Sunday, August 31, 2014

CARLOS LAMARCA, freedom fighter

Carlos Lamarca 

Yara Iavelberg & Capitan Carlos Lamarca shooting in Quitaúna, Osasco.

Quartel do Exercito em Quitaúna, Osasco, que Capitão Carlos Lamarca serviu nos anos 1960s.

Quitaúna tracks

CASSANDRA RIOS lesbian love

For Brazilian teen-agers who were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s it was really exciting to get hold of a book written by Cassandra Rios. Her stories told tales of lesbian young love, tranvestites, homosexuals on the loose and all those forbidden topics nobody talked about. Her books were passed from hand to hand in a surreptitiously way and one only talked about Cassandra's stories with his/her best friend. Sometimes not even a 'best friend' was enough to understand what it meant to be in love with someone of the same sex. 

I remember the first time I heard of Cassandra Rios. I must have been 16 years and met these girls who were in the Rita Pavone Fan Club, an Italian rock singer who was famous for being 'butch'. Most of these girls turned out to be lesbians and one in particular, called Claudete, who was a little older than the rest of us was the one who had Cassandra Rios's books... and she didn't mind lending them away. 

Sex was hard to come by in the 1950s... and reading about sex was even harder. I remember there was a book called 'Our sex life', written in 1939, by Austrian author Fritz Kahn that used to be avidly read by teens and young people. 

Cassandra Rios published her first book, 'A Volúpia do Pecado' (Voluptousness of Sin), in 1948, when she was only 16 years old. Her mother Damiana Rios put up the money for the book but Cassandra asked her never to read a single word she wrote. 

Cassandra whose real name was Odete Rios had a strong love for her mother and when Damiana was really ill at an ICU Cass made a promise if her mother got better she would become a celibate, which she did for a long time according to herself. 

Cassandra Rios being just charming.

published in 1948, 'A volupia do pecado' was Cassandra's 1st book.
'O gamo e a galeza' brought Cassandra Rio's photo in the back-cover.

Cassandra's 1950s sleeves were risquè. The alternative to Cassandra was Dr. Fritz Kahn's 'Our sex life'.

'Volúpia do pecado' (1948)
'Macária' (1952)
'Carne em delírio'
'A lua escondida' 
'O gamo e a gazela'
'A sarjeta' aka 'Irina' (1959)
'As vedetes'  
'Bruxo espanhol'

'Copacabana Posto 6'
'Muros altos' (1967)
'A madrasta'
'A noite tem mais luzes'
'Crime de honra'
'Uma mulher diferente'
'Um escorpião na balança'
'A serpente e a flor'

'O gigolô'
'O prazer de pecar'
'A borboleta branca'
'Tessa, a gata' (it became a movie in 1982)
'Nicoletta ninfeta'
'Breve história de Fabia'
'A paranoica' (turned into a movie by Nicole Puzzi)
'A tara'

'As traças'
'As mulheres de cabelos de metal'
'Entre o reino de Deus e o reino do Diabo' (1977 - never published)
'Eu sou uma lésbica' 
'MezzAmaro' (auto-biography 2000).

Cassandra Rios gave an in-depth interview for TPM magazine in July 2001. Unfortunately, maybe due to the interviewer's lack of sensibility Cassandra kept on the defensive most of the time and they have never gone too deep in any subject. Cassandra was notorious for evading the question: 'Are you a lesbian?' She never actually said she had ever been one. But she did say she was glad she had written all those stories especially when she saw São Paulo's 2001 Gay Pride Parade with more than 200,000 people marching down the streets. She felt proud in being homosexual even though she didn't actually say the L word.

Cassandra would die in 8 March 2002, a meaningful date for someone who fought so much for the rights of women, especially Lesbian women. 

Cassandra Rios dressed to kill...

Cassandra & a feline friend... 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

more 1963-1964 in a scrap-book

More scraps from Claudete Deleva's scrap-book which she started around the time John Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, Texas - 22 November 1963; 'Sabe Deus' (Sabra Diós) was #1 in the singles' charts in Brazil followed by 'El relicario' an old Spanish tuned turned into a vibrant rock by Brazilian band The Clevers - don't pay any attention to Revista do Radio's chart, it was blatantly manipulated; popular Catholic bishop Dom Helder Camara kept his campaign of making the very poor more visible in the media; French song-bird Edith Piaf dies in Paris in 10 October 1963; 

Even though 'El relicário' was a hit by The Clevers, old-timer Revista do Radio insisted on snubbing the boys by ignoring them in lieu of a conservative record sung by João Dias that had no air-play whatsoever.
British 'Profumo affair' had enough sex to keep Brazilians interested. 'Loving was my undoing' declared the old government official to 'O Cruzeiro' in June 1963.
Weekly magazine 'O Cruzeiro' had 2 pages where they sent up celebrities: here's Pope Paul VI plays a 'Bossa Nova' rhythm and asks President João Goulart if he's been successful! 
1st lady Maria Tereza Goulart visits Mangueira slum to watch their Carnaval show in 29 January 1964.
Dom Helder Camara gives the poor woman some advice.
Juscelino Kubitschek listens to The Little Red Riding Hood...
Edith Piaf  had an image of Sainte Therese near her bed. 
US film actor Alan Ladd dies in California in 29 January 1964.
Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammed Ali) wins the heavy-weight championship in 25 February 1964, in Miami, Florida. 
controversial writer Adelaide Carraro wants to be a painter.
The Beatles take on the world. It took longer to get Brazilians interested though. 
Beatles got many golden records
Bobby Solo's 'Una lacrima sul viso' is the #1 single - 'Meus 18 anos' is #1 in the album charts 
Rita Pavone took Brazil by storm in 25 June 1964, when her show was beamed by TV Record. 
Italian film director swindles law-abiding citizens 
Jacqueline Myrna, famous as a TV performer stars in "Superbeldades', her 1st movie. 
socialite Ligia Freitas Valle Jordan tries to kill herself
Tamba Trio is the 1st jazz-samba ensemble - 'O pagador de promessas' still is news. 
exchanged at the maternity ward
old-timer politician Ademar de Barros ages visibly but keeps on trudging the old formula: rightwing politics disguised as a populist. When the coup-de-etat came in April 1964, Ademar sided with the reactionaries.
Sarita Montiel causes commotion in Rio de Janeiro 
Spanish superstar Sarita Montiel causes a sensation in Rio where she makes a film.
monokini causes stir
Italian priest does charity work at Rio's Tijuca shanty-town and becomes a popular.
transistor radios rule
Norma Benguel's 'Noite Vazia' - Taylor & Burton's 'Cleopatra'

Brazilian film 'Noite vazia' (Empty night) was hailed as a hit even before being released. 'Noite vazia' went on to become one of the most acclaimed films of the decade starring Odete Lara & Norma Benguel. Brazil and the world cried when Nat 'King' Cole died in 15 February 1965.