About Critical Divide

Standing at the Critical Divide with Chris Pickard

Michelin Starred restaurants in Rio & São Paulo 2020

Michelin has announced the restaurants in Rio and São Paulo to be awarded the prestigious Michelin Star for 2020. With two stars are Oro and Oteque in Rio de Janeiro and D.O.M. and Ryo Gastronomia in São Paulo. One Star was awarded to Cipriani, Lasai and Mee in Rio; and Evvai, Huto, Jun Sakamoto, Kan Suke, Kinoshita, Maní and Picchi in São Paulo.

In “Michelin 2020 Bib Gourmand,” the category that recognises more informal restaurants with good quality and good value cooking, six restaurants in Rio de Janeiro are listed in the 2020 Michelin Guide (Artigiano, Didier, Miam Miam, Lilia, Pici Trattoria, and Maria e o Boi) and 33 in São Paulo (AE! Cozinha, Ama.zo, Arturito, Baianeira, Balaio IMS, Banzeiro, Barú Marisquería, Le Bife, Bio, Bistrot de Paris, Brasserie Victória, Casa do Porco, Casa Santo Antônio, Cepa, Charco, Corrutela, Ecully – Perdizes, Fitó, Kith 2º Andar, Komah, Manioca, Mimo, Mocotó, Nit, Petí Gastronomia, Petí Americana, Piccolo, Più, Più Iguatemi, Tanit, TonTon, Tordesilhas, and Zena Caffè).

According to Michelin 85%, as of 20 September 2020 of Michelin Starred restaurants worldwide at 35 destinations are currently open for dining either inside or outside. In Brazil 72% of the Michelin Starred restaurants are now open, but in the US just 14% of Starred restaurants are welcoming guests again. In Europe, Belgium has 95% of its Michelin Starred restaurants back open; in Spain and Portugal, the percentages have risen to 86% and 93% respectively; while the UK it is at 73%.

“Narcissus off Duty”: Caetano Veloso documentary premieres in Venice

The documentary “Narciso em Férias” (“Narcissus off Duty”) will premiere out of competition on 7 September during the 77th Venice Film Festival. The documentary looks at the great Brazilian sing songwriter, Caetano Veloso’s experience during the military coup in Brazil in 1968 which resulted in him being imprisoned for 54 days.

“Narcissus Off Duty,” paints an intimate portrait of Caetano’s incarceration as he recalls painful memories and performs songs that marked his imprisonment. He also presents new information about why he was detained, exposing the regime’s view of him and shedding light on the arbitrary brutality of the time.

On 13 December 1968, the Brazilian military dictatorship passed Institutional Act Number Five (AI-5), and it marked the beginning of the regime’s most repressive and violent phase. Two weeks later Caetano was arrested. He was taken from his home in São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, where he was shut in solitary confinement for one week and ultimately imprisoned for 54 days. It was the most difficult experience of his life.

Written and directed by Renato Terra (“A Night in 67”) and Ricardo Calil (“Cine Marrocos”), “Narcissus Off Duty,” is produced by Uns Produções (Paula Lavigne) and co-produced by Walter Salles and João Moreira Salles’s VideoFilmes.

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

Gajos d’Ouro – New restaurant for Ipanema

Some positive gastronomic for Rio de Janeiro with the opening in Ipanema on  22 July of Gajos d’Ouro.

The reason for the excitement is that many of the people involved in the project (front of house and in the kitchen) are well known for their time at Antiquarius, considered for decades to be Rio’s top Portuguese restaurant – and generally one of the city’s best – until it closed its doors two years ago.

So as well as familiar faces, diners will also find at Rua Prudente de Moraes, 1008 some familiar and favourite dishes on the menu. For the moment Gajos d’Ouro can handle 30 guests in the main room and 20 in the garden-patio.

The group is also responsible for the bar-restaurant Entre Amigos Gastronomia in Botafogo.

Covid-19 impact on Carnival 2021

Sadly it is looking increasingly likely that Rio’s carnival in 2021 will be badly disrupted by the impact of Covid-19, including the famous parade of the top samba schools – scheduled for 14 and 15 February – as preparations require people to work in confined spaces and close proximity.

