×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlinale: M-Appeal Swoops on Panorama-Selected ‘Hard Paint’ (EXCLUSIVE)

LGBT love story marks the second feature from Brazilian writer-directors Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon (‘Seashore’)

Swooping in on a just-announced Berlinale Panorama title, Berlin-based sales-production company M-Appeal has acquired world sales rights outside Berlin to “Tinta Bruta” (Hard Paint), its second title from Brazil selected for next month’s festival.

Writer-directors Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon’s second feature, after “Beira Mar” (Seashore), “Hard Paint” also represents the latest feature to play at Berlin from Brazil’s Porto Alegre, one of the burgeoning regional movie hubs now energizing Brazilian arthouse cinema, as well as endowing it with a large diversity of characters, styles and auteurs.

Like “Seashore” – a tentative gay coming of age film which screened in the 2015 Berlinale Forum, was picked up by Wolfe Releasing for the U.S. and won Best Feature Film at the New Trends section of the 2015 Rio Fest – “Hard Paint” is a tender story of a man exploring his sexual and social identity, here via an enhancing love relationship. The film also paints a larger portrait of a homophobic society, and presents a knowing portrait of Porto Alegre and Brazilian youth which is often more comfortable with online relationships than physical social encounter.

In “Hard Paint,” his life made hell at college by bullies, Pedro, a lanky, shy and reclusive early-twenties with long curly hair, faces a criminal lawsuit and the departure of his beloved sister to a job on the other side of Brazil.

Alone, he clings to his nightly webcast dances, where, daubed with neon paint as Neon Boy, he becomes someone who literally glows delivering a mix of performance art, social network and live sex video to thousands of paying viewers. But offline, at parties, he lacks a sufficient sense of his own attractiveness to even dance.

Produced by Matzembacher and Reolon for their Avante Filmes label and Jessica Luz at the also Porto Alegre-based Besouro Filmes, “Hard Paint” will be distributed in Brazil by Silvia Cruz’s Vitrine Filmes, the go-to company for much edgier Brazilian cinema from some of its outstanding auteurs, such as Kleber Mendonça Filho, (“Neighboring Sounds,” “Aquarius”) and Karim Aïnouz (“The Silver Cliff”).

Matzembacher, Reolon and Luz already worked together on four-part miniseries “The Nest,” which Luz describes as a “rehearsal” for “Hard Paint.” They are now planning a new project together, she added.

“Hard Paint” features performances from newcomers Shico Menegat as Pedro and Bruno Fernandes as Leo, whose joint neon body-paint entertainment develops into something more tender.

Pedro’s webcam performances are symptomatic of a larger malaise, the directors suggested.

“We see our hometown, Porto Alegre, as a city of departures. It is probably a common feeling to people from medium sized-cities: a large number of its youth ends up moving away. And what is left for those who remain (like ourselves) are the memories, the photos, the Skype conversations. Human relationships become exclusively virtual,” Matzembacher and Reolon said in a directors’ statement.

Pedro spends much of his daily life in his flat, situated in a grey depressing high-rise part of Porto Alegre where he is none too subtly upbraided for his performances by a mix of authority figures from an old friend’s mother to his sister’s journalist boss. The threat of physical attack is real and constant.

“Pedro, although reclusive, is a character that does not conform to his situation and always reacts. And that is a path that interests us. The agency in the face of an adversity. The non-acceptance of a society that constantly judges you and tries to define who you must be,” said Matzembacher and Reolon.

 

More Film

  • RUDOLF NUREYEV 1961

    Film Review: 'Nureyev'

    It would be absurd to say that Rudolf Nureyev lived, or danced, in anyone’s shadow. He was a man who leapt and twirled and flew onstage, all muscle but light as a feather, with a freedom and force that reconfigured the human spirit. There’s no denying, though, that over the last few decades, and especially [...]

  • Die Kinder Der Toten review

    Film Review: 'Die Kinder Der Toten'

    The hills are alive (or rather, undead), with the sound of music (also mastication and the moaning of zombies) in Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska’s experimental, dialogue-free, home-movie-style riff on Elfriede Jelinek’s “Die Kinder Der Toten” (The Children of the Dead). A seminal text in Jelinek’s native Austria, the 1995 book has never been translated [...]

  • Idol review

    Film Review: 'Idol'

    How many twists can a plot undergo before it snaps? This, more than any of the many political, moral and personal conundrums that snake through “Idol,” seems to be the question writer-director Lee Su-jin is most interested in posing with his extravagantly incomprehensible sophomore feature. A seedy political thriller by way of grisly revenge movie [...]

  • The Last to See Them review

    Film Review: 'The Last to See Them'

    Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” stretches long as a late-evening shadow over Italian director Sara Summa’s feature debut “The Last to See Them.” The Italian title, “Gli Ultimi Viderli Vivere” which translates literally to “The Last to See Them Alive,” is also the heading of the opening chapter of Capote’s book. The setting is, similarly, [...]

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content