nothing will be like before

Nothing will be the same as before/ Disclosure


Commentary on the documentary directed by Ana Rieper

It is not new that Brazilian cinema owes an inestimable debt to our popular music. At least since Carmen Miranda and the carnival musicals of the 1930s, she has been an inexhaustible source of animation for our moving images. Now we can see a reverse movement, an attempt to repay some of this gift, in documentary and fiction films dedicated to prominent musicians, composers, singers and singers.

The documentary nothing will be like before, by Ana Rieper, fits into this line, as it tells the story of Clube da Esquina, that group of musicians and composers from Minas Gerais that marked our culture forever since the beginning of the 1970s. In other words: the director lets the members of the club themselves club tells its personal and collective story.

It begins with black and white images of Milton Nascimento, still young, sketching on the TV program “Rehearsal” the geographic-affective-musical coordinates of the movement: “Clube da Esquina. Rua Divinópolis, Santa Tereza neighborhood, Belo Horizonte, home of Salomão Borges, father. Father, mother and offspring, eleven children, ten households, including me – and all musicians”.

Spatiotemporal location

The following images, filmed today, show the building where the Borges lived, while the two most famous brothers, Lô and Marcio, remember the beginning of it all, the chance meeting between Lô, then ten years old, and Milton, ten years older. old man, when he strummed his guitar and sang while sitting on a step of the building's stairs.

From this historical-geographical location, which includes current and period shots in the central streets of Belo Horizonte, the film unfolds into testimonies and conversations from the “club” staff, recalling cases, partnerships, meetings, compositions. Some stories are funny, some are moving, and all are delicious.

The greatest merit of the documentary, in my opinion, is balancing music and friendship, showing that, in the case of this group, the two terms are almost synonymous.

For moviegoers, a special attraction is the relationship between musicians from Minas Gerais and cinema. Watch together Jules and Jim, by François Truffaut, reinforced the affinity and sealed the friendship between Marcio Borges and Milton Nascimento. “My songs are always pieces from films”, says Milton Nascimento. And the testimonies are juxtaposed, in the documentary, with excerpts from tapes from the 1960s, such as the short Documentary, by Rogério Sganzerla, and the feature film war garden, by Neville d'Almeida.

Disparate influences

nothing will be like before takes on extraordinary cultural relevance when musicians talk about the disparate influences that inspired them.

Beto Guedes, for example, talks about the Beatles (theme of a famous song by Lô and Marcio Borges, “For Lennon and McCartney”), Wagner Tiso cites a “solid foundation of scholarship” (Chopin, Ravel) and a closeness to music Eastern European gypsy, Nivaldo Ornellas highlights the influx of jazz from Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Flavio Venturini recalls the progressive rock of Genesis, Robertinho Silva says that his percussion comes from the drums of Candomblé terreiros. When singing and drumming “Cravo e canela”, Robertinho says, beaming: “Is this rock? Of course not? That’s Afro.”

Nothing, therefore, of the cold external explanations from “experts” and commentators, so common in documentaries of this type, but rather warm testimonials from those who learned and discovered by doing. A highlight of this stripping of the group's music is the demonstration given by Toninho Horta of a guitar solo (from “Trem Azul”, if I'm not mistaken) in which he fuses the jazz style of Wes Montgomery and the thirds of country guitar players.

From this type of sonic alchemy emerged one of the highest moments of Brazilian popular music, the double album corner club, from 1972, which irrigated our culture and boosted the careers of a dozen top-notch musicians and composers. “I wait for a great country/ from the depths of the night to arrive”, say the lyrics of “Clube da Esquina 1” (Milton Nascimento, Lô and Marcio Borges). One day this crooked and cruel country will deserve the wonderful music it produces.

*Jose Geraldo Couto is a film critic. Author, among other books, of André Breton (Brasiliense).

Originally published on film blog IMS.


Nothing will be like before.
Brazil, Documentary, 79 minutes.
Direction and script: Ana Rieper.
Editing: Pedro Asbeg & André Sampaio.
Cast: Milton Nascimento, Lô Borges, Beto Guedes, Wagner Tiso, Toninho Horta, Ronaldo Bastos, Flavio Venturini, Marcio Borges, Murilo Antunes, Tavinho Moura, Nivaldo Ornellas, Robertinho Silva, Novelli, Nelson Ângelo, Luiz Alves, Duca Leal, Telo Borges, Marilton Borges, Paulinho Saturnino, Beto Lopes, Paulo Vilara.

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