat Uruguay one-nil in the third place play off.

The final on Sunday 21 June in front of 107,412 fans at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City saw two-time champions Brazil and Italy playing, the winner knowing they would get to keep the Jules Rimet trophy as three time winners. Brazil scored first through Pele, before Italy equalised to end the first half at one-one, but the second half was all Brazil in an exhilarating exhibition of attacking football. Gerson put Brazil ahead in the 21st minute, with Jairzinho scoring in the 26th minute to be the only player to score in every round and match of a World Cup. The icing on the cake was the final goal scored by the Brazilian captain, Carlos Alberto, after nearly every Brazilian player had touched the ball as they took it from deep in their half to score. The goal is generally considered the best scored in World Cup history and for many that Brazilian team is considered the greatest team ever.

Brazil has gone on to win the World Cup twice more in 1994 and 2002, and was the losing finalist in 1998. It has also hosted the World Cup final in1950 and more recently in 2014.

Brazil hosts three of the most viewed art shows in 2019

 

The three most viewed art shows in the world in 2019, by the number of visitors a day, were all organised by the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.

Occupying the first and second spots in the The Art Newspaper ranking was the free travelling exhibition that offered a behind-the-scenes look at DreamWorks. Co-organised by the animation studio and Melbourne’s Australian Centre for the Moving Image, 11,380 visitors a day went to it at the CCBB Rio de Janeiro, while a further 9,277 daily saw it at the CCBB Belo Horizonte. 

In third was Ai Weiwei’s travelling survey in Brazil— the highest-ranking show by a single artist in the list. More than 1.1 million people in total saw the exhibition in Brazil that started in São Paulo with stops in Belo Horizonte and Curitiba before arriving at the CCBB Rio de Janeiro, where it was seen by 9,172 visitors a day (around 600,000 in total).

The CCBB last topped the Art Newspaper survey in 2016 with another trio of shows, including one on Post-Impressionist masterpieces (9,700 visitors a day). The CCBB, which hosts free exhibitions at its four locations in Brazil, had nearly 5.6 million visitors in 2019—a 28% increase on 2018 and a 36% increase on 2017. Sadly numbers will not be the same in 2020.

Brazil represented in Berlin by All the Dead Ones

Brazil will be represented in competition at the Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival by Marco Dutra and Caetano Gotardo’s period drama “All The Dead Ones” (Todos os Mortos), a film set in late 19th century São Paulo, shortly after the abolition of slavery.

The film focuses on a mother and her two daughters from a formerly wealthy coffee plantation-owning family that has gone into financial decline amid the changing backdrop of Brazil at the turn of the century. At the same time, the film follows the women’s former slaves who are struggling to find their place in society.

Dutra’s credits include “Good Manners” (As Boas Maneiras), edited by Gortardo, which won over 31 festival awards including the Locarno Film Festival jury prize in 2017, and at Festival do Rio l Rio de Janeiro Int’l Film Festival it won best film, best cinematography, best supporting actress, the festival’s Felix Award and the FIPRESCI prize.

Brazilian Documentary nominated for Oscar

Brazil has a film nominated for the 92nd Academy Awards, although for best documentary feature rather than international feature film. The film is Petra Costa’s “The Edge of Democracy,” in which a political documentary and personal memoir collide in an exploration into the complex truth behind the unraveling of the two Brazilian presidencies of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

And while Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles did not get a nomination for “The Two Popes,” his film did get nominations for best actor for Jonathan Pryce, best supporting actor for Sir Anthony Hopkins, as well as Anthony McCarten’s adapted screenplay.

The 92nd Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live in the US on the ABC Television Network at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT.  The Oscars will also be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Brazilian Movie Market 2019

Back in November 2018 panellists at Festival do Rio’s RioMarket were unanimously optimistic about the state of the Brazilian theatrical film market for 2019, after what all agreed had been a difficult year in 2018 for distribution, exhibition and getting “bums on seats”.

It turns out those panelists had a right to be optimistic. Ticket sales increased from 163.4 million in 2018 to 172.2 million in 2019, with 19.7 million of those being for “Avengers: Endgame”. Revenues in reais (the Brazilian currency) hit the historic high of R$2.74 billion in 2019, up 13% from 2.42 billion in 2018 and beating the previous high of R$2.7 billion in 2017.The year also saw the opening of another 174 screens, taking the total to 3,505. Another record.

