Rio Carnaval: Fact, Fiction and Fagundes

Antônio Fagundes já comemora título da Portela e subida da Portelinha: The leading man of Globo’s current prime-time soap opera will film scenes for the soap, in character, during this year’s competitive parades, reports O Globo. Headline:

Fagundes is already celebrating a Portela victory and predicting Portelinha will move up to the premier division.

See also

The Globo marketing machine — the tail that wags the network’s journalism division, apparently — let it be known explicitly that the “Portelinha” shantytown was modeled on the Western Zone community of Rio das Pedras.

Once commanded by police inspector Tostes, who was fatally riddled with bullets in a rented Toyota Hilux outside the apartment of his girlfriend on the side a year ago.

His armored Santana was in the shop that day, as I recall. He was a fugitive from justice at the time, in the same case that brought charges against former state police chief Lins for being in the caça-níqueis (“nickel-hunter” electronic gambling devices) business with the bicho rackets. Seven members of BOPE were caught searching Tostes’ apartment without a warrant on the same day.

A Rio city councilman, political rival and reputed militia commander (and fellow career police officer) has been arrested for ordering the hit, partly based on phone records from his Nextel two-way radio account. See also

The city lawmaker’s son-in-law, a state judicial policeman arrested on charges of having carried out the Tostes contract, escaped from prison on January 23, ahead of an order to transfer him to a federal facility, if I recall correctly, and is now a fugitive from justice.

Globo regularly selects a Rio escola de samba for cross-promotion with its entertainment programming.

Before last year’s parades, the eventual champion, Beija-Flor, prerecorded two segments, one for Big Brother Brasil and another for final episode of last year’s primetime soap, whose title I cannot recall. “Tropical Paradise”?

Later, accusations surfaced that the result was fixed — this as a sidebar to the arrest of big-wheel Rio bicho bankers on charges of owning senior cops and judges, lock, stock and smoking barrel.

As in “vote for my G.R.E.S. or my friend here will blow your brains out.”

RIO – O ator Antônio Fagundes chegou à Marquês de Sapucaí com mais de duas horas de atraso, à 0h10, para a preparação da gravação das cenas do desfile da Portelinha. Fagundes, que interpreta o chefe de milícia Juvenal Antena, sairá pela Portela, na pele de seu personagem. A passagem da azul-e-branco de Madureira será usada pela Rede Globo nas cenas do desfile da Portelinha, na novela “Duas Caras.”

Actor Antônio Fagundes arrived at the Rio Sambadrome more than two hours late, at ten past midnight, to get ready to film scenes from the parade of “Portelinha.” Fagundes, who plays militia chieftain Juvenal Antena, will sally forth with Portela, in character. The blue and white’s trip down the avenue will be used by the Globo network in scenes from Portelinha’s parade in the soap opera (“Two guys, two faces”).

Juvenal Antena does not really fit the mold of a militiaman, given that he is not a policeman or fireman.

The character seems to me like more of a bizarre amalgam of an MST (landless workers movement) leader and political “colonels” like Antônio Carlos Magalhães.

Despite the magnetism of Fagundes — Peridos and Achados, from a crime novel by Garcia-Roza, is perhaps his finest work, and a much more morally serious treatment of death squads, hookerdom and tropical anomie — Duas Caras is excruciatingly corny, cheesy, bizarre, semi-pornographic, and presents a mind-bendingly stupid, carnival-mirror portrait of the contemporary Tupi Zeitgeist.

Neuza pointed to a good review to this general effect in the Folha recently that I will try to translate for you.

– A Portelinha vai subir do grupo de acesso para o especial e a Portela será campeã! – disse o ator.

“Portelinha will move up from the access group to the premier division, and Portela will be champion!” the actor said.

Like Beija-Flor before it, we hasten to add, G.R.E.S. Portela is without any doubt the absolute real deal, of puríssima tradição, with living cultural treasure Paulinho da Viola as one of its leading troubadours, for example.

Still, it would be something if life imitated (bad) art imitating life imitating (bad) art in this same peculiar way, two years running.

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