BEYOND IPANEMA is a mash-up of thoughts and ideas about the repeating cycle of discovery of Brazilian music in the world. Through interviews with David Byrne, Devendra Banhart, M.I.A., Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Zé, Seu Jorge, Thievery Corporation, Bebel Gilberto, CSS, Creed Taylor and many others, BEYOND IPANEMA surveys the Brazilian music experience outside of Brazil. Artists, producers, DJs and critics analyze how the crosspollination of music styles, as well as sampling and globalization; have helped Brazil to secure a unique position in global culture.
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During the film’s production, the crew witnessed the sale of the most expensive Brazilian record ever. An extremely rare 45″ copy of a 1966 recording by the band O’Seis, an early formation of the legendary group Os Mutantes, was tracked by the producers at the New York store Tropicália in Furs. Owner Joel Oliveira was able to obtain the record from a Brazilian collector, in exchange for 200 rare albums. The film then shows the sale of the two-song record for $5,000 to an American-based Os Mutantes fan.
The story of the 70’s psychedelic band from São Paulo is one of the highlights of BEYOND IPANEMA: when production started, they had been retired for almost 30 years and had received international attention and praise from names like Kurt Cobain, David Byrne and Devendra Banhart. The film’s crew witnessed their 2006 American tour, which culminated with a show for 30,000 people in Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival.