Night Angels

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Director Barros, in his first feature film, makes use of distancing, nonlinear narrative techniques to blur the line between illusion and reality in this highly stylized film about street life in Sao Paulo. Interconnecting several characters and their stories, the film opens with a transvestite and his murder victim. The camera pulls back, however, to reveal...read more

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Director Barros, in his first feature film, makes use of distancing, nonlinear narrative techniques to blur the line between illusion and reality in this highly stylized film about street life in Sao Paulo. Interconnecting several characters and their stories, the film opens with a

transvestite and his murder victim. The camera pulls back, however, to reveal them as actors at a play rehearsal. This is followed by a shot of a man driving in a convertible. He is gunned down. A woman screams. She is an actress, and this action is part of a film that is being shot. Eventually

the theater director and the film actress meet, and their stories connect with those of a wealthy socialite, a homosexual prostitute, a transvestite, a performance artist, an aging starlet, and a sociology student who is drawn to watching videotapes of the gay prostitute. While giving equal time

to a variety of visual media--film, theater, television, performance art--Barros explores the various aspects of Sao Paulo nightlife--the sex, violence, drugs, and hopelessness. When taken as separate scenes, the film is rich and intriguing and shows Barros to be a truly talented visual stylist.

The disjointed narrative, however, seems less a structural decision than merely the reflection of a lack of cohesiveness. As a result, NIGHT ANGELS is more successful as a series of set pieces than as a whole. Impeccably photographed and carefully cast, NIGHT ANGELS is one of many recent Brazilian

films that burrow into the dark underworld of Sao Paulo in a style that exists somewhere between gritty realism and flashy stylization. (In Portuguese; English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Director Barros, in his first feature film, makes use of distancing, nonlinear narrative techniques to blur the line between illusion and reality in this highly stylized film about street life in Sao Paulo. Interconnecting several characters and their stor… (more)

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