Alberto Cavalcanti

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cavalcanti, Alberto


Born Feb. 6, 1897, in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian motion-picture director.

Cavalcanti graduated in 1917 from the University of Genoa. In the 1920’s he joined an avant-garde film group in Paris, worked as an art director, and began directing in 1926 (his first film was Train Without Eyes). Cavalcanti’s documentary films Nothing but Hours (1926) and On Assignment (1927) differed from avant-garde films in their tendency toward social commentary and their portrayal of everyday life.

He moved to Britain in 1934 and joined J. Grierson’s group, becoming one of England’s leading documentary film-makers. (He also directed features in the 1940’s.) In 1949, Cavalcanti moved to Brazil, where he became a producer and founded the Cinefilmes Studio, which produced Song of the Sea (1954), a depiction of the hard life of simple people. Since the mid-1950’s he has worked in Austria, Rumania, Italy, Great Britain, and Spain.


Alberto Cavalcanti. Berlin, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The idea of writing Our Man in Havana was conceived when Alberto Cavalcanti, a Brazilian film director, asked Greene to write a film outline, way before the Cuban Revolution.
Examples include Las Hurdes (Land without Bread, Luis Bunuel, 1932), Coal Face (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1935), Let There Be Light (John Huston, 1945), and Capturing the Freidmans (Andrew Jarecki, 2003).
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It really catches the atmosphere of a good Friday night out 'up the palais'!" ||Jonathan Coe, Birmingham novelist who is speaking at the Birmingham Literature Festival this week about his new novel, Expo 58, plumps for Dead of Night, from 1945 directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Robert Hamer, Charles Crichton and Basil Dearden.
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World War Two drama, directed by Alberto Cavalcanti and based on a story by Graham Greene, starring Leslie Banks, Basil Sydney, Mervyn Johns, Marie Lohr, Elizabeth Allen, Frank Lawton and Valerie Taylor.
World War II melodrama, directed by Alberto Cavalcanti. Leslie Banks, Basil Sydney, Mervyn Johns, Marie Lohr, Elizabeth Allen, Frank Lawton and Valerie Taylor star.
And throughout the exhibition there are documentary films on video loops including Edgar Anstey and Arthur Elton's Housing Problems (1935), an indictment of Britain's slums, and Coalface made by Alberto Cavalcanti in the same year which, in a more direct way than Drifters, points to the human cost of producing the nation's staples '40 million tons of coal are sold every year for household use, 85 million for industry ...