Geraldo Filme, one of the most important figures of the Carnaval in São Paulo, was one of the founders of the Unidos do Peruche samba school. In spite of his close connection with it, having written several sambas-enredo for the Unidos, he is recalled especially for his compositions written for the Vai-Vai samba school, of which he was director for Carnaval. It won the annual Carnaval contest with his samba-enredo "Solano Trindade, Moleque de Recife," and his samba "Vai no Bexiga Pra Ver" became an anthem, while "Silêncio no Bexiga" pays tribute to the samba school's diretor de bateria (drum section director), Pato N'Água. The song was recorded by Beth Carvalho on her Beth Carvalho Canta o Samba de São Paulo; another of his works was recorded on the same album, "Tradição," with the participation of the author. His collaboration with the playwright Plínio Marcos yielded Balbina de Yansã and the highly successful musical Pagodeiros da Paulicéia.
Influenced both by his father, a violinist, and by his mother, who used to sing old slave songs, Filme moved at five to São Paulo. Raised at the Barra Funda borough, he used to spend time watching the rodas (get-togethers) of samba and capoeira. Filme wrote his first samba, "Eu Vou Mostrar," at ten. His mother founded the first cordão carnavalesco (Carnival group) formed only by black women, later transformed into the Paulistano da Glória samba school, for which Filme wrote several sambas.
A passionate chronicler of the Bexiga borough (where Bohemianism and the influence of Italian immigration were more conspicuous) in his sambas, in his last years, he worked for the Mayoralty as an assessor for Carnaval and was a respected authority on Negro culture, having introduced in his compositions elements of the rural samba of São Paulo, consequently influencing the production of other composers. Examples of such compositions are "Tradições e Festas de Pirapora" and "Batuque de Pirapora," reminiscent of vissungos, jongos, and batuques.
Having recorded his first LP when he was 52, the rare Geraldo Filme (1980), the album was never reissued on CD. Another fundamental historic recording, O Canto dos Escravos, shared with Clementina de Jesus and Doca da Portela, is also out of catalog. Researchers can find an interview about his life interspersed between his songs carried out by the State TV channel Cultura of São Paulo, realized in 1982 and available on CD. Filme can also be heard on Osvaldinho da Cuíca's História do Samba Paulista, while Carlos Cortez did a video about his life (a co-production TV Cultura/CPC-Umes/Birô da Criação). His last representative show was in 1994 with other members of the old guard of the samba of São Paulo at Anhembi stadium. ~ Alvaro Neder, Rovi