Prized at Locarno, El Gouna and Valladolid, ”Carne” celebrates and explores femininity through successive stages of life, as well as presenting a fresh examination on the perennial taboos that weigh on conceptions of the female body.
The short weaves highly disparate techniques – paint, watercolor, stop motion, 35mm film and virtual image decomposition via glitches and datamoshing. Sensorial styles correspond to the diversity of the testimonies in different stages of women’s life – “rare, medium rare, medium, medium well and well done,” as they are named in the short. She talked to Variety about the appeal of animation, techniques and references.
Spain’s Abano Producciones and Brazil’s Doctela-produced “Carne,” which competes in Annecy’s main short films section.
Your work feels like it answers strong personal needs. But maybe I’m wrong?
The inspiration to create “Carne” came from my own experiences, many situations in which I felt like a body instead a human being; and also, stories from the women in my life, especially my mother and my aunt. Losing weight and diets were recurring topics at home and I remember being very concerned about my body at the age of six.
What are the specific advantages of animation to convey to social messages to highly international audiences?
Animation can create a strong empathy through its sensorial potential. Live-action images can do it too, but the animated image can be far freer in its visual form and this capability combined with documentary testimonies can reverberate sensations and feelings in a very unique and powerful way.
¿How would you justify your visual approach and why did you choose such different techniques?
The content dictated “Carne’s” form. It was already decided that each chapter would be animated by a female animator, but the idea of using different media for the testimonies only came after I interviewed the first protagonist, Rachel Patrício. From that point on, I decided to create a sensorial synchrony between the visual form of animation and the stories themselves. For instance, Larissa Rahal talks about puberty and periods and the idea of using watercolor came just naturally. The well-done chapter is presented by the actress Helena Ignez, muse of brAZIL’S Cinema Novo, so using a real 35 mm film strip, and painting and scratching over it, seemed to be the perfect match.
Working with very diverse techniques on a first short – Were you afraid of not achieving a balanced result?
Absolutely. There was unity due to the “meat” color palette, but I was afraid that the different media could create some kind of visual disharmony. I also decided that there would be no animation transitions between the stories, the film would be segmented in chapters just like cutting meat.
We are starting to create a “Carne” animated documentary anthology series. The idea is a co-production between five countries, with interviews and a creative team from them, including independent women animators. We will co-produce again with Chelo Loureiro at Abano in Spain. Keeping the association between the roast stages of meat and the chapters of a woman’s life, we will investigate the relationship women have with their own body in a far broader and global scale and include international diversity and vigorous discussions about maternity, sexuality after menopause, and child marriage, just to give a glimpse of the topics.
What are the main difficulties for a new director trying to make their first animation movie in Brazil? Especially now, in the middle of so much uncertainty.
It’s the worst scenario for someone wanting to direct their first animated short. We’re completely in the dark regarding the COVID-19. Brazil’s number of confirmed cases is now only behind the U.S. But since the last elections, the same government that is responsible for this chaos is also suspending cultural funding, tearing down the Brazilian film agency Ancine and, more recently, trying to destroy our motion picture archive, shutting down the Brazilian Cinematheque.