Magazine article Screen International

'Bingo: The King of the Mornings': Tallinn Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Bingo: The King of the Mornings': Tallinn Review

Article excerpt

Brazil’s official Oscar submission gets under the skin of the country’s most famous TV clown

Bingo: The King Of The Morning

Dir: Daniel Rezende. Brazil. 2017. 113 mins

An ambitious actor finally realises his dream, graduating from bit parts in soft porn movies and telenovelas to household name celebrity status. But, while Augusto (Vladimir Brichta) is famous throughout Brazil, it’s only only as Bingo the clown, the anarchic bewigged frontman of a children’s morning television show; an iron-clad contract forbids him from revealing he is the man behind the greasepaint. Based on a true story, this cheerfully lurid rise and fall tale reveals sleaze, debauchery and industrial quantities of cocaine beneath the costume of a much loved family entertainer.

It maintains a crackling, almost demented energy which matches the fizzing mania of Vladimir Brichta’s performance

Bingo - the Brazilian submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards - is a picture which will inevitably resonate most strongly with a domestic audience. Based on the life of Arlindo Barreto, who played the Brazilian incarnation of Bozo the Clown, the film taps into a national fascination with the character which was long fuelled by circulating rumours. Brichta’s live wire performance, and the sordid antics of Bingo, are, however, sufficiently compelling that the film could also connect with audiences unfamiliar with this cultural significance.

This feature film directing debut of acclaimed editor Daniel Rezende, (Tree of Life, Motorcycle Diaries and Oscar-nominated for his work on City Of God) has a little more flab than you would hope given Rezende’s experience of driving a narrative. Yet it maintains a crackling, almost demented energy which matches the fizzing mania of Brichta’s performance. …

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