The unique cultural history of Brazil has produced a cinematic legacy that’s equally singular, but all too little known in North America. This special edition of the Journal of Short Film shows off the diversity of styles and concerns of contemporary Brazilian filmmakers, ranging from a modern short film classic (Isle of Flowers) to a Second Life encounter with a radical Brazilian conceptual artist (The Adventures of Paulo Bruscky) to a fictional documentary about the effects of climate change (Cold Tropics). Especially striking is that none of the filmmakers in this collection hail from the main cultural centers of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, a sign of the country’s thriving regional arts scenes. This disc is produced in conjunction with the Wexner Center for the Art’s multi-year Via Brasil initiative and was curated by Jennifer Lange (Curator, Film/Video Studio Program) and Chris Stults (Associate Curator, Film/Video).
1. Cold Tropics
(Recife Frio) - Kleber Mendonça Filho (2009, 24min)
In tropical Recife, in northeastern Brazil, temperatures drop to impossible lows and the inhabitants have to adapt. This 'mockumentary' gradually turns critical, looking at the climate, urban development and social
interaction from every angle. Does a ray of sun pierce the clouds, after all?
2. We are not dreaming
(Não Estamos Sonhando) - Luiz Pretti (2012, 12min)
Não Estamos Sonhando believes in cinema as a utopian place where we can fight the wars we believe in, love, fantasize, elucidate, and for a brief moment, live in a world we build for ourselves in the way we want to. This movie is for whoever feels the need to shake the foundations of our society.
3. The Adventures of Paulo Bruscky
(As Aventuras de Paulo Bruscky) - Gabriel Mascaro (2010, 20min)
On entering the virtual world of “Second Life,” the Brazilian visual artist Paulo Bruscky meets ex-film director Gabriel Mascaro, from north-east Brazil. Mascaro currently lives and works making machinima (virtual short films) in the “Second Life.” Paulo hires Gabriel to make a
machinima documentary of his adventures as a newcomer to the “Second Life.”
4. Island of Flowers
(Ilha das Flores) - Jorge Furtado (1989, 12min)
A tomato is planted, harvested and sold at a supermarket, but it rots and ends up in the trash. Ends? No. ISLAND OF FLOWERS follows it to its real end, among animals, trash, women and children. And then the
difference between tomatoes, pigs and human beings becomes clear.
5. Flag Raising Ceremony “Live”
(Solenidade de Hasteamento da Bandeira “Ao Vivo”)
- Cristiano Lenhardt (2009, 6min)
A military parade is playfully enacted before a Super‐8 camera and ends with the raising of flags on disused poles in public spaces throughout Porto Alegre. An allegory with political and historical connotations that manages to be at once simple and eloquent, the work evokes the official aesthetic of State presentations during the Brazilian military dictatorship.
(source: http://site.videobrasil.org.br/en/acervo/obras/obra/1349900 )
(Adormecidos) - Clarissa Campolina (2011, 7min)
Everywhere when it grows dark, the lights and billboards become the only beings alive, occupying the inert and empty streets. Strangers (almost exactly alike) who have never met each other.