Brazil not only knows how to make good movies, it also does it with a talent for social and political criticism, with the refinement of the good use of satire and irony, without falling into didacticism. This is shown by the films that were featured at the Gramado Film Festival, which, between August 13 and 21, was the virtual stage for exhibitions and debates on Brazilian and Latin American production — whose works will premiere in cinema in the coming weeks and platforms of streaming—. Here is the selection of EL PAÍS:
The big national winner of the 49th Gramado Film Festival is king car, a feature film by director Renata Pinheiro, which dialogues with science fiction in a work that is at the same time realistic, centered on passion and chaos driven, in equal measure, by automobiles. In Caruaru, in rural Pernambuco, the young Uno (played by Luciano Pedro Jr.) —baptized in honor of the car in which he was born, on his way to motherhood — has these vehicles as his best friends, and is even able to communicate. if with them. When a municipal law determines that all vehicles over 15 years of use are out of circulation, he and his uncle, mechanic Zé Macaco (masterfully lived by Matheus Nachtergaele) team up to try to save the family’s taxi fleet. Then a kind of car revolution. With a genius for his job, Zé Macaco also learns to communicate with cars and, together, his uncle and nephew create the king car, who interacts with humans and is able to show feelings. In a critique of programmed obsolescence and automobile chaos in Brazilian cities, the film shows how, as he increasingly relates to vehicles, Zé Macaco regresses on the biological scale, getting closer — even physically, without the need for special effects — in an ape.
Pedro (played by Chico Dias) is an employee of an —imaginary— state gas company that is about to be privatized. Under pressure, he must fire his team and anticipate retirement. In the film by Vinicius Reis, which opens in theaters on August 26th, the protagonist struggles to preserve the work and rights of employees, but fails. Upon losing his job and retiring, Pedro also loses his references, his marriage, his own identity, and tries to find himself again when he returns to his hometown. Based on the true story of the director’s father, who was an employee of Vale do Rio Doce —the film begins with real photographic images of the protests that took place in the country against the privatization of the company— jaguar man remembers Brazil trapped in the promise of the future, but which only knows how to repeat the past.
In his fifth feature film, director Aly Muritiba, a Bahian living in Paraná and a former prison guard who started out in cinema with documentaries and dramatic fictions, dives into the wild comedy with a Western air. In the adaptation of the homonymous book by Lourenço Mutarelli, released in 2012, Eugênio (played by Paulo Miklos) is a writer who lives a creative block while the stories of Jesus Kid, its great success, no longer sell so well. His lifeline seems to be an invitation to confine himself for three months in a hotel and write the script for a film, obeying the rules established by the filmmaker and producer linked to advertising and serving whoever is in charge of the political and business of the parents). In the film that dialogues with the works of the Coen brothers (especially with Barton Fink – Holywood Delusions, 1991) and Wes Anderson, Jesus Kid is an almost open satire of Jair Bolsonaro’s current cultural politics in Brazil. The plot features, for example, the businessman with the flashy yellow-green suit, the patriotic rematch symbol ducks, an ideologue named Olavo who preaches new “aesthetic” guidelines for art, and the hero Super-Sérgio. “If they massacre us, I will not deprive myself of the pleasure of making fun of them”, said, without hesitation, Aly Muritiba at the presentation of the film in Gramado.
In the circle of five adult brothers (all men), the tears, hugs, apologies and arguments — all in the midst of flashbacks of childhood—they are the daily bread. The five bear the trauma of paternal abandonment and the early loss of their mother, who knitted to support them, and, after three decades apart, they meet again to find out if a patient in a coma in an ICU can be their parent. With themes ranging from fatherhood to sexuality, the feature film directed by Claudia Pinheiro questions the stereotypes linked to masculinity, which are socially accentuated in the bodies of black men. Adapted from the homonymous play by Nanna Castro (who signs the film’s script), the ball brings a black cast in situations dissociated from racism, marginality and prejudice. The characters are writers, entrepreneurs, bosses. And, alongside the aesthetic sensibility, this is one of the work’s assets.
Joan’s first death
Joana’s first death (lived by the actress (Letícia Kacperski) is that of a great-aunt who dies at 70 and who “never dated anyone”, as the 13-year-old girl discovers, a fact that starts to obsess her and that it makes her intuit some familiar mystery (or many). coming of age directed by Cristiane Oliveira from Rio Grande do Sul, the spectator follows the discoveries in love and sexuality of the young woman who lives in a humble and conservative community of German origin in the coastal city of Osório, in Rio Grande do Sul, about to be transformed by the arrival of “pinwheels”, as local residents call the wind farm deployed at the site. A metaphor for the protagonist’s internal storm and the changes that run over each other in this phase of life. Aesthetically, the work adopts a placidity that contrasts with the core of the narrative and proposes a mystery in the enigmas of feeling, which extend far beyond adolescence.
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