R.I.P. Brazilian Master Eduardo Coutinho (1933 - 2014)

Posted by Brian Brooks on 2.3.2014

Celebrated Brazilian director Eduardo Coutinho was tragically killed this weekend at his residence in Rio de Janeiro.

The 80 year-old filmmaker was murdered by his son who then reportedly attacked his mother before injuring himself, according to BBC. Both were taken to hospital. BBC quoted Brazilian media as saying Coutinho's son, Daniel (41) suffers from mental problems.

Eduardo Coutinho is considered one of the South American country's greatest documentarians, receiving accolades for films such as Edificio Master, Twenty Years Later, Babilonia 2000 and Playing. His career spanned over four decades, winning prestigious awards both at home and abroad. Subjects frequently gave candid insight into the daily lives of Brazilians.

Coutinho joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last year.

Richard Peña, Director Emeritus, New York Film Festival reflected on Coutinho's contribution to cinema to FilmLinc Daily Sunday evening.

"Eduardo Coutinho was beyond doubt the major Brazilian documentarist of his generation. Practically all of the Brazilian filmmakers of the '60s and '70s began in documentary, later graduating into feature films: only Coutinho remained in the field, progressively sharpening his technique as he used his cinema to burrow through the surface appearances of Brazilian reality to reveal the more complex, unfiltered truths about the country."

Continuing, Peña added: "For me, his masterpiece remains Cabra Marcada Para Morrer (Twenty Years Later), but indeed there are fewer contemporary filmographies that seem more like a single, sustained work than that of Eduardo Coutinho. His death is an enormous loss."

Also remembering Coutinho is Film Society's Michael Gibbons, who met the filmmaker on various occasions while living and working in Brazil over the last decade:

"I learned so much from Coutinho. He made such nuanced portraits of Brazilian society starting from the military dictatorship to present day, and his most recent films are just as rich and thought-provoking as his early work. Though I think all of us who worked in film in Brazil looked up to him, he would much rather talk over drinks at a bar than be put on a pedestal. He leaves behind a brilliant legacy and his death is truly shocking. I think his work will continue to make an impact for generations to come."

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