In the opening scene of Medusa— Brazilian writer / director Anita Roccada Silveira’s sophomore film — Women passionately writhe during the sensual dance routine of mania. Set in a pulsating synth truck, immersed in red and green lights, the dancer spins, rolls, and twists, but pulls the camera back and the performer is trapped behind the glass of the smartphone screen. To clarify. A young female viewer gets on a deserted bus and the video provides her only source of lighting. When she disembarks, the empty streets she crosses begin to make a menacing swoosh. This is a signal that her imminent danger surrounds her. She runs, but is successfully cornered by an organized gang wearing a white plastic mask. They hit her and shouted her accusations of her sexual history. When they insult, “Slut!” “Homewrecker!” “Whore!” — Their voice reveals a feminine tremor. Their silhouettes and long, perfect hair show femininity and have clearly “purified” the city of women who have the courage to oppose the conservative gender role. As the victim whispers, one of the perpetrators whiplashes his cell phone, begins recording, and asks, “Do you promise to accept Jesus in your heart?”
So it starts MedusaA future dystopian fantasy leaning towards the current beliefs of misogyny, endorsed by the far right.This movie acts as Giallo Thriller, the latest update to Lizzie Borden Born in flames And the latest entry in Brazil’s anti-Bolsonaro fantasy canon. But for all of these fascinating themes and well-performed nods Medusa It still feels a little narrative. The main character, Mari (Mari Oliviera, who also appeared in Da Silveira’s debut) Kill Me Please) Is part of a girl gang (playing during the day in an evangelical band). That is, until her face is hurt when the “slut” bashing goes wrong. Disappointed with her appearance, she becomes obsessed with the local legend Melissa. Melissa’s orgy was punished for burning her face. Mali told her vigilants to hunt down her Melissa and post a photo of her burnt her aged face on social media, but she was actually fake. I started to build kinship with mythical figures. In the process she is a sinful “worldly” person.
Several recent films from Brazil also comment on Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency and the country’s descent into far-right extremism. BakalauA striking feat of 2019 by co-directors Kleber Mendonçfilho and Giuliano Dorneres records the entire village scrubbed from Google Maps for the convenience of human poachers. Iuli Gerbase’s eerie foresight Pink clouds It acts as a pre-COVID pandemic parable.Sundance Marteum Specifically, I’m watching Bolsonaro’s election night on a sci-fi slope. Medusa Entering established but growing Brazilian norms, speculating on the ominous potential of the very near future, especially to threaten those left behind between class, race and gender boundaries.
in the meantime Medusa Dasilbeira’s treatise, which contains as much visual ingenuity and intellectual vitality as the films mentioned above, is as sharp and lacking in political clarity as its predecessor. In many respects, this is very useful for film aesthetics. After all, being absorbed into a hallucinogen image is far less burdensome than a clear instruction to take action.This is also the place most similar to Bowden Born in flamesMeditate surrealistically about the potential for social collapse and the messy and multifaceted feminist response to the crisis.yet Born in flames Presenting feminist behavior and the need for vigilantism, Medusa The female Proud Boys claim that they will dominate the streets, as opposed to anti-fascist feminists. It’s an interesting twist, but it obscures the film’s desire for an overwhelmingly feminist message. Especially when juxtaposed with other recent Brazilian products in the same vein Medusa Without assuming a meaningful and fundamental reaction to this dystopia, we are devoted to the worst results of the future. Born in flames It ends with a rebellious explosion, emphasizing the length women go to avoid patriarchal conquest. In order, Medusa Faced with the political situation in the film, even if it’s actively collapsing, it can’t be helped to feel wasteful and suffering, perhaps ending with a cathartic scream.
Medusa Cinematographer Joan Atara captures the realism of the bathroom and infuse the film with a miraculously swaying dreamy aura instead of calm. The images that are recalled are dynamic, intentional, and created as boldly as possible, so viewers are intrigued and kept up-to-date even if the elements of the inclusive narrative are not completely engaged. I will hang down. The script for da Silveira can be a little more sophisticated, but her direction is completely ambitious and confident. She is a promising comeback from a filmmaker with an exhilarating voice and vision.Look at the tangential notes Medusa It also rekindled my desire to see Da Silveira’s debut again. Kill Me PleaseA thrilling formulation that continues to feel right in recent debates about true criminal ethics. I hope it will take less than five years for the filmmaker to give us the next project.
directed by: Anita Rocha da Silveira
Writer: Anita Rocha da Silveira
Performer: Mari Oliveria, Lara Tremouroux, Joana Medeiros, Felipe Frazão, Bruna G, Carol Romano, João Vithor Oliveira, Bruna Linzmeter, Thiago Fragoso
Release date: July 29, 2022 (Music Box Films)
Natalia Keogan is a web editor for Filmmaker Magazine and regularly contributes freelance movie reviews here at Paste. Her work has also been published in Blood Knife Magazine, SlashFilm, Daily Grindhouse and more. She lives in Queens with a big orange cat. Find her on her Twitter @nataliakeogan