Curator Maria Baptista discusses her touring series of Brazilian short films at Anthology
This coming Wednesday, March 10, 2010, Anthology Film Archives will host a screening of Brazilian short films curated by Maria Baptista, at 8pm. This one-night showing of animation, documentaries and fiction short films is an homage to the female universe, and brings a total of nine films made by directors of both genders.
In this exclusive interview with BrazilNYC, Baptista talks about her choice of films and also, about her views on the future of feminism.
Rodrigo Brandão: Your film screening takes place two days after the International Women’s Day, on March 8. Judging from the selection of Brazilian short films you are showing, did you see some trends, or pressing issues, in the Brazilian female universe depicted on film?
Maria Baptista: One of the trends that called our attention was a need to register the poverty and social discrimination. Brazil has the eighth highest rate of social and economic inequality in the world, and this new generation of female filmmakers in Brazil wants to be a voice against it.
Most of the submissions we received depicted struggles linked to poverty and violence. In a culture with so many disparities, awareness is extremely necessary in order to jumpstart change. In this particular screening, the selection includes characters that face universal issues which any one can related to, and we chose not to focus only on poverty. Over all, we went after characters that were universal in their needs: passion, temperance, courage, irreverence, desire, friendship and determination are some of the characteristics portrayed [in these movies].
RB: I noticed that you also included some films made by male directors on your Homage to Women film series. Were you keen on including a male perspective on the female subject, or it just happened that the films you chose were well made and relevant to the issue?
MB: We wanted to be playful. As you noticed, our special guest invitation was sent out to the character “ReBordosa,” and director Cesar Cabral wanted to bring one of his female references from his teen years to the screen. One that acted solely like a man; She is the hunter and summarizes feminist victory. It’s the whole ” Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll” nine yards. Her behavior is an example of liberation, and she represents a lot of women of my generation. Women that finally would sit by themselves in a bar and really not give a damn about how society would see them.
In the 80s, when the character was created, women were only starting to enjoy the benefits of the whole feminist emancipation. It was relatively new to be able to go out and act as a man – in the sense that you could have hedonist relationships. It was a time when it was possible to take ownership of the body and express desires without being seized.
RB: What are the ways in which some the films you selected for this series expand and re-think the issue of gender equality? Do you have a sense that feminism is re-energizing and re-inventing itself for the new millennium?
MB: The documentary “Dislocated” by Eliza Capai gives us a conscious view that there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn. It’s clear that feminism is reinventing itself through new ways to protest. However, there are new takes on gender equality issues, some of them never ceased to exist. But it is “Self-Made: the Disorder of Desire” by Carol Thome that really stirs things up. It tells the tale of the first transsexual in Brazil to undergo sex-change surgery.
MB (Continued): It’s important to observe here that what matters most is the process through which the character decided to make herself a woman on the outside. It really brings up issues that are beyond gender. Then, “Day-In Day-Out” by Joana Mariani gives us a character that is an example of submission. It represents the absence of any feminist aspirations. And this itself is a self protest.
RB: What are some of your favorite Brazilian female directors? Do you get a sense that Brazilian women are united and supporting each other in this competitive and often isolating industry?
MB: Some of our favorite Brazilian female directors are those who broke through the battle field – Suzana Amaral, Sandra Werneck, Ana Luiza Azevedo, Daniella Thomas and Ana Carolina. We believe that the new generation of Brazilian women filmmakers are supporting each other in the industry. Nowadays, there is a better sense of solidarity and collaboration.
Here is a comprehensive list of films to be screened on March 10, at Anthology Film Archives:
“DOSSIE RÊ BORDOSA” animação do diretor Cesar Cabral, ganhador do Kikito de Ouro, na categoria de melhor roteiro em curta-metragem, no 36º Festival de Gramado (2007). Baseado numa personagem de quadrinhos conhecida por sua vida underground. O film investiga os motivos que levaram o seu criador, o cartuninsta Angeli a matar a sua criação mais famosa.
“TEREZA” de Paula Szutan e Renata Terra, vencedor dos prêmios de melhor curta, diretor e montagem no 37º Festival de Cinema de Gramado (2009) abre a mostra. TEREZA chega a São Paulo sonhando com o casamento. Mas, ela e’ forçada a mudar de planos quando se defronta com uma realidade menos romântica daquela que idealizou.
“COTIDIANO” de Joana Mariane. (2008) – Alguns chamam de vida o periodo de tempo do momento que acordam até a hora de ir para cama. Este filme é sobre aqueles que passam a vida sem realmente viverem, mas vendo ela passar.
“UM DEDO DE PROSA” de Gabriela Damasceno. (2008) – Duas comadres (Antônia e Violeta) se juntam para preparar um almoço. Durante o preparo as duas conversam sobre a vida e lembranças. O diálogo usa apenas as palavras da escritora e poeta Adélia Prado. Elas proseiam e fazem poesia.
“A QUARTA ESTAÇÃO” de Cristiane Bourger.(2007) – Nesta video performance cerejas são usadas como símbolo do desejo e como a causa da rejeição. O inverno e’ quando tudo se transforma pela iminência da morte.
“DESLOCADAS” (2008) de Eliza Capai. – E’ a história de Mãe e filha. Ambas sairam de suas cidades em diferentes épocas em busca de uma vida melhor. Uma do interior do Nordeste, para o Rio de Janeiro. A outra partiu para New York. Analisa as causas e consequências relacionadas ao tema da migração e as questões de classes sociais.
“FABRICAÇÃO PRÓPRIA: A Desordem do Desejo” de Carol Thomé. (2007) Refém do próprio corpo, Guta Silveira conta como driblou a natureza. Ou seria o destino? Um retrato da primeira transexual operada legalmente no Brasil.
“MEDITAÇÃO DE CARNAVAL” de Ana Costa Ribeiro. ( 2008) – Um documentário poético sobre a presença das mulheres no carnaval de rua no Rio de Janeiro, pelo ponto de vista de uma mulher retornando ao Brasil.
Source: Brazil In NYC
Entry filed under: ANIMATION, DIGITAL CINEMA, EXHIBITIONS, FILM FESTIVALS, LATIN AMERICAN FILM, SHORTFILMS. Tags: Ana Costa Ribeiro, Anthology Film Archives, “A QUARTA ESTAÇÃO”, “COTIDIANO”, “DESLOCADAS”, “DOSSIE RÊ BORDOSA”, “FABRICAÇÃO PRÓPRIA: A Desordem do Desejo”, “MEDITAÇÃO DE CARNAVAL”, “TEREZA”, “UM DEDO DE PROSA”, Carol Thomé, Cesar Cabral, Cristiane Bourger, Eliza Capai, Gabriela Damasceno, Joana Mariane, LATIN AMERICAN FILM, latino cinema, Maria Baptista, Paula Szutan, Renata Terra.