Lower City

SWEAT'S GET IT ON Braga and Ramos do the forbidden dance.
SWEAT’S GET IT ON Braga and Ramos do the forbidden dance.

Time Out says

This debut feature by Brazilian director Srgio Machado wastes no time getting down to business: Within the first five minutes, Karinna (Braga), a hard, pantherish blonde in cutoffs, has had torrid sex with two buddies—first Naldinho (Moura), then Deco (Ramos)—in exchange for a ride on their motorboat to the port city of Salvador. The audience hasn’t been properly introduced to these characters—in fact, we don’t even know their names—but then they don’t know one another either. And what says “Nice to meet you” better than a good, hot fuck?

Lower City won’t reveal too much more about this lusty threesome. Karinna is a stripper and sometime hooker, whose provenance and reasons for traveling are unexplained. Naldinho and Deco are apparently childhood friends who run cargo on their boat and don’t always keep things strictly legal. Both men become obsessed with Karinna, setting up a passionate and violent love triangle that plays out in the evocatively photographed bars and strip clubs of the Salvador waterfront. But what, exactly, links these characters besides their desperate, sweaty couplings? One moment of mutual tenderness—or better yet, silliness—might have persuaded us these were actual human beings, and not grim sex machines. (Opens Fri; click here for venues.)—Tom Beer



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