The Summer Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro are imminent and the world will focus on the Brazilian city for a month lapping up everything to do with it and the South American country. True to form, Tokyo Fox is most interested in filming locations and over the years there have been a handful of movies featuring Brazil though it has to be said they were not all filmed there!
Here then, in no particular order, is the Tokyo Fox top 10……films “set” in Brazil…
1. Fast Five (2011) – The film that really propelled this franchise into the big time following on from four fairly average films in the series. Thanks to aerial shots and quick editing many viewers were deceived into thinking it was the real Rio but it was actually filmed in Puerto Rico as their government offered some very beneficial tax incentives to influence the decision to film there. The locals were unimpressed with the Rio stereotypes that included heavily armed drug traffickers, corrupt police, laughable accents and sexy women.
2. Moonraker (1979) – Bond confronts antagonist Jaws on a cable car going up Sugar Loaf mountain. The atmosphere shots of the Rio Carnival were filmed a year before the film itself was shot but the ‘Brazilian’ training camp was actually filmed in at a monastery at San Nicolo on Lido in Venice, Italy! The ‘Amazon’ boat chase actually started in Florida but culminated at Iguacu Falls on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
3. Anaconda (1997) – This production actually did take place in the Amazon and was principally shot in the jungle around Manaus although as the giant snake picks off members of a jungle expedition the lush foliage seems to give way to the palm trees of California!
4. The Emerald Forest (1985) – Based on a true story, this was set and mostly filmed in Brazil with Belém, Tucuruí and Carajás in Pará state in the north used alongside the far less glamorous Lincolnshire (UK)!
5. Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001) – Second tier football league manager gains the big job after its previous occupant had a heart attack. He’s inept but flukily manages to get England into the World Cup which is in Brazil. (You can see it here.) We see a montage of clichéd Brazilian images and then its scenes at the Airport, the team hotel, on the team bus, training ground, changing room, press conference and on the sidelines. It won’t surprise you to know that none of the actors went anywhere near Brazil during filming as it was all done in the UK.
6. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008) – Filmed 19 years after the last of the original trilogy and, though often maligned, I thought it was ok although the waterfall stunts did require an extension of belief. A faked Amazon jungle for this one, with lush rainforests on private land on the Big Island of Hawaii filling in. A second unit was sent to film shots of Iguazu Falls which were then digitally combined with shots at the Universal backlot.
7. The Expendables (2010) – This franchise has very much been a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Principal photography took place in Rio de Janeiro as well as Guanabara Bay, Mangaratiba, Niterói, Colônia Juliano Moreira and Parque Lage.
8. Fitzcarraldo (1982) – Manaus is the capital city of the Amazonas state in the North Region and is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest and was used in part for this film telling the story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle. The Teatro Amazonas Opera House in Praça São Sebastião was one location and Mercado Adolpho Lisboa Market was another.
9. Bossa Nova (2000) – This Brazilian-American romantic comedy film deals with several interwoven stories about people finding and losing love in Rio de Janeiro.
10. The Incredible Hulk (2008) – Eric Banner works at a bottling factory in Rio de Janeiro while searching for a cure for his condition. The crew spent two weeks filming in Rio shooting aerial footage of Rocinha Favela whilst the interiors were actually Favela Tavares Bastos. Lapa, Tijuca Forest and Santa Teresa were also used as locales.
Bonus: Emmanuelle In Rio (2003) – There’s something very exotic about seeing films set in Brazil and yes I did say exotic but maybe one letter can be changed in that word to tell us what kind of film this one is!! Fashion photographer Emmanuelle arrives on the beaches of Brazil for a shoot and embarks on a steamy romance or three! I wouldn’t know as I’ve not seen it and was quite surprised they’d made an ‘Emmanuelle‘ film as recently as 2003.
Werner Herzog is one of my favorite film makers.