University of São Paulo: Youth is the theme of the new USP Cinema show

The intensity of young people’s lives, their passions, desires and transgressive attitudes are the highlight of the new film show at Cinema da USP Paulo Emilio (Cinusp), entitled Juventude Trans-Viada , which started on the 14th of last year and will run until the 17th of April. The show features ten films produced in Brazil and abroad that portray characters, mostly LGBTQIA+, concerned with becoming “agents of their own youth”, as the curator of the event quotes in a text published on the Cinusp website . “Experience among friends, self-discovery, identification, irreverence and extrapolation of limits are keynotes present in this show.”

An example of this typical youth experience among friends is the film A Festa e os Dogs (Brazil, 2015, 25 minutes), one of the ten films present at the show. Directed by Leonardo Mouramateus, who uses images of parties and outings captured by his personal camera, the film shows the transmutations suffered by a group of friends over time. “It evokes feelings of melancholy and frustration while letting the simple beauty imbued in the act of being who you are and loving who you love overflow in your images”, highlights the synopsis released by Cinusp.

In Goldfish in the Pool (Japan, 2017, 28 minutes), by Makoto Nagahisa, another film in the show, four girls put 400 goldfish in a school pool. “Bored girls in a quiet town in Japan look for ways to feel alive. Through a restless montage and narrations that mix dynamically with the images, there is a search and desire to subvert a repetitive daily life”, according to the short synopsis.

I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone (Brazil, 2010, 17 minutes), by Daniel Ribeiro, addresses the relationship between Leonardo, a visually impaired young man, and his schoolmate Gabriel. “The two, together, go through the discovery of their sexuality”, emphasizes the synopsis of the film. “From the playful soundtrack to the fun sequences of Gabriel, Leonardo and Giovana returning from school, the short plays with a notion of first love as the most innocent thing about adolescence. We follow Leonardo slowly falling in love, and slowly understanding his own sexuality.”

After a trans girl is punished by the school for using the girls’ bathroom, a group of friends rebel against the school’s social norms. This is the story of Kiki and the Misfits (United States, 2018, 6 minutes), directed by Natália Leite. “Kiki and her group of friends consider themselves misfits and outside the standards of society. Together, these young people seek to live intensely and subvert customs rooted in a retrograde society.”

Transgression of social norms is also present in A Day with a Sausage (United States, 1984, 15 minutes), directed by Ingrid Wilhite. In it, a playful girl crosses Castro Street in San Francisco, California – a stronghold of the gay community – with a sausage in her pants and ends up in a group of lesbians in the city. “Without any dialogue, the short is packed with an effervescent soundtrack that marks its pop-punk tone, typical of the 80s. Questioning gender, fashion and friendship, Ingrid Wilhite creates a youthful work at its core – restless, political and fun. ”

The Cinusp show features a production from the extinct Czechoslovakia. It ‘s a Flea Bag(1962, 43 minutes), directed by Věra Chytilová. The film takes place in a community boarding school in a factory in what was then Czechoslovakia. “The audacious camera-character that accompanies the boarding school presents us with an environment marked by the oppression and repression of the most primary desires of youth – jokes and a simple peek at boys are reasons for scolding”, highlights the synopsis of the work. “The urge to transgress is symbolized by the character Jana, whom the subjective camera frequently seeks and receives ambiguous and suggestive looks throughout the film. The ‘bag’ symbolizes the limiting space of the boarding school and the moments of liberation take place only in the external sequences. A landmark of Czechoslovak cinema and the work of Věra Chytilová, as subversive as Zéro de Conduite , by Jean Vigo.”

A scenario that is both apocalyptic and sensitive appears in The Last Romantics of the World (Brasil, 2020, 23 minutes), by Henrique Arruda. The film brings the story of Pedro and Miguel, who, with the world about to be extinguished by a pink cloud, seek refuge in each other. “With a retro aesthetic, simulating old clips and films from the 80s, the film creates a mixture of temporalities, in which that of the love of Pedro and Miguel prevails, who see themselves as infinitely young, passionate and irreverent”, informs the synopsis of the film. Cinusp. “It is the eternity of youth through love.”

In Looping (Brazil, 2019, 12 minutes), director Maick Handder literally embodies the motto “Love slows down time”. In a few frames of punctual moments, the spectator sees the other loved one. “It is not slow motion, but scenes crystallized by affection narrated in the first person”, emphasizes the synopsis. “Through a gaze that embodies passion, a young man guides us through the first encounters with his beloved.”

Directed by Yasmin Guimarães, Peixe (Brazil, 2018, 17 minutes) tells the story of Marina, a young woman from Belo Horizonte who makes deliveries with her bicycle. “Yasmin’s short succeeds in mixing two important dimensions in the life of any young person: fun and work. The protagonist tries to keep her financial life up by making deliveries, while enjoying parties and meetings with friends. Here, the difficult contemporary reality of our country permeates the characters’ movements like a shadow that threatens their fun, but never really manages to shake them”, reads the synopsis released by Cinusp.

Finally, Acting Like a Fool (United States, 2010, 4 minutes), by Harmony Korine, is a series of 8-millimeter vignettes, accompanied by a smooth narration that shows girls sneaking around schoolyards, spray-painting, drinking, smoking, pose and hug, evoking loneliness, confusion and the wonders of growing up. “The harshness of reality that does not spare even the youngest. Raw images, of intrinsic realism and latent brutality. Harmony Korine introduces us to a group of friends who pose on top of their juncture with leather clothes and bottles in hand, resisting their complicated youth as best they can.”

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