Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for December 21st, 2018

Tinta Bruta ****

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 21st December, 2018

B0CD9F9F-79A2-4E28-9924-9C4043FC74EFPedro is a young man with two big issues overshadowing his life. The first is a criminal assault charge after he attacked a guy, blinding him in one eye, but the second issue is in many ways more serious: an inability to socialise or communicate normally with virtually everyone except his sister and grandmother. He survives, both psychologically and financially, by doing Internet strip shows, smearing his body lasciviously with phosphorescent colours. The number of subscribers watching his show suddenly falls off, and just before his sister moves out of the apartment they share, to live thousands of kilometres away, she informs him that someone else has copied his idea. Plucking up courage, Pedro decides to confront his imitator, Leo, though when they meet things develop in a totally unexpected direction. The location for all this is Porto Alegre, in Brazil’s far south, but the city is portrayed as an anonymous agglomeration of dreary blocks of flats, many being vacated as people seek better opportunities elsewhere, while older residents stand at their windows menacingly observing what goes on below.

C0950E85-CB0E-4270-8673-CF589BBA7D07Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon, who both directed the film and wrote the screenplay, present a grey cinematic canvas, against which the neon colours of Pedro and Leo’s erotic body art contrast shockingly. The chat room comments on Pedro’s site are strikingly authentic and the gay sex, when it occurs, is graphic. But for most of the film, Pedro (brilliantly played by a slim, long-haired Shico Menegat) is half locked inside himself, making him a natural victim for bullies, until something snaps and he lashes out with ferocious energy. The film’s pace is slow — at times a little too slow, perhaps — but the extended shots of Pedro’s face communicate more than a thousand words. In many ways, Tinta Bruta (Hard Paint) tells a depressing story, but even if it is not artistically flawless it is definitely memorable.

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