Monday, March 29, 2010


On Saturday, I screened Paulista, starring Silvia Lourenço and Maria Clara Spinelli.

When Marina (Lourenço), an aspiring actress, moves in with Suzana (Spinelli), her life is injected with opportunities that never seemed possible before. The street they live on in Sao Paulo, Avenida Paulista, is brimming with promise--socially and otherwise.

As we meet each character, we learn that they all share a connection to one another, much like a small town transported to a big city. There's Jay, who has fallen in love with a hooker, and he just happens to live in the same building as Marina and Suzana. Justine, a singer at a nearby club, quickly becomes the object of Marina's affection, and so forth.

None of the characters are boring and all of the situations presented (love, mystery, longing) keep you watching, but at the same time, none of what's happening is particularly unique.

I found the pace and transitions of Paulista to be very similar to that of the classic TV show miniseries Tales of the City, which was set in San Francisco. At the heart of both works is a message of people needing people, with a focus on how complicated our human desires and needs for validation can be.

Paulista is a sexy, enjoyable romp about a group of young people in the prime of their lives. Nothing more, nothing less.


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