Paulo Coelho

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Español: Paulo Coelho

Español: Paulo Coelho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paulo Coelho (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpawlu koˈeʎu]; born August 24, 1947) is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist.

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He attended a Jesuit school. As a teenager, Coelho wanted to become a writer. Upon telling his mother this, she responded with “My dear, your father is an engineer. He’s a logical, reasonable man with a very clear vision of the world. Do you actually know what it means to be a writer?” After researching, Coelho concluded that a writer “always wears glasses and never combs his hair” and has a “duty and an obligation never to be understood by his own generation,” amongst other things. At 16, Coelho’s introversion and opposition to following a traditional path led to his parents committing him to a mental institution from which he escaped three times before being released at the age of 20. Coelho later remarked that “It wasn’t that they wanted to hurt me, but they didn’t know what to do… They did not do that to destroy me, they did that to save me.”

At his parents’ wishes, Coelho enrolled in law school and abandoned his dream of becoming a writer. One year later, he dropped out and lived life as a hippie, traveling through South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe and becoming immersed in the drug culture of the 1960s. Upon his return to Brazil, Coelho worked as a songwriter, composing lyrics for Elis Regina, Rita Lee, and Brazilian icon Raul Seixas. Composing with Raul led to Paulo being associated with satanism and occultism, due to the content of some songs.[7] In 1974, Coelho was arrested for “subversive” activities by the ruling military government, who had taken power ten years earlier and viewed his lyrics as left-wing and dangerous. Coelho also worked as an actor, journalist, and theatre director before pursuing his writing career.

In 1986, Coelho walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, a turning point in his life. On the path, Coelho had a spiritual awakening, which he described autobiographically in The Pilgrimage. In an interview, Coelho stated “In 1986, I was very happy in the things I was doing. I was doing something that gave me food and water – to use the metaphor in “The Alchemist”, I was working, I had a person whom I loved, I had money, but I was not fulfilling my dream. My dream was, and still is, to be a writer.” Coelho would leave his lucrative career as a songwriter and pursue writing full-time.

In 1982 Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make any significant impact.In 1986 he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves since he considered it “of bad quality.” After making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in 1986, Coelho wrote The Pilgrimage. The following year, Coelho wrote The Alchemist and published it through a small Brazilian publishing house who made an initial print run of 900 copies and decided not to reprint. He subsequently found a bigger publishing house, and with the publication of his next book Brida, The Alchemist became a Brazilian bestseller. The Alchemist has gone on to sell more than 65 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling books in history, and has been translated into more than 70 languages, the 71st being Maltese, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author.

Since the publication of The Alchemist, Coelho has generally written one novel every two years including By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, The Fifth Mountain, Veronika Decides to Die, The Devil and Miss Prym, Eleven Minutes, Like the Flowing River, The Valkyries and The Witch of Portobello. This dates back to The Pilgrimage: While trying to overcome his procrastination of launching his writing career, Coelho said, “If I see a white feather today, that is a sign that God is giving me that I have to write a new book.” Coelho found a white feather in the window of a shop, and began writing that day.

In total, Coelho has published 30 books. Three of them – The Pilgrimage,The Valkyries and “Aleph” – are autobiographical, while the majority of the rest are fictional, although rooted in his life experiences. Others, like Maktub and The Manual of the Warrior of Light, are collections of essays, newspaper columns, or selected teachings. In total, Coelho has sold more than 100 million books in over 150 countries worldwide, and his works have been translated into 71 languages. He is the all-time bestselling Portuguese language author.


