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70 min. Portuguese.

A film like an invitation to someone’s house. In his apartment in São Paulo, between making coffee and gay hook-ups, Marcelo’s fetishes and longings are revealed, casually and full of intensity. Marcelo’s closest confidants seem to be books, especially Novalis’ unfinished novel “Heinrich von Ofterdingen”, whose protagonist seeks an elusive blue flower. Marcelo is also looking for something, following the traces of his eventful past. The camera observes him and captures his stories with total concentration, until a simple panning shot initiates the reenactment of one chapter of his biography. Marcelo’s words only nominally seem to take centre stage, for his physical movements actually divulge more, they are performative reservoirs of memory. Marcelo’s flat thus becomes his life’s stage – shimmering, entertaining, amusing, serious and sincere. The documentary staging employed by directors Vinagre and Carneiro crafts an entire multi-layered universe from the self-contained cosmos of the flat. A rosa azul de Novalis is far more than just an open-hearted and intimate portrait, it’s a film like the petals of the blue flower, at once tender and beguiling. (Ansgar Vogt)

Gustavo Vinagre was born in 1985. He studied literature at São Paulo University and scriptwriting at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (EICTV) in Los Baños, Cuba. A rosa azul de Novalis is his second feature-length film.

Rodrigo Carneiro was born in 1984. He studied history at the Federal University of Ouro Preto in Brazil and film editing at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (EICTV) in Los Baños, Cuba. In 2013, he was a guest researcher in the film department of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. Following three short films, A rosa azul de Novalis is his first feature-length film.

The ass is democratic

We wanted to make a movie with a character, not about a character. We always start from a relationship that is as horizontal as possible to the person documented, who is always given the chance to contribute to the development of the script, and veto power over certain things. It is not about making compromises – after all, we never work with characters who only want to have their ‘beautiful’ side represented – but rather a relationship of respect and admiration for those who present us with their conflicts.
Our work always starts from a reality, which we recreate and transform into something that can convey themes to the viewer that are generally considered taboo. The protagonist, who acts as himself, can also become aware of many things over the course of the collaboration. And the same is also true for us directors, of course. Although our documentaries are always scripted, there is room for chance and improvisation. Our shoots are usually pretty short – A ROSA AZUL DE NOVALIS was filmed in three days – which increases the feeling of being thrown into a universe of risky possibilities, bringing the shoot closer to a performance. This always entails a journey of self-knowledge; most of our films portray traumas, and are extremely dialogue-based (mainly in monologue form), similar to a psychoanalytic session. A ROSA AZUL DE NOVALIS also functions according to that logic. “Vai tomar no cu!” (“Go fuck yourself in the ass!”) What does this common insult mean to those who use the anus for sex? Who gets to choose which parts of our bodies should be considered as sexual organs? What can we see through the eye of the ass (the third, mystic eye)? These are questions that informed the making of the film. In A ROSA AZUL DE NOVALIS, we wanted the spectator to plunge into the entrails of the character, into his memories, fears and desires. That is why the film starts with the asshole, which then reappears throughout. Many people consider this hole to be obscure, but here it is our gateway to the character.
It is essential to make the asshole visible in this form, because anal sex is punishable by death in eight different countries and by life imprisonment in more than 80 countries. And yet, the asshole is a part of the body that can produce excitement and pleasure, it is a site for the re-elaboration of the body and its perspectives, and since it is not intended for human reproduction, it escapes the traditional system of ideas pertaining to sexuality and gender. The ass is democratic, everyone can access it – after all, everyone has their own.
In the age of AIDS, everything becomes even more complicated. Science uses the asshole to pathologise homosexuality. As Paul B. Preciado says, ‘Historically the asshole has been conceived as an abject organ, never sufficiently clean, never silent. It is not and cannot be politically correct.’ What we would like to propose is a correction based on a politics of passivity: the valuing of ‘passivity’ (in the absence of a more adequate term), through immersion in the black hole, where space and time do not exist, as in the unconscious itself. The asshole needs to be urgently introduced into the social and political realm. (Gustavo Vinagre, Rodrigo Carneiro)

Production Gustavo Vinagre, Rodrigo Carneiro. Production company Carneiro Verde Filmes (São Paulo, Brazil). Directed by Gustavo Vinagre, Rodrigo Carneiro. Screenplay Gustavo Vinagre, Marcelo Diorio. Cinematography Bruno Risas. Editing Rodrigo Carneiro. Sound design Ruben Valdes. Sound Ruben Valdes. Production design Rodrigo Carneiro, Gustavo Vinagre. Costumes João Marcos de Almeida. Make-up Alma Negrot. With Marcelo Diorio, Majeca Angelucci, Christian Sedemaka, Rafael Rudolf, Estela Laponi, Beatriz Pomar, Thais Almeida Prado, Marcos Hermanson Pomar.

Premiere January 25, 2019, Mostra de Cinema de Tiradentes


Gustavo Vinagre: 2012: Filme para poeta cego / Film for Blind Poet (27 min.). 2013: La llamada / The Call (19 min.), Nova Dubai (50 min.). 2014: Mãos que curam / Healing Hands (19 min.). 2015: Chutes / Kicks (24 min.). 2016: Os cuidados que se com o cuidado que os outros devem ter consigo mesmos / The Cares One Takes of the Care Others Must Take of Themselves (21 min.). 2017: Filme-catástrofe / Disaster Film (18 min.), Cachorro / Bitch (14 min.), Medo medo medo / Fear Fear Fear (20 min.). 2018: Lembro mais dos corvos / I Remember the Crows (82 min.). 2019: A rosa azul de Novalis / The Blue Flower of Novalis.

Rodrigo Carneiro: 2013: Marília (22 min.), Microsieverts (7 min.). 2015: Copyleft (30 min.). 2019: A rosa azul de Novalis / The Blue Flower of Novalis.

Photo: © Carneiro Verde

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur