From Beginning to End Proves Brazilian Cinema Does It Better

The less said about this trailer for From Beginning to End (Do Começo ao Fim) the better, other than it’s certifiably the most ridiculous thing I’ve encountered in quite some.  Just watch it and remember that this is an actual movie and an actual story that people felt committed to tell because they see it as having serious, artistic merit.  Also, before you click play and watch this, prepare to have your brain melt and then spew out through your ears.  Seriously, you’ve been warned:

Ermmm….neat?  And also, HUH???

Perhaps this is simply an example of a movie that touches on a taboo that I can’t even wrap around my head, but I’m willing to bet that the large majority of the world would equally agree with my sentiments that this is kinda creepy.  I could even see this movie as trying to be more a metaphor for the broader socially forbidden love of homosexuality, but that doesn’t really work because we don’t need an extra layer of uncomfortable icing on our sexual taboo cake.  Homosexuality still holds enough of a taboo in mainstream film to where it’s pretty a shortcake: you just add some strawberries (like being a cowboy in Brokeback Mountain) and then serve.  From Beginning to End is too much of everything, though, and so it looks like it’s a multi-tiered cake of various taboos that’ll inevitably collapse in on itself.

That said, I totally appreciate any movie that’s seeking to confront what we perceive as right and wrong in order to make us evaluate our moral codes and social fabrics.  I could and should be capable of treating this movie as a serious endeavor that demands an intelligent, open-minded  discussion about cultural sexual mores, but instead I just keep replaying this trailer in awe of how–in spite of its polished direction and competent performances and attractive male leads and Philip Glassian score (and I do so love my Philip Glassian scores, y’all)–this movie looks so epically trashy!

Incest is one of those topics that remains in such an outer stratosphere of taboo that it’s nigh impossible to present it sincerely.  There’s too much explicit shock value to not garner an immediate reaction like “You cannot be serious!” or “REALLY?!?!?”; after this reactionary wall’s put up, the rest of the film becomes little more than an exercise in button-pushing, a testament to the audience’s ability to bear spectacle to the movie’s cheap and uncomfortable titillations.  Like a train wreck, you know you shouldn’t watch, but you also know you can’t turn away.    You’ll finish the movie without any introspection and instead leave with a pithy, inconsequential retort like “What ridiculous garbage!” or “That’s movie was batshit crazy, but you should totally see it.”  In short, it becomes empty (albeit camp/cult) trash, full of ironic value but devoid of legitimate meaning.

Maybe I’m wrong, though, and we’ll finish the movie (provided it ever gets any theatrical, or even DVD, release in the US) saying, “My, what an insightful and touching portrayal of a topic I’d never given any serious consideration before today.”  I’d imagine this movie probably effectively humanizes the plight of these two individuals, and maybe we’ll all even shed a tear in the final frames, but probably only after our eyeballs have fallen out of our heads from all the constant rolling they’ll be doing.  That, or you’ll just stop watching after 15 minutes ‘cos the subject matter freaks your shit out waaay too much.

Either way, From Beginning to End pretty much looks like what happens when foreign movies decide to put on their classiest pair of denim-cut-off trashalicious short shorts.  Yes, friends, Brazilian cinema does it better, and by “it” I mean art-house trash.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve an overwhelming urge for some Fogo de Chão.

Cheers to Videogum for leading me to this ridicupalooza.

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15 Responses

  1. so does that mean we are NOT going to see a movie about two hot Brazilian men who happen to be brothers hooking up for 90 mins? oh right…I mean…that’s gross. [ahem]

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    • Oh, we’re totally seeing it. I just refuse to take it seriously because I don’t want to feel like creepster when I start getting the vapors. I prefer to watch my hot Brazilian men fool around without feeling like I’m wearing my super-dirty-pervy pants, thank you very much.

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  2. Ew ew ew ew ew ew. Ewwww ew ew ew ew ew ew EWWWWWWWWWW. SO gross.

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  3. Erm, since they are not actually brothers, just two hot guys in underwear, with romance… this is slash-girl heaven. I know lots of guys that find girl on girl action hot (especially the sister kind if staight porn is to be believed) so i can imagine many girls will find this film nothing but sweet and hot. Ok, in real life, incest would squick anybody, but in films and television we can enjoy things that we know we’d go to special hell for in real life- that’s the whole point of them.
    I say bring on the bromance 🙂

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    • I agree wholeheartedly! Thank you for saying it so much more eloquently than I ever would have been able to 😉

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  4. My soul hurts a bit. If this comes to pass, I wonder what your blog will have to say about the trailer, which will no doubt be camptasticaly awful: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i666afabc28491e6a5d5861d83ae30855

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  5. The US has already sort of touched on this idea of incestuous male relationships with the short film Starcrossed. Directed and written by James Burkhammer. It told the story of two brothers who fall in love. It was a very good short film and I for one am looking forward to seeing Do Começo Ao Fim.

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    • I actually came across clips from Starcrossed some months back when the trailer for From Beginning to End first popped up on the internet. I’d be curious to see the full short. I’m certainly crossing my fingers for a US release for From Beginning to End as well. It looks well directed, and I’m quite intrigued to see if it’s possible to take such taboo a subject matter and turn it into an effective dramatic feature. That said, even if it ends up being little more than high-minded trash, I’m not about to complain; I relish such cinematic experiences.

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  6. You are unbelievable!!!
    You’re saying things about a movie that you have NEVER seen and also calling Brazilian movies an ”art-house trash?”

    I don’t know where you got you college degree from buddy, but I’m sure you can get a refund.

    You should consider traveling a bit outside the U.S. buddy and you will find out that the U.S. in NOT the center of the universe.

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  7. You Are Unbelievable!!!
    You’re saying things about a movie that you have NEVER seen and also calling Brazilian movies an ”art-house trash?”

    I don’t know where you got you college degree from buddy, but I’m sure you can get a refund.

    You should consider traveling a bit outside the U.S. and you will find out that the U.S. is NOT the center of the Universe.

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    • At no point did I write off all of Brazilian cinema as “art-house trash.” Yes, judging from the trailer, I personally think From Beginning to End‘s taboo plot is rather trashy and ridiculous, but those are also two qualifiers that get me excited about movies. I like camp and bad taste, so consider this post to be more tongue-in-cheek enthusiasm than serious criticism.

      That said, I stand by my assertion that the From Beginning to End trailer is relying heavily on the shock value of homosexual incest. After all, without it, it probably wouldn’t have had the internet buzzing this past spring.

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      • Okay Ben, now that you’ve explained yourself a little better, I understand a bit more what you meant when you wrote the piece above. So you have been found ‘Not Guilty’ as charged by this court. I guess when you meant the word ‘trash’ you meant it in a good way.

        I think that it is good that movies such as this one comes along to open up our souls and for taking us to the next level. I take my hats off for the film makers to take such risks to work on a project like this one because there will be – for sure – resistance from all angles of society.

        I feel indifferent about the subject matter. If we are able to pass through the incest part I think it is really a beautiful story.

        I know about the buzz that this movie is causing on the net. I’ve been following it. And fasten your seat-belts because when this movie is released it will really an interesting ride. I hear that it will be released in Brazil on November 19.

        My best, and I’m sorry that I insulted you.

        Leo

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  8. I remember a U.S. short film ‘Starcrossed’ form about 2005( I think) about two brothers who fall in love and have a sexual relationship. It was beautifully filmed(meaning not cheap and very well acted) and it is unfortunate it is only fifteen minutes long. I do doubt ‘Beginning to End’ will make its way to the States. There were talks of Starcrossed being remade into a full feature film, but it never came into fruition.

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  9. Dude, you’re so tacky it hurts. Just because you think it’s not natural it doesn’t mean it’s not, stop being such a truth-God and start thinking about points-of-view (: It’s about time you stop being manipulated by society OHWW DADDY AND MUMMY AND XXXXX SAID BROTHERS HOOKING UP IS FORBIDDEN AND UGLY AND BAD AND GROSS, AND SINCE I DON’T HAVE AN OPINION I’M JUST GONNA STICK TO THEIRS, mimimi~
    Think outside the box, think outside society. Just because it’s not commom it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it just means people don’t understand it.

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    • Dude, as I’ve previously responded in the comments, I didn’t intend this post to be intended as any sort of serious critique of the film or its subject matter. It’s meant to be read as hyperbolic and tongue-in-cheek in tone, so if you think I’m passing any honest judgment on anyone else’s sexuality, then I’m sorry that you missed that I’m a big ol’ queen who isn’t taking any of this too seriously. I honestly would wholeheartedly get behind any movie that wants to explore incest as a cultural taboo, but I’m sure there’s also an audience that would be too weirded out by the topic to go near it, and I’d say that’s fair as well. Like you said, it’s about points of view.

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