Domestic Brazilian titles were responsible for 11.5% of that revenue in 2019, or R$315m, up 13% from R$279m in 2018, but actual ticket sales for Brazilian films were down 1.2% from 22.9m tickets in 2018 to 22.6m in 2019, with 2.5 million of those, or nearly 10%, sold in the final week of 2019 thanks to the comedy “Minha Mãe É Uma Peça 3” (My Mom is a Character 3). 327 Brazilian titles were released in 2019, down 11% from 367 in 2018, while international titles released in 2019 were 560, down 1.7% from 570 in 2018.

For nearly a decade, up to 2017, Brazil’s theatrical market had experienced growth. It had to stop at some point, so after eight consecutive years of increased ticket sales and revenues, 2017 became the year of no growth in Brazil, but the numbers were still very strong. 2018 was to see a further decline in ticket sales, and the first decline in 12 years in box office revenues in the local currency. But head offices in the US were still not complaining about the results they were seeing from Brazil, still one of the world’s largest cinema going markets.

Cinema admissions in Brazil had now gone from 89.1 million in 2008 to 112.7m in 2009; 134.9m in 2010; 143.2m in 2011; 146.6m in 2012, the year Brazil hosted the World Cup; 149.5m in 2013; 155.6m in 2014; 173m in 2015, to the record breaking 184.3 million in 2016, surprisingly the year of the Rio Olympics. In 2017, no record, but still the very respectable sales of 181 million ticket were achieved, a drop of just 1.5%, compared with 2016, but still the second best year on record, before the drop of 10.1% to 163.4m in 2018, but now an increase of 7.6% to 172.2m ticket sales in 2019.

The strength and volatility of the US dollar against the Brazilian real has meant dollar values were down in 2019. 2017’s gross had represented US$749.7 million at the time, up from US$726m in 2016 and just US$486m in 2015, while 2018’s dollar revenues were down to US$630m, and 2019’s box office is estimated to have been worth around US$594 million. But if exchange rates worked against them, the studios should still be happy with the number of “bums on seats”.

In 2018 factors contributing to what was seen as a disappointing year for ticket sales and revenues for the big screen in Brazil included the World Cup, the Brazilian Presidential Elections, and a truckers strike that almost brought Brazil to a halt for two weeks. Panellists at Rio Market also mentioned a disappointing line up of both domestic and international titles that had failed to find or excite an audience in Brazil. In fact 2018 was generally very sluggish in Brazil with only 127 million tickets having been sold up until the end of September, mainly thanks to the April release of “Avengers: Infinity War”, before the market showed signs of recovery in October and early November thanks to “A Star is Born”, “Venom”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”, and in December “Aquaman”.

Panellists at RioMarket were particularly encouraged by “A Star is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” because these two films did not fill the normal blockbuster form of an established franchise or action character. All panellists, however, noted that both for international and domestic Brazilian releases, it was around the top ten to 15 releases that did really well, with the other 400+ titles struggling and offering a lot of room for improvement.

2019’s box office, however, was firmly dominated again by established franchises or action characters with “Avengers: Endgame” becoming the most watched film of all time in Brazil with sales of 19.2 million tickets, and Disney’s “The Lion King” selling 15.8 million to make it the third most watched of all time after “Titanic” in 1998. “Avengers: Infinity War” is fourth on the list.

The average occupancy rates of the 3,500 screens in Brazil, the majority in multiplexes and over 30% of them in the state of São Paulo and 11% in Rio, has been running at around 18-19%, yet capacity is a problem in Brazil whenever a major blockbuster, like “Avengers” is released.There is no question that Brazil is under screened with just one screen for every 62,293 people, compared with 8,123 in the US or 15,253 for the UK.

The expansion of screens in Brazil, now back to the levels of the 1970s, also slowed in 2018 and 2019 and this has been put down to the economic climate in Brazil that saw a slowing in the expansion of shopping centres where new screens would be located. Shopping Centre screens are also the most successful in Brazil in terms of revenues and tickets sales. Having said that, 174 screen did open in 2019 (44 closed), taking the total of screens past the 3,500 mark. Since 2017 it is estimated that 434 new screens have come online, with 350 of those in the interior of the country and just 84 in the main cities.

