you watch tv shows set in new york but filmed in california and you can tell just by the quality of sunlight that it is not new york.
san francisco has an unmistakable quality of light that is not too far off of what rio's was like; an urgent sort of brightness tempered by either the amount of pollution or proximity to a bay and cloud activity.
when walking the beach in porto de galinhas looking for a place to set up shop on beach chairs the first touter of beach chairs was this uruguayan dude; a real lusty, ruddy, chortling sorta good time guy whose pantomine of the drunk of person we would be (after drinking plenty of the local drink at his beach chair set up) was both hilarious but frightening because he was portraying being blotto as hilarious and something very desirable to be attained either in general and/or for a tourist in a beach chair. it was hard to know if he was touting or just telling the truth as he saw it. the line betw sales and sincerity was less clear there as irony isnt in operation at all.
ive really grown to like australians mostly. they just go about the business of having a good time. something ive noticed is that they dont complain about things. they just execute having the fun they want to have.
anyway, the last australians we met were a couple from Perth happy to be soon going back for the end of the australian rules football season. they insisted we eat vegemite the proper way; slathered on bread with a foundation of butter. couldnt get behind it, guys.
did not go on a tour of the slums of Rio. you could see them shoved up tight and high on the mountains of the city. driving out to the airport they became more and more frequent. i forget if that City of God movie was about the Rio slums/gangs or what but man that movie sure made them look "gritty" and beautiful. disgusting.
on a related note "The Constant Gardener" was viewed here the other night and fuck me if Africa The Character wasnt depicted in digital sepia (i mean is sepia and jumpy camera the new cinema verite? is that the aesthetic crutch i need to get through a lazily plotted and shortcut-logic movie?) as a bustling, beautiful, sickly place only defensible by lefty beautiful people. The stab the movie takes at an African character hardly ever (literally) comes into focus. He is shot in such a way as only to be a shadow, a mystery; a step above the savage. Hateable movie playing up the easy target of evil pharmaceutical companies and, broadly, Government.
on a related note i saw about fifteen minutes of "Crash" while in Rio hotel room behind locked room door, locked hostel front door that is set up an alley that is lock gated and under security cam.