Golden Mouth
(Boca de ouro)

Screening on Film
Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos.
With Jece Valadão, Odete Lara, Daniel Filho.
Brazil, 1963, 35mm, black & white, 100 min.
Portuguese with English subtitles.

For his first in a long series of wildly imaginative literary adaptations, dos Santos reinvented Nelson Rodrigues' novel about a pathological gangster with solid gold teeth and a voracious appetite for women and power. Embracing radically modernist narrative techniques, Golden Mouth offers a splintered, refractive portrait of brutal masculinity that returns repeatedly to the same moment from different vantages, each time revealing unexpected perspectives on the brutal yet strangely charming criminal. Lurid and disturbing, Golden Mouth delivers a savage satire of marriage and class pretensions, revealing a similar venality at the corroded heart of the sanctimonious bourgeoisie, the moneyed elite and the working class as they all mercilessly claw their way up and down the rickety and ruthlessly hierarchical Brazilian social ladder.

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