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Cartel 011 Off the bandwagon, onto the cart(el)

Don’t try to pigeonhole this place. Part art gallery, part design store, part restaurant, part co-working space, we could go on…but basically it’s exploding with ideas and energy. From product launches to music sessions, there’s always something going on at Cartel 011. Founded in 2009 with the intention of transforming the urban environment, it’s a case of so far, so bloody brilliant.

Espaço Unibanco de Cinema Waiting for Godard

This cinephile heaven projects a carefully chosen selection of international indie and art films in its five screening rooms. Espaço Unibanco de Cinema is divided into two spaces, one on either side of Rua Augusta. Both feature friendly cafés to help ease any pre-movie impatience; the side with screens 1, 2 and 3 boasts a fine film book shop as well.

As well as its busy daily schedule, Espaço Unibanco de Cinema hosts premiers and events like the Mostra Internacional de Cinema de São Paulo (the city’s international film festival). All films are, of course, shown in the original language with Portuguese subtitles.

Thursday screenings are offered at a discount but it is on the last Friday of every month that the Espaço Unibanco de Cinema really kicks back: during the Odisséia de Cinema (“Cinema Odyssey”), punters can watch a triple bill (including one “suprise” film) for the price of a single feature. It’s quality cinema till dawn, accompanied by a bucket of popcorn, a can of Guaraná pop and heck, why not, a glass of whisky. Breakfast is served at the end of this marathon.

Parque Anhembi A magnet for the masses

This park—home to the largest events center in Latin America—attracts conference-goers, arts aficionados and fans of all stripes like bees to a honeycomb.

The Conventions Palace, Elis Regina Auditorium, Arena Skol and the Pavilhão de Exposições host theater performances, fairs, exhibitions, rock concerts… The list goes on and on. The Great Otelo Cultural and Sports Center is also located here; so is the Sambódromo, which was specifically built for São Paulo’s biggest party, the Carnaval (it even features a “passarela” or “samba runway”) but also the annual civic military parade on September 7th, electronic music shows and an antique car fair. It all adds up to more than 1,000 events a year.

Museu da Imagem e do Som A new dimension

“Is it a sound, is it a noise–-is it music?” John Cage once asked: the Museu da Imagem e do Som (the “Museum of Image and Sound” or MIS, as it’s more commonly known) sets out to answer—or at least explore—the great experimental composer’s query.

With a focus on technology and new media, the MIS connects to a fascinating, disparate and international group of artists, musicians and institutions by featuring their work in specialized exhibitions, concerts and film/videos series, and by becoming the temporary home of such boundary-pushing festivals as FILE (the Electronic Language International Festival).

The museum, which opened in May 1990, has already accumulated an archive of more than 1,600 fiction, documentary and music videos, and 12,750 titles on Super 8 and 16mm, as well as an impressive amount of musical compositions, photographs and graphic art. Be watch out: once inside, you could stay a week.

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