Free Movie at Hotel Congress Shows Brazilian Artists Attempts to Subvert Censorship
April 25, 2013
See a free screening of the film Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz, featuring the Tropicalia music of Os Mutantes, on Saturday, May 27th at 7:30pm on the Hotel Congress Plaza, 311 E. Congress St. Os Mutantes, the highly influential 60s psychedelic pop band, will play at Club Congress on Tuesday April 30th. The free screening will be held in anticipation of this concert.
The film follows artist Vik Muniz around the world as he delights viewers with his use of unorthodox art materials such as chocolate, wire, spices and spaghetti. Muniz came of age in Brazil in the 1960s, when the ruling military dictatorship censored artists. Artists such as Os Mutantes began to hide their subversive political messages in a seemingly innocuous pop guise, which became an inspiration for Muniz’ work. Worst Possible Illusion captures the artist just prior to his fame skyrocketing, and offers an intimate portrait of an artist ambiguously resting on the cusp of superstardom. Additional music on the soundtrack by Calexico and Belle and Sebastian.
After falling into obscurity, Os Mutantes fame has been revived by musicians such as Kurt Cobain, David Byrne, The Flaming Lips and Devendra Banhart. By 1969, when the band’s third album “A Divina Comédia ou Ando Meio Desiglado” was recorded, Brazil’s political situation had only further deteriorated. A governmental edict called as AI 5 (Institutional Act 5) resulted in the persecution of intellectuals, artists and activists, the closing of the congress and countless arrests. The crackdown was the beginning of the end for the Tropicália movement. Giberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, close friends of the Mutantes and two of the leading forces of Tropicalia, were arrested and exiled. Despite this, the Mutantes had their biggest hit with the song “Ando Meio Desiglado”. Now this influential band has reemerged with a brand new album entitled Haih or Amortecedor on Anti-records.