Carnaval 2022

It is “Parabéns” to Acadêmicos do Grande Rio from Duque de Caxias in Rio de Janeiro, that are finally the champions of Rio’s carnival scoring 269.9 points out of a possible 270.

Grande Rio had just missed out in 2020′ and on three other occasions. Beija-Flor came second with 269.6; and Viradouro, champions in 2020, third with 269.4.

Full results were of Rio’s Carnival Parade in 2022 were:

  1. Grande Rio (269.6 out of 270) 
  2. Beija-Flor (269.4)
  3. Viradouro (269.4)
  4. Vila Isabel (269.2)
  5. Portela (269.1) 
  6. Salgueiro (268.3) 
  7. Mangueira (268.2) 
  8. Mocidade (268.2)
  9. Unidos da Tijuca (267.8)
  10. Imperatriz Leopoldinense (266,7) 
  11. Paraíso do Tuiuti (266.4) 
  12. Sao Clemente (263.7)

You can see phots of the parade from DAY ONE and DAY TWO at Critical Divide’s “Rio: The Guide”.

It is also congratulations to Império Serrano, one of Rio’s most traditional schools that has been parading since  1948, that has been promoted from Grupo Série Ouro, or the Grupo de Acesso, and will parade with the other 11 top schools in Rio in the Groupo Especial in 2023. São Clemente has been relegated in their place.

The next parades are scheduled for Sunday, 19 February and Monday, 20 February 2023.

Despite only coming 7th this year, Estação Primeira de Mangueira continues to be the top ranked samba school in Rio de Janeiro based on the results of the last five parades.
The top 12 ranked samba schools in Rio are now:
  1. Mangueira (62 points)
  2. Portela (60)
  3. Salgueiro (48)
  4. Mocidade (36)
  5. Beija-Flor (49)
  6. Viradouro (27)
  7. Grande Rio (34)
  8. Unidos da Tijuca (25)
  9. Vila Isabel (28)
  10. Paraíso do Tuiuti (18)
  11. Imperatriz Leopoldinense (14)
  12. União da Ilha do Governador (5)
  13. São Clemente (4)
Since 1985, and the first parade along the purpose built Sambódromo, 31 schools have paraded in the Grupo Especial.
Based on all those parades G.R.E.S Beija-Flor de Nilópolis, who came second this year, remain the top school and by a healthy margin.
The top ten samba schools in Rio since 1985 are:
  1. Beija-Flor (493 points)
  2. Salgueiro (346)
  3. Mangueira (320)
  4. Imperatriz Leopoldinense (316)
  5. Mocidade (280)
  6. Portela (237)
  7. Unidos da Tijuca (204)
  8. Vila Isabel (186)
  9. Grande Rio (195)
  10. Viradouro (186)

A Decade of “Brazil the Guide”

10 years ago in April 2012 we launched a labour of love, www.braziltheguide.com, which was followed two years later – in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup – by the much more complete www.riotheguide.com

The reason we launched the sites was that we were and still do get consulted about Rio and Brazil on a weekly basis and this seemed an easier way of telling people where to find the information and share it. We were also often asked when we would update “The Insider’s Guide to Rio de Janeiro”, last published in print form in 1995, and the web sites seemed the obvious answer. #brazil #riodejaneiro

Ronnie Biggs’ Rio: No One is Innocent: Documentary

Business Doc Europe’s coverage of our Ronald Biggs documentary “Ronnie Biggs’ Rio: No One is Innocent” that we are currently making with TvZero and Canal Brasil for broadcast in 2023, the 60th anniversary of the “Great Train Robbery”.

Read Here

Festival do Rio returns with the support of Mayor Eduardo Paes

As Rio de Janeiro emerges from the global pandemic, 9 December 2021, saw the return of its premiere annual film event with the opening of the 23rd Festival do Rio, Rio International Film Festival with the Brazilian premiere of Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers. Festival do Rio returns this year with the full support of the Mayor and city of Rio de Janeiro, as well as live audiences

“Our mission,” the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, explains “is to re-build Rio’s role in the audiovisual sector and strengthen the sector with investment, which we have already started to do. Rio as a city depends a lot on culture, as it helps to build the history and identity of our city and our people. Festival do Rio is one of the pillars of our renaissance on both the national and world stage.”

From 9 to 19 December 2021 the cinema going public in Rio de Janeiro has the opportunity to see both international and domestic Brazilian films. They include award-winners, some of the years most talked about and commented on productions, and rarities from the archives. The public also get to participate in debates, special sessions and lectures.

Navigating its way back after an absent year, this year’s edition is a compact  one, with 25 centre-pieces with sights on returning to a full-length edition in 2022 and new banner sponsors.

Première Brasil remains one of the most anticipated and popular sections of the festival, and the main competitive section that offers an important shop window for Brazilian cinema both internationally and domestically. Première Brasil also gives the audiences in Rio the chance to see the films and then meet and talk with the filmmakers and actors. The public also votes for the best film in the categories of fiction, documentary and short, while an official jury awards the festival’s Redentor trophy across a diverse range of categories from the films in official competition. In total 71 Brazilian films drawn from features  and shorts will screen across Rio in the Première Brasil section during the festival

 

“This year’s selection,” says festival director Ilda Santiago,”shows a strong Brazilian cinema, full of reflection which, despite far from ideal conditions, is ready to reclaim its place with the cinema going public.”

Among international highlights this year are Joe Wright’s Cyrano and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, both of which are receiving their Brazilian premieres. Also screening are this year’s Palme d’Or winner, Julia Ducournau’s Titanealong with Céline Sciamma’s Petite Maman; Radu Jude’s winner of Berlin’s Golden Bear, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn; Apichatpong Weerasethakul MemoriaPaul Verhoeven’s Benedetta; Andrea Arnold’s Cow; Nanni Moretti’s Three Floors; and Woody Allen’s most recent offering, Rifkin’s Festival, that premiered during the recent San Sebastian Film Festival.

Brazilian directors with films screening during Festival do Rio include Júlio Bressane, Karim Aïnouz, Bruno Barreto, Luiz Carlos Lacerda, Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas, Luiz Carlos Lacerda, Murilo Salles, Laís Bodanzky, and many others.

The work of Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai will be in the spotlight with the screening of five of the director’s most acclaimed films that have been restored by the director in partnership with MUBI. The festival also celebrates the 70th anniversary of the French film magazine “Cahiers du Cinéma” with the screening of some classic French works from Louis Malle, Robert Bresson, Chris Marker, Eric Rohmer, René Laloux, Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard and Costa-Gavras, as well as an exhibition of the magazine.

Veja Rio’s best restaurants 2021

In 1997 Veja Rio launched its excellent restaurant and bar guide “Comer & Beber”, which also chooses its best restaurants and bars in Rio for the year (it does the same for São Paulo). The list of the city’s best for Rio 2021 are:

  • Contemporary Brazilian: Oteque (Botafogo)
  • Barbecue / Churrascaria Rodizio: Churrascaria Palace (Copacabana)
  • Seafood: Escama (Jardim Botanico)
  • French: L’Etoile – Sheraton Rio (Leblon)
  • Italian: Grado (Jardim Botanico)
  • Pizza: Ferro e Farinha (Catete / Botafogo / Leblon)
  • Portuguese: Gajos D’Ouro (Ipanema)
  • Asian: Spicy Fish (Ipanema)
  • Japanese: San (Leblon)
  • Hamburger: Sabor D.O.C. (Leblon)
  • Veagan: Ganic Lab (Barra)
  • Gastropub: Pope (Ipanema)
  • Botequim / Bar: Bafo da Prainha
  • Cheap & Cheerful: Cantón (Copacabana)
  • Ice Cream: Mil Frutas (Ipanema / Leblon / Jardim Botanico / São Conrado / Barra)
  • Breakfast: Café 18 do Forte (Copacabana)
  • Kiosk: De Lamare (Posto 8 – Ipanema)
  • Best Terrace: Boteco Belmonte (Ipanema)

