São Paulo’s film buffs are no strangers to CineSESC – the humble cinema on Rua Augusta – and its usual arthouse selection. During this festival, however, it's not just arthouse films that will be screened, but blockbusters too. The long-running festival SESC Melhores Filmes (SESC Best Films) is now in its 39th edition, and the idea is to screen a selection of the best films released the year before. The shortlist of films was selected by a panel of Brazilian film critics as well as voters on the festival's website, whittling down 309 eligible films to a shortlist of 40.
Beyond the award ceremony, all 40 films will be screened at CineSESC until 25 April, and in other cities in São Paulo state. People will get the chance to watch (or rewatch) some of their 2012 favourites; the selection includes acclaimed films such as Martin Scorsese’s Hugo or the drama Drive.
The festival will also feature box office hits like The Dark Knight Rises and the much-loved The Life of Pi alongside lesser-known films like We Need to Talk About Kevin. Read on for our pick of the films.
English language films
Drive A nameless hero, played by Ryan Gosling, gets in trouble when he decides to help a neighbour. Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011, USA. Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston. 100 mins. Read the Time Out review
9.30pm, 18 April; 9.30, 24 April
We Need to Talk About Kevin Darting back and forth in time, this film (adapted from the eponymous book) starring Tilda Swinton, gradually reveals more of the woman, marriage and family that bore a killer Dir. Lynne Ramsay, 2011, UK, USA. Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller. 112 mins. Read the Time Out review
7pm, 18 April
The Dark Knight Rises Eight years after he took the blame for Harvey Dent's death and vanished, Batman is forced out of his self-imposed exile by a terrorist called Bane. Dir. Christopher Nolan, 2012, USA, UK. Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard. 165 mins.
9.30pm, 21 April
The Life of Pi A gentle Indian teenager is shipwrecked on a lifeboat with a tiger, in a beautiful film by Ang Lee. Dir. Ang Lee, 2012, USA. Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain. 127 mins. Read the Time Out review
2.30pm, 24 April
Hugo In 1930, the orphan Hugo has a key, a robot and a friend to solve a magical mystery. Dir. Martin Scorsese, 2011, USA. Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz. 126 mins. Read the Time Out review
7pm, 25 April
Brazilian films (for Portuguese speakers)
Tropicália This documentary delves into the Brazilian musical and cultural movement Tropicália, with testimonies from the movement's leaders, including Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Rita Lee. Dir. Marcelo Machado, 2012, Brazil/USA/UK. Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Rita Lee. 89 mins. Read the Time Out review
11pm, 19 April.
Era Uma Vez Eu, Verônica A med school graduate records her experiences as a way of getting to grips with her first job, in a public hospital, with long hours and poor conditions. Dir. Marcelo Gomes, 2012, Brazil. João Miguel, W. J. Solha, Renata Roberta. 100 mins.
7pm, 22 April