Is it good or bad luck to fall in love with someone you’ll never meet? This is what happened tonight when I attended a forum about bossanova at the Calcutta School of Music. For the first time, I had the opportunity to see this video of Elis Regina singing Tom Jobim’s Águas de Março. The song here is more minimalist than the recording commonly available, and is all the better for it.
Combine this with the simple b&w shoot, her expressiveness (watch for the look of infinity in her eyes when she says É o mistério profundo), her ability to pull off a short haircut, and the song’s lyrical cadence, and you have nearly 4 minutes of the sublime. From longing to indifference to happiness and back again — one of the best examples of saudade that I have ever seen. Sadly, Elis, like so many others, died of a combination of alcohol, tranquilizers, and cocaine at the age of 36.
For a poorer quality video with English translation, click here. Be warned that most Brazilians will say the transaltion doesn’t do justice to the meaning in the original language.