Regina Rheda

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Português: Edifício Copan

Português: Edifício Copan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 (1957) is a Brazilian author living in the United States. She is known for her prose fiction concerning urbanism, transnational migration, and animal rights. Before becoming a writer, she had worked with film, video and television. She earned the Jabuti prize for literature (1995) with her debut collection of short stories Arca sem Noé – Histórias do Edifício Copan, which was translated by Adria Frizzi and REYoung as Stories From the Copan Building, and included in the volume First World Third Class and Other Tales of the Global Mix (University of Texas Press). The most substantial segment in this volume is the title piece, a novel of discovery translated by David Coles and volume editor Charles A. Perrone. Analysts have underlined originality, wit and irony in her style. Rheda’s work has interested scholars of Inter-American literature, Latin American literature, literature of Brazil, women writers, post-humanism, and veganism.

Ana Maria Machado

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Ana Maria Machado

Ana Maria Machado (Photo credit: tvbrasil)

Ana Maria Machado was born in 1941 in Rio de Janeiro and is, alongside Lygia Bojunga Nunes and Ruth Rocha, one of the most significant children’s book authors in Brazil. She started her career as a painter in Rio de Janeiro and New York City. After studying Romance languages she did a PhD with Roland Barthes at the ‘École pratique des hautes études’ in Paris. She worked as journalist for the magazine ‘Elle’ in Paris and the BBC in London. In 1979, she opened the first children’s literature bookshop in Brazil, ‘Malasartes’.

In 1969, Ana Maria Machado started to write. “I belong to that generation of writers who began to write during the military dictatorship, as children’s literature, alongside poetry and song texts, were amongst the few literary forms with which, through the poetic and symbolic use of language, you could make the ideas of a joie de vivre, individual freedom and respect for human rights known.” Her story ‘Menina Bonita do laço de fita’ (1986) about a white and a black rabbit who marry and have a whole hoard of black, white and black and white patterned children, is a charming book about the living together of diverse ethnic groups. In ‘Era uma vez um tirano’ (1982) three children defy a tyrant who has forbidden colour, thoughts and any happiness. Without pointing fingers, Ana Maria Machado always dresses up her messages in humorous stories and trusts the ability of her young readers to also read between the lines.

Similar to many Brazilian children’s book authors of her generation, Ana Maria Machado stands in the tradition of the first great children’s book author, Jose Bento Monteiro Lobato (1882–1948). Her writing is marked, in the style of “magical realism”, by a subtle mix of social satire and fantastic elements as well as a conscious and playful use of language and narrative structures. In ‘História meio ao contrario’ (1978), Ana Maria Machado turns the classic narrative structure of the fairy tale on its head and lets her story begin with: “And if they didn’t die, then they are still alive today” and end with “once upon a time”.

In ‘Bisa Bia, Bisa Bel’ (1982), one of her central works, Isabell’s internal dialogue with her dead great-grandmother, Bisa Bia, and her own great-grandchild from the future, Bisa Bel, becomes a magical journey to the invisible connections between the generations, which finally allow Isabell to find her own way. For the author, fantasy also means to expand the sense for space and time and to allow reality and fantasy to mix with each other.

Just as brilliantly in ‘Palavra de Honra’ (2005, Engl: Word of Honour) Machado tells the story of a Luso-Brazilian family which has become very wealthy since their arrival in the 19th century. The reader encounters Letícia, who tries to reconstruct her own story out of the dispersed remains of the family legacy.

Ana Maria Machado has written more than hundred books for children and adults in 17 countries for which she has received the most significant Brazilian awards and many international honours. In 2000, she was awarded the ‘Hans Christian Andersen Award’ for her life work, the most significant international prize for youth and children’s literature. Ana Maria Machado lives with her family in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Alice e Ulisses, (novel), 1983
  • Tropical Sol da Liberdade, (novel), 1988
  • Canteiros de Saturno, (novel), 1991
  • Aos Quatro Ventos, (novel), 1993
  • O Mar Nunca Transborda, (novel), 1995
  • A Audácia dessa Mulher, (novel), 1999
  • Esta Força Estranha, (biography), 1998
  • Para Sempre, (novel), 2001

Ruy Guerra

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Icon from Cinema of Brasil. Idea borrowed from...

