CANNES — Carlos Diegues’ “The Great Mystical Circus,” which unspools in a special screenings slot at Cannes, has been acquired by Madrid-based sales agent Latido Films, which will introduce it to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival.
“The Great Mystical Circus,” co-starring Vincent Cassel, traces the adventures, loves and shows of five generations of Knieps, a Brazilian circus owner dynasty, beginning in 1910. The saga is narrated by Celavi (Jesuita Barbosa, “Praia do Futuro”), a freed slave and the Circus’ never-aging master of ceremonies. Cassel plays Jean-Paul, an unscrupulous spendthrift who tries to sell the circus.
“‘The Great Mystical Circus’ is a summation of everything I’ve made before in my films, maybe the result of what I think about movie making,” Diegues said.
The Brazilian filmmaker’s 1962 directorial debut, “Cinco Veces Favela,” turned him into a Cinema Novo star. Determined to make a cinema which had a large impact in Brazil and beyond, he went on to make box office hits (1976’s “Xica da Silva”) and international players, such as 1980’s “Bye-Bye Brazil,” which reflected the wider state of contemporary Brazil.
The magic of “The Great Mystical Circus” is inspired not by magic realism but by Diegues’ ”idea of anti naturalism in the cinema,” the filmmaker said.
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