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When I spoke to Vicente Amorim by Zoom on August 29, 2021, it was to talk abut his latest film, YAKUZA PRINCESS, a high-energy, fiendishly plotted martial arts fest starring MASUMI in her feature film acting debut. She plays a young woman living in Sao Paulo who discovers that she is a Yakuza heiress, and that she is in imminent danger from those who would rather not see her inherit her birthright.
I couldn’t resist, though, also asking him about one of his earlier films, MOTORRAD, in which dirt bikers are terrorized on a cross-country trip across a remote region of Brazil. He had collaborated with graphic-novelist Danilo Beyruth on both films, as well as the brilliant cinematographer, Gustavo Hadba, and while they have different vibes, they both demonstrate striking visuals and mysterious strangers.
We started out, however, with the good time Amorim, his cast, and his crew had making a yakuza film in Brazil; the delicate balance involved in adapting Beyruth’s graphic novel into a cinematic experience; and why MASUMI, who had no previous martial arts experience, was the perfect casting choice.
We went on to talk about the moral relativism in his films GOOD, THE DIVISION, and YAKUZA PRINCESS, all of which evince a realpolitik when it comes to moral absolutes (or the lack thereof); and the resonance of color (or the lack f it).
We finished up with Amorim’s tribute to the particular genius of silent film.