Icon from Cinema of Brasil. Idea borrowed from Image:Brasil filme.png, but reworked from original svg versions of Image:Flag_of_Brazil.svg and Image:Mplayer.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ruy Guerra left his studies in Portugal for to go to the School of Cinema in Paris. After having worked as assistant for various French directors he moved to Brasil and participated with his first two films in the birth of the “Cinema Novo”: “Os Cafajestes (1962)” and “Os Fuzis (1964)” which won some international prizes. After an intermediate time in France where he made “Sweet Hunters (1969)” he returned to Brazil and went on filming there.

5 x Favela, Now by Ourselves – Seu Manoel
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – Soundtrack (writer: “Tatuagem”)
In Evil Hour – Director, Writer
House of Sand – Vasco de Sá
Portugal S.A. – Director
Turbulence – Director, Writer, Co-producer, Production Designer           Posta Restante (short) – Writer
The Jew – Editor
Kuarup – Director, Writer (writer), Producer
Fábula de la Bella Palomera – Director, Writer (writer), Producer           Malandro – Director, Writer, Producer
Eréndira – Director
Mueda, Memoria e Massacre – Director, Editor, Cinematographer
A Carta Roubada (short) – Director, Writer
A Queda – Director, Writer (writer), Actor, Editor, Composer
Marcados para Viver – Editor
As Aventuras de Um Detetive Português – Writer                    Ternos Caçadores – Director, Writer (writer)
Aguirre: The Wrath of God – Don Pedro de Ursua
The Suns of Easter Island – Actor
Quatro Contra o Mundo – Editor (segment “História da Praia”)
Of Gods and the Undead – Director, Writer, Editor

Alberto Cavalcanti

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Cover of "Night Mail"

Cover of Night Mail

Born in Brazil, 1897. Alberto Cavalcanti’s early career began in France between 1920 and 1933, working as writer, art director and director. He directed the avant-garde documentary Nothing But Time (“Nothing but Time”), a portrait of the lives of Parisian workers in a single day. He moved to England in 1933 to join the GPO Film Unit under ‘John Grierson (I)’ (qv,) working as sound engineer (Night Mail) then producer. He went to work for Ealing Studios during the war, initially as head of Michael Balcon‘s short film unit until 1946, again working as an art director, producer and director. His notable films as a director include Champagne Charlie, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby and I Became a Criminal. After the latter film he moved back to Brazil. There he made Song of the Sea (“The Song of the Sea”) and A Real Woman (“Woman of Truth”) with his own production company. However, his progressive political views drew suspicion from the right-wing Brazilian authorities, and he returned to Europe in 1954. Cavalcanti eventually settled in France, where he continued his work in television. He died 1982.

Gilda de Abreu

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Mestiça, a Escrava Indomável – Writer

Chico Viola Não Morreu – Writer

Coração Materno – Writer, Director, Actress, Producer

Pinguinho de Gente – Writer (writer), Director, Editor

O Ébrio – Writer (screenplay), Director, Producer

Alegria – Actress

Bonequinha de Seda – Marilda

Karim Aïnouz

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Cover of "Madame Sata"

Cover of Madame Sata

Karim Aïnouz (born January 17, 1966 in the city of Fortaleza, state of Ceará, Brazil) is a film director.

2011 – O Abismo Prateado (The Silver Cliff), 35mm, color, 102 min.
2006 – O Céu de Suely (Suely’s Heaven), 35mm, color, 88 min.
2002 – Madame Satã, 35mm, color, 105 min.
2000 – Rifa-me, 35 mm, color, 28 min.
1998 – Les Ballons des Bairros, documentary (for France) 3, video, 26 min.
1996 – Hic Habitat Felicitas, 35mm, color, 26 min.
1994 – Paixão Nacional, 16mm, color, 9 min.
1993 – Seams, documentary, 16mm, color, 29 min.
1992 – O Preso, video, color, 19 min.