In 2019 six cinema complexes in Brazil sold more than one million tickets in the year, those being UCI NYCC (Rio de Janeiro); Cinemark Guarulhos (São Paulo); UCI Kinoplex Norte Shopping (Rio de Janeiro); Kinoplex Dom Pedro (Campinas); Cinemark Aricanduva (São Paulo); and UCI Kinoplex Shopping Iguatemi (Fortaleza). Rio de Janeiro remains the state with the highest market share for domestic Brazilian releases.

Top 20 grossing films of the year in Brazil in 2019

  1. Avengers: Endgame (US$85.7 million from tickets sales of 19.2 million)
  2. The Lion King (US$69.5m / 15.8m)
  3. Captain Marvel (US$38.1m / 8.8m)
  4. Joker (US$38.1m / 9.4m)
  5. Toy Story 4 (US$32.7m / 7.8m)
  6. Spider Man: Far From Home (US$28.3 / 6.4m)
  7. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (US$22.3m/ 5.6m)
  8. Aladdin (US$19.9m / 4.7m)
  9. Minha Vida em Marte (US$17.5m / 4.3m) *
  10. Ralph Breaks the Internet (US$17.3m / 4.3m)
  11. How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (US$14.4m / 3.8m)
  12. Nada a Perder 2(Nothing To Lose 2 – US$13.7m / 5.2m) *
  13. Aquaman (US$12.4m 2.9m)
  14. Shazam! (US$12m / 2.9m)
  15. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (US$10.2 / 2.7m)
  16. Minha Mãe É Uma Peça 3 (My Mom is a Character 2 – US$7.6m / 2.6m) *
  17. Dumbo (US$7.6m / 1.8m)
  18. Turma da Monica: Laços (Monica’s Gang – US$7.5m / 2m) *
  19. De Pernas Pro Ar 3 (Head Over Heels 3 – US$7m / 1.8m) *
  20. The Secret Life of Pets (US$7m / 1.9m)

* Domestic Brazilian Release

Top 20 grossing films of the year in Brazil in 2018

  1. Avengers: Infinity War (US$66.7million from tickets sales of 14.5 million)
  2. Incredibles 2 (US$37.5m / 9.8m)
  3. Black Panther (US$35.8m / 7.4m)
  4. Nada a Perder (Nothing To Lose – US$33m / 12.2m) *
  5. Aquaman ($23.2m / 5.6m)
  6. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (US$21.8m / 4.8m)
  7. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (US$20.8m / 5.2m)
  8. The Nun (US$20m / 5.3m)
  9. Fifty Shades Freed (US$19.7m / 4.3m)
  10. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (US$19.5m / 5.4m)
  11. Venom (US$19m / 4.6m)
  12. Deadpool 2 (US$18.8m / 4.6m)
  13. Ferdinand (US$14.4m / 3.4m)
  14. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (US$14.2m / 3.5m)
  15. Bohemian Rhapsody (US$13.3m / 2.9m)
  16. Ant Man and the Wasp (US$13m / 3.2m)
  17. Mission Impossible – Fallout (US$11.8m / 2.5m)
  18. Os Farofeiros (The Beachnickers – US$9.8m / 2.6 m) *
  19. Coco (US$9.4m / 2.6m)
  20. Fala Serio Mãe ( US$9m /  2.4m) *