13th Brazilian Convention & Visitors Bureau Congress

The 13th Brazilian Convention & Visitors Bureau Congress will bring the Brazilian travel and tourism industry and authorities together over two days on 17 and 18 June 2021 (via video conferencing) to look at the challenges facing the industry as it works to reset itself post pandemic. 

While domestic tourism has held up quite well in Brazil over the past 18 months, when allowed to operate, international visitors have been very limited as travel between Brazil and rest of the world has been severely restricted and continues to be so.

The conference, organised by the Brasil Convention & Visitors Bureaux (BC&VB), will emphasise the growing importance of tourism to many areas of Brazil, and look at the challenges to be faced by the accommodation and aviation sectors post pandemic, flights being of key importance to a country the size of Brazil. Sustainable transport is on the agenda, and the participants will also hear about the current global situation for travel and tourism and how other destinations are looking to re-launch and open when it is safe to do so.

Via the magic of Zoom Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard has the honour of giving his view of world events in a presentation entitled “O Mercado Global de Turismo – um olhar na realidade.” (The Global Tourism Market: A Reality Check).

Critical Divide features Mangueira for 2021


The Critical Divide calendar for 2021 features Estação Primeira de Mangueira’s parade at Rio’s carnival on 24 February 2020.

Sadly our On Parade with Mangueira: Carnival in Rio project will now have to wait until 2022 as it needs a proper full-blown Rio carnival to work, and that won’t now happen in 2021, although there may be parade of the top samba schools in July.

If that parade takes place, Mangueira samba will be “Angenor, José & Laurindo”, which refers to three of the school’s most iconic figures, the great composer, Cartola, (Angenor de Oliveira); the singer, Jamelão (José Bispo Clementino dos Santos); and the dance master or mestre-sala, Delegado (Hélio Laurindo da Silva).

2021 marks the centenary of the birth of Mestre Delegado who performed for the school from 1948 through to 1984, when he retired as the Mestre-Sala after Mangueira had won the Super-Championship to mark the first year of the Sambódromo. In that period Delegado had always scored a maximum 10 for his presentation.

Hopefully good things come to those that wait, but until then you can keep up to date on carnival and Rio at www.riotheguide.com.

Flying Down to Rio with British United



A blast from the past when British United flew between the UK and Brazil.

British United took over BOAC’s South American routes to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay on 5 November 1964. Those routes, flying VC10s via Madrid, Lisbon, Las Palmas or Freetown, became profitable for United by late-1968. In November 1970, the airline was sold and merged into Caledonian to form British Caledonian that continued to fly to South America, replacing the VC10s with Boeing 707s in 1972, which allowed for a non-stop service between London Gatwick and Rio.

British Airways took over the routes from British Caledonian in 1985.

Brazil – COVID-19 – Carnival 2021

As in many countries, COVID-19 has had a major and disruptive impact on life in Brazil and in Rio de Janeiro.

Given the size of the population, and the country, Brazil has had one of the highest number of COVID cases and deaths in the world after the US, and access to and around the country has been restricted. As a result a number of hotels, restaurants, bars, stores, attractions, and even beaches, have been closed or offer limit access. So please check before you plan a visit to Brazil or Rio for leisure purposes. We are trying to update our sites at Rio: The Guide and Brazil: The Guide just as soon as it is clear which businesses have re-opened and survived.

It also looks as if there will be major disruption to Rio’s carnival in 2021 with few or none of the major parades and group activities taking place.  If you want to truly experience carnival in Rio, or any other part of Brazil, you will be better to wait until 2022.