It is also seen as impossible to have the normal crowd of 75,000 plus in place unless a vaccine for Covid-19 is found. The same for the schools to parade as each would have over 3,000 people dancing and performing in close proximity, a total of over 50,000 performers over the two nights.

Until an official decision is taken by LIESA (League of Samba Schools), probably in September 2020, the schools will continued their preparations for carnival 2021, that might even get pushed back to later in 2021.

Viradouro, the current champions, hope that if the carnival parades do go ahead in 2021, it can defend its title with a theme that will focus on the carnival and Rio of 1919, the first carnival after the First World War and  the “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918 that killed so many people in Brazil. The samba is “Não há tristeza que possa suportar tanta alegria” (“There is No Sadness That Can Endure So Much Joy”).

70 Best Games played in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium in 70 Years

O Globo newspaper has polled 70 experts to come up with the top 70 games played in Rio’s iconic Maracanã Stadium since it first opened 70 years ago in June 1950 prior to the World Cup.  The panel’s top ten most memorable and important games were: 

1º — Brazil 1 x 2 Uruguay

World Cup Final, 16 July 1950

2º — Vasco 1 x 2 Santos

Campeonato Brasileiro, 31 August 1969 (Pelé’s 1,000th goal)

3º — Germany 1 x 0 Argentina

World Cup Final, 13 July 2014

4º — Brazil 2 x 0 Uruguay

World Cup Qualifications, 19 September 1993

5º — Santos 1 x 0 Milan

Copa Intercontinental, 16 November 1963

6º — Brazil 1 (5) x (4) 1 Germany

Olympic Final, 20 August 2016

7º — Fluminense 2 x 2 Flamengo

Campeonato Carioca, 25 June1995

8º — Botafogo 1 x 0 Flamengo

Campeonato Carioca, 21 June 1989

9º — Brasil 2×0 Chile

World Cup Qualifications, 3 September 1989

10º — Brazil 1 x 0 Paraguay

World Cup Qualifications, 31 August 1969

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.

Rio’s Top Samba Schools: 2015-2020

Mangueira and Salgueiro are the two most successful samba schools in Rio over the last six years based on the official results. Based on those results of the last six carnivals (2015-2020), the League of Samba Schools (LIESA) ranks the top samba schools in Rio de Janeiro as:

  1. Mangueira (65 points)
  2. Salgueiro (65)
  3. Portela (64)
  4. Beija-Flor (64)
  5. Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel (49)
  6. Grande Rio (41)
  7. Unidos da Tijuca (35)
  8. Viradouro (35)
  9. Vila Isabel (21)
  10. Imperatriz Leopoldinense (19)
  11. Paraíso do Tuiuti (18)
  12. União da Ilha do Governador (7)

[Schools score 20 points for a win, 15 for 2nd, 12 for 3rd, 10 for 4th, 8 for 5th, 6 for 6th, 4 for 7th, 3 for 8th, 2 for 9th and 1 for 10th]

31 schools have paraded in the Grupo Especial since 1985.

Viradouro: Rio’s Champion Samba School 2020

Viradouro, that paraded second on Sunday and which were the runner up in 2019, won its second carnival title in 2020, beating Grande Rio by the smallest of margins having tied after all the marks were added up. Mocidade was third; Beija-Flor, fourth; Salgueiro, fifth and Mangueira, champions in 2019, sixth.

União da Ilha and Estácio de Sá were relegated with Imperatriz promoted to the Grupo Especial. In 2021 twelve schools will parade in the Grupo Especial.

The results of Rio’s Carnival Parade in 2020 were:

  • Viradouro (269.6 out of 270)
  • Grande Rio (269.6)
  • Mocidade (269.4)
  • Beija-Flor (269.4)
  • Salgueiro (269.0)
  • Mangueira (268.9)
  • Portela (268.8)
  • Vila Isabel (268.6)
  • Unidos da Tijuca (267.6)
  • Sao Clemente (267.0)
  • Paraíso do Tuiuti (266.2)
  • Estácio de Sá (264.7)
  • União da Ilha (264.2)

Riotur photos of Viradouro’s parade, “Viradouro de alma lavada”, about As Ganhadeiras de Itapuã.