Couro de Gato



IMDb Rating 7.6 10 146


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February 02, 2019 at 04:13 PM

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121.7 MB
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12hr 12 min
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240.4 MB
23.976 fps
12hr 12 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation 4 / 10

Despicable subject, but not a despicable movie

"Couro de Gato" or "Cat Skin" is a Brazialian movie from 1962, so this one is already way over half a century old, closer to 60 years actually, maybe even above depending on when you read this review. It is a 15-minute (not 12) live action short film written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Joaquim Pedro de Andrade and this is among his earlier filmmaking effort, but not his first and he was around the age of 30 when he made this one. It was a tough call for me here. But eventually, I don#t really believe this is a film worth seeing. Even if there is no graphic violence against animals, I think the subject of skinning cats to turn their leather into drums for the Rio de Janeiro Carnival is truly despicable. I am not sure though if I had really udnerstood what is going on without reading the brief summary. Anyway, it is a black-and-white film too, which is not uncommon for early 60s, but not a given either. One thing that had major impact on my decision is that really the first half was really boring and uninteresting I must say. It does get better towards the end, also in terms of style and this actually turns into a pretty creative work surprisingly, also involving editing and cinematography, but I cannot simply ignore the mediocrity from early on. By the way, the spoken words here are so rare that you don't need to speak the language to watch the movie. And you won't need subtitles either. There is a kid screaming early on something about how he thinks he can increase his newspaper sales on the street and shortly afterwards a group of women singing. That's all the language you will hear. I must also add that it did not really feel like a documentary to me. The credits sound really funny with how the people in here are described in terms of what they do. But virtually everything does feel staged and I generally do not like that about documentaries, even if here it may actually have been depicted the way it happened when the camera was not around. So it doesn't feel 100% fake. Still, as a whole I think the weaker aspects here are more frequent than the stronger, which is a shame because technically de Andrade clearly has some talent and it is not a bad film. My suggestion is to skip the watch.

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 8 / 10

The Poor Life of Cats Near to the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

In Rio de Janeiro, near to the Carnival, a group of boys from the slums in the hills chase cats to sell them to make a small percussion drum called "tamborim".

When I was a boy in the 60's, the strays cats simply vanished from Rio de Janeiro a couple of days before Carnival. The explanation was that poor people hunted them to sell the leather for manufacturing a percussion instrument called "tamborim", and the flesh to be sold by street vendors in small barbecues as if they were cow or ox meat. Joaquim Pedro de Andrade made this short visibly inspired by "Rio 40 Graus" picturing this reality through a group of boys that organizes a "chase to the cats" to raise some money. The story shows the economical situation superseding the sorrow or love the boy might feel for the animal, showing an "upper class cat" having the same fate of the stray cats, in spite of the boy have some feelings for it. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Couro de Gato" ("Cat's Leather")

Reviewed by Daneel-2 9 / 10

Wonderful small film about big moral issues

First off, the film's score is a thoroughly charming slice of early 1960s samba. There are hints of Tom Jobim at certain points. (is that "Desafinado" playing in the scenes with the rich woman?)

The film is available on YouTube and I recommend it to all. If you have ever struggled with the treatment of animals in impoverished countries and areas, this film may spur more thoughts and discussions of those issues. The descriptions elsewhere on this page are all you need to be able to watch it, even if, like me, you do not speak Portuguese. The film addresses how we treat the less fortunate humans, and how we treat animals.

If you've seen City of God (2002), it was interesting/sad to think about how long those slums have been there in Rio, as they looked almost exactly the same in Couro de Gato as they do nearly 40 years later.

I have a feeling it will stick with me for some time.

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