* Domestic Brazilian Release

Top 20 grossing films of the year in Brazil in 2017

  1. Fast & Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious ( US$41.8m from tickets sales of 8.5 million)
  2. Beauty and the Beast (US$41.5m / 8.3m);
  3. Despicable Me 3 (US$35.9m / 8.89m, the highest ticket sales of the year);
  4. Justice League (US$35.9m / 8.4m);
  5. Wonder Woman (US$ 33m / 7m);
  6. Spider-Man: Homecoming ($32m /6.7m);
  7. Thor: Ragnarok (US$30.4m / 6.4m)
  8. Logan (US$29.2m / 6.4m);
  9. Minha Mãe É Uma Peça 2 (My Mom is a Character 2 – US$27.9m / 6.5m) *
  10. The Shack (US$23.6m / 5.1m)
  11. Moana (US$22.9m / 5.1m)
  12. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (US$21m / 4.2m)
  13. Fifty Shades Darker (US$20.3m / 4.6m)
  14. It (US$19.9m / 4.4m)
  15. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (US$16.7m /  3.6m)
  16. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (US$16.1m / 3.1m)
  17. Wonder (US$16.1 / 4.1)
  18. The Boss Baby (US$13.9m / 3.3m)
  19. War of the Planet of the Apes (US$13.4m / 2.7m)
  20. The Mummy (US$13.3m / 3m)

* Domestic Brazilian Release

Pico da Neblina to allow visitors again

After a five year period of consultation, Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism has announced (9 January 2020) that the Pico da Neblina, the highest peak in Brazil, 2,995 metres above sea level, in the Serra da Neblina on the Brazil-Venezuela border in Amazonas State, will be open again to visitors, but only visitors using specially approved ground operators. The visitors will also need to be quite adventurous and fit for the climb. as a visit to the peak starts with a four day trek through the Amazon rainforest.

It is hoped visits can start from March 2020.

Brazil’s tallest buildings are not where you expect

Most people would suspect that it would be São Paulo that is home to most of Brazil’s tallest buildings, but that is far from the case as the top of the list is now dominated by Balneário Camboriú in Santa Catarina. Balneário Camboriú is a major beach resort city  with a main ocean boulevard called Avenida Atlântica (Atlantic Avenue). The city is located  96 km (60 miles) south of the city of Joinville, and 80 km (50 miles) north of the state capital, Florianópolis. The city has a population of around 125,000, which swells to over one million in the summer.

The recently inaugurated Infinity Coast Tower in Balneário Camboriú is now, at 235 metres, the tallest building in Brazil, but should be passed early in 2020 by the neighbouring Yachthouse Residence Club Towers that will top out at 281 metres, making the towers the second and third tallest buildings in South America, topped only by the Gran Torre Santiago in Chile.

The Mirante do Vale Building (Palacio W. Zarzur), at 170 metres, is São Paulo’s highest building, but was built way back in 1960, and is now 11th on the list of Brazil’s tallest buildings, while in Rio de Janeiro the Rio Sul Tower, built in 1980 and reaching 163 metres, remains the tallest and is 14th on the Brazil list. However in the centre of Rio you do still have Sugar Loaf (395 metres) and Corcovado (706 metres) mountains!

Two Brazilian hotels picked by Wallpaper as amongst top eight urban hotels

Brazil is home to two of the eight hotels chosen by Wallpaper* magazine from a short list of 37 as the best urban hotels in the world for 2019.

The chosen hotels in Brazil, the only in Latin America, are the Janeiro hotel in Rio, which fills the building on the beachfront in Leblon that many will remember as the Marina Rio, and the B Hotel in Brasilia.

The other hotels listed by Wallpaper were The Jaffa in Tel Aviv; Trunk House in Tokyo; Soho House in Mumbai; Rosewood in Hong Kong; Raffles in Singapore; and The August in Antwerp.

As Wallpaper noted: “These destination hotels demonstrate flexibility in a brave and competitive new world.  There’s never been a more exciting time to check in.”

Full story in the December edition of Wallpaper. Click Here

Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2020

Eight Brazilian properties have picked up Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence for 2020 in the Central and South America region. Including the Readers Award. They are:

Best for Weddings, Parties or Special Occasions: HOTEL MAITEI (BAHIA)

Best Hotel with Spa: NANNAI RESORT & SPA (PERNAMBUCO)

Best Immersive Experience: RANCHO DO PEIXE (CEARA)

Best Serviced Accommodation: ESTRELA D’ÁGUA (BAHIA)

Best for Families: VILA KALANGO (CEARA)

Best Countryside Hotel (or Lodge): COMUNA DO IBITIPOCA (MINAS GERAIS)

Best for Sustainability: CASA DOS ARANDIS (BAHIA)

Readers’ Award: TOCA DA CORUJA (RIO GRANDE DO NORTE)