About Critical Divide

Standing at the Critical Divide with Chris Pickard

Changes at Fasano in Rio

All change at the Fasano Hotel in Ipanema in Rio, at least as far as restaurants go. Out goes Fasano al Mare, which never had much of a fan base, and in comes a branch of the Fasano’s Gero offering sophisticated, contemporary Italian cuisine.

The standalone Gero, in Aníbal de Mendonça, now becomes a more relaxed branch of Panini Gero, offering sandwiches, pastas and pizzas. Gero Barra, remains closed for now, but Gero Trattoria in Shopping Leblon has reopened as has the hotel’s own beach kiosk on Ipanema, Marea.

São Paulo retains Formula 1 Grand Prix

The Mayor of São Paulo, supported by the Governor of the State, has signed a new five year contract, with a possible five year extension, to continue to host a Formula One  Grand Prix in the city.

The race is now to be called the São Paulo Grand Prix, rather than the Brazilian Grand Prix, presumably to leave the door open for Rio de Janeiro to build its new circuit to host a Brazilian Grand Prix.

The 2020 Brazilian GP, scheduled originally for 15 November 2020, was cancelled like many races due to Covid-19, but São Paulo is provisionally, at least until the ink dries, on the 2021 schedule to host a race on Sunday, 14 November 2021.

The decision should be popular with the Formula 1 teams given the size of the Brazilian market for many of the sponsors.

Extreme E is heading to Brazil in 2021

The new Extreme E series is heading to Brazil in 2021 with one of the series five races, the Amazon Prix, scheduled for a damaged region close to Santarem in the state of Para.

The fourth race in the series is scheduled to take place from 23 to 24 October 2021 with the Glacier Prix wrapping up the season in Terra del Fuego, Argentina from 11 to 12 December.  The series will bring electric racing to some of the most remote corners of the planet to highlight the climate change challenges faced by different ecosystems, whilst showcasing the performance of all-electric SUVs in extreme conditions.

Extreme E has pledged to work with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), which has more than 24 years of conservation experience across the Amazon and a deep understanding of the major drivers of deforestation in the region. The project has been selected by Francisco Oliveria PhD – Extreme E’s Amazon Scientist and a leading Brazilian conservation expert with more than 20 years’ experience working on Amazon issues for the Brazilian government, WWF and at the University of Cambridge.

New Executive Director for Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau (RCVB) has a new Executive Director, Roberta Werner.

Roberta is experienced in working with international events as well as the hospitality industry having worked in Brazil for Windsor, Caesar Park Ipanema, Sofitel Rio, Grand Hyatt and, most recently, Fasano. At the RCVB she replaces Philipe Campello who now heads up TurisRio, the State of Rio Tourist Board. 

Fro more information about the Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau CLICK HERE

 

 

Winners of 2020 Grande Premio do Cinema Brasileiro

Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ “Bacurau”, that premiered in Cannes in 2019, won best fiction film, direction, original screenplay, special effects and actor (Silverio Pereira) at the 2020 Grande Premio do Cinema Brasileiro. “A vida invisível” (“The Invisible Life”) by Karim Ainouz was another multiple winner picking up the awards for adapted screenplay, art direction, costumes, cinematography and supporting actress (Fernanda Montenegro).

“Cine Holliúdy 2 – A chibata sideral”, by Halder Gomes, was chosen best comedy, and also won supporting actor for Chico Diaz, while best documentary went to Marcelo Gomes’ “I’m Saving Myself For When the Carnival Arrives” (“Estou me guardando para quando o carnaval chegar”). Best Animated Feature was “Tito e os Pássaros” by Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar and André Catoto and Best Children’s Feature Film was Daniel Rezende’s  “Turma da Mônica – Laços”.

Sharing the actor prize with Silverio Pereira (“Bacurau”) was Fabrício Boliveira for his performance in“Simonal”, a film that also won the first time directing award for Leonardo Domingues as well as sound and soundtrack awards. Best actress went to Andrea Beltrão for “Hebe Camargo – The Star of Brazil”. 

The Audience award went to Pedro Amorim’s “Eu sou mais eu” and best foreign film was Oscar winner “Parasite” (South Korea) by Bong-Joon-Ho.

Full list of winners at the 2020 Grande Premio do Cinema Brasileiro

Fiction Feature Film: “Bacurau”

Direction: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, “Bacurau”

Direction – First Feature: Leonardo Domingues, “Simonal”

Actress: Andrea Beltrão, “Hebe Camargo – The Star of Brazil”

Actor: Silverio Pereira, “Bacurau”, and Fabrício Boliveira, “Simonal”

Supporting Actress: Fernanda Montenegro, “The Invisible Life” (“A vida invisível”)

Supporting Actor: Chico Diaz, “Cine Holliúdy 2”

Comedy Feature Film: “Cine Holliúdy 2”, Halder Gomes

Children’s Feature Film: “Turma da Mônica – Laços”, by Daniel Rezende

Best Animated Feature: “Tito e os Pássaros”, Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar and André Catoto

Adapted Screenplay: “The Invisible Life”

Original Screenplay: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, “Bacurau”

Art Direction: Rodrigo Martinero, “The Invisible Life”

Visual Effects: Mikael Tanguy and Thierry Delobel, “Bacurau”

Costumes: Marina Franco, “The Invisible Life”

Makeup: Simone Batata, “Hebe – The Star of Brazil”

Cinematography: Helène Louvart, “The Invisible Life”

Editing – Fiction: Eduardo Serrano, “Bacurau”

Editing – Documentary: Karen Harley, “I’m Saving Myself For When the Carnival Arrives” (“Estou me guardando para quando o carnaval chegar”)

Sound: Marcelo Costa, Alessandro Larroca, Eduardo Virmond, “Simonal”

Soundtrack: Wilson Simoninha and Max de Castro, “Simonal”

Feature Documentary: “I’m Saving Myself For When the Carnival Arrives” (“Estou me guardando para quando o carnaval chegar”), Marcelo Gomes

Documentary Short Film: “Viva Alfredinho!”, Roberto Berliner

Animated Short Film: “Ressurreição”, Otto Guerra

Fiction Short Film: “Without Wings” (“Sem asas”), Renata Martins

Film- Audience Award: “Eu sou mais eu”, Pedro Amorim 

Best Foreign Film: “Parasite” (South Korea) , Bong-Joon-Ho

Best Latin American Feature: La odisea de los Giles (“Heroic Losers) (Argentina and Spain) Sebastián Borensztein

Pay TV Fiction Series: “Tuning” (“Sintonia”)

Pay TV Documentary Series: “Breaking the Taboo” (“Quebrando o tabu”)

Open TV Fiction Series: “Cine Holliúdy”

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”).