What can one say about oneself before day breaks? Halfway between documentary and fiction, this portrait sprang out of a longstanding complicity between the filmmaker and the Japanese-Brazilian trans actress Julia Katharine, whom he had already filmed. The conversation begins in her flat, but not before a narcissistic check-up tinged with self-derision: “Do I look good?” Julia’s romantic and sexual past, which quickly comes up, is systematically dismissed in an ultimately good-natured game of “hide and seek”. For instance, in “scene 2, take 2”, she dons a geisha-style kimono before suggesting that this was at the filmmaker’s pointlessly exotic demand. The monologue recalls the jubilant tone of Shirley Clarke’s PORTRAIT OF JASON, which the actress may in fact have seen: her love of cinema emerges at all the junctions of her autobiographical narrative. Her stage name? Inspired by Katharine Hepburn. Her budgie? Compared with the budgies that Tippi Heddren buys at the beginning of The Birds. The relationship with her mother? A mutual dependency similar to that in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT starring Shirley MacLaine... The wild digressions and cinematic references are revealed as instruments to facilitate the plasticity of an identity that stands as a defence against the violence towards trans people. Be it anecdotes or confided secrets, a political thread is woven, and a cinephile turns into a filmmaker – “Action!”
- Joris Ivens – CNAP Award, Young Jury Award - Cinéma Du Réel
- CARNEIRO VERDE FILMES
It's very important for me that the viewers have doubts about the film because once they question what they are looking at, they have access to the possibility of doubting life in general. The main reason I make films is precisely this desire to create doubts and reflection on life.
Gustavo VINAGRE (1985, Brazil) was educated at the EICTV school in Cuba and in Literature at the University of São Paulo. His short films, FILM FOR A BLIND POET (2012) and NOVA DUBAI (2014) both premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. His first feature, I REMEMBER THE CROWS (2018) was awarded the Joris Ivens – CNAP Award & the Young Jury Award at Cinéma Du Réel. His follow-up, a documentary made with Rodrigo Carneiro, THE BLUE FLOWER OF NOVALIS (2019) premiered in Berlinale Panorama.
In his œuvre, Vinagre criticises the lack of love in modern society.