By Mónica Delgado
Pablo Chavarría Gutiérrez must be the freest Mexican filmmaker of the last years. After important films like Las Letras or Alexfilm, he keeps and cements an style of cinema based in written pieces in Still the earth moves (La Tiera aún se mueve), in little fragments that slowly build a memory or verses and reflections, in a “theological summa” of their characters, ghostly, mortecine beings that exist in a bestiary materiality, where the perception of reality is translated in auscultating the microscopic, the animal and sensorial
The first minutes of Still the earth moves refer to introspective looks that stop in close observations of a world of insects, and that allow to associate this entomological view to intimate human emotions, whose physical side seems to be in communion with this environment of prey and predator, of color and liberty. From the start, Chavarría Gutiérrez focuses the film gaze towards some feminine characters, to then add intertitles (a usual trademark of the director, who appeals to the Meta textual through literary and scientific inquiry) that refer to judgments and expressions about witches, or in any case, about the prejudicial views on the feminine. However, his focus diversifies, jogging around different affirmations and presumptions, to define itself more like a film about oscillation, movement, fluidity and the liquid. And this is the usual metaphor of the film: the rain, wet images, running water, unfocused shots that organize the world from this instability
Still the earth moves isn’t only an experimental film. It’s a purely audiovisual experience of details and fluxes, an exquisite corpus evocation about human uncertainty and animal certainty, and how these worlds merge.
Scribbles, Doodles and Other Monsters (Garatujas, Badamecos e Outros Monstros) is a documentary which focuses on a group of five year old kids in a kindergarten school, where they explore the relation of drawing and pictures and their capacity of invention and narration, inside and outside the classroom.
From its first minutes, the filmmakers of Scribbles, Doodles and Other Monsters exempt the film of an adult presence, except for professor Dayana, who helps the kids prepare and leave their vivacity free, in an environment where the parents are out of field. Thus, Castelo Branco and Moreschi elaborate their own gallery of dreams and infantile behaviors, from and with the kids, without mediations, where the tales and drawings of crimes, zombies and ghosts are a normal part of curiosity, creativity and innate fears.
Through a series of fixated shots, this couple of filmmakers chooses the way of presenting these little ones from their works, scribbles and brush strokes that allow for hilarious moments, where in some moments just the works of the children speak from the way they’re being realized. And it’s here that maybe the film dwells too much in this analysis of the drawings of the children, the minimalism of some of them and the horror of the void in others. However, this Brazilian documentary offers a different approach to the infantile imaginaries, without pedagogic questionings about everything, letting it clear that the fear, terror, monsters and killers are not subjects that compete with Disney heroes and other characters of animated fiction.
STILL THE EARTH MOVES
Novos Olhares Section
Directing, editing: Pablo Chavarría Gutiérrez
Cinematography: José Luis Arriaga
Sound: Gerardo Villareal
Music: Julio Torres
Cast: Eli Zavala, Susana Herrera, Alejandro Alva
SCRIBBLES, DOODLES AND OTHER MONSTERS
Novos Olhares Section
Directors: João Castelo Branco, Elisabeth Moreschi
Script: Elisabeth Moreschi, João Castelo Branco
Producers: Talita David, Ana Paula Málaga
Cinematography: João Castelo Branco
Editing: João Menna Barreto, João Castelo Branco
Sound: João Menna Barreto
Cast: Alunos da Escola Estadual Linneu Ferreira do Amaral
Filmes de Perto