Windows doesn’t discriminate between regions any longer, and neither does Macintosh. Even if they do you should get a warning when inserting a Non-Region 1 DVD (meaning one made for distribution outside the US, Canada and Mexico) saying what region it is and asking if you want to change your computer’s region. Typically, there has been a set limit on how many times you could change regions before it became a permanent switch. Even if your computer is more finicky you still have an opportunity to watch many more DVDs, many of which you can only find online, that you never thought you could before.
Some foreign films have limited appeal and distribution internationally. You should take that into account when traveling overseas and pick up some movies you won’t find in the US. Taking that in to consideration this critic made a number of purchases when in Brazil in 2008 to set up a mini-festival.
Cidade de Deus (City of God)
This is a film produced by Walter Salles who was at the helm of the prior breakout hit from Brazil, Central Station, it’s a tale of how the favelas got how they are, how they went from “purgatory to hell” as the film puts it. It’s a tale that weaves several threads together intriguingly it’ll start focused on a character or group of characters but also introduce other characters, then when the secondary characters come into focus the story backpedals and fills in blanks. It flashes back with style and tells a gritty story in the highest rendition of cinematic art. It not only tells a bulk of its story within a frame but also has several dovetails of jaw-dropping quality and affect. It’s also a film that proves samba can provide a score effective in all situations and reflective of all emotions. It’s a film unafraid of montage with dialogue.
One of the best films of the decade that just ended. Brazil in the past two decades has had tremendous achievements on the world cinema stage including a Best Actress award at Cannes for Sandra Corveloni in Linha de Passe. It is consistency that detractors seem to be in want of.
All in all this is a festival that showed some of the prowess, and in a few cases weakness, of Brazilian cinema. If you have seen a film from a country that intrigued you can look into creating a similar fest of your own because seeing only wide international releases doesn’t really give you a feel for a country’s cinema.