(A Starry Sky)
Dir: Tata Amaral
70 min., 35mm, 1:1.66, Color
Produktion: Casa de Produção. Buch: Jean-Claude Bernadet, Roberto Moreira, nach dem Roman von Fernando Bonassi. Kamera: Hugo Kevensky. Ausstattung: Ana Mara Abreu. Kostüme: Miko Hashimoto. Musik: Livio Tragtenberg, Wilson Sukorski. Ton: João Godoy. Schnitt: Ide Lacreta. Ausführender Produzent: Renato Bulcao, Maria Ionescu. Produzent: Tata Amaral.
Darsteller: Alleyona Cavalli, Paulo Vespúcio García, Ligia Cortez.
Uraufführung: 10.9.1996, Toronto Film Festival
Weltvertrieb: Grupo Novo de Cinema, Rua Marechal Niemeyer 24, 22 251-060 Rio de Janeiro, Brasilien, Tel. (5521) 286 47 02, Fax 266 36 37.
Fri 14.02. 22:30 Arsenal Mon 17.02. 11:00 Delphi Tue 18.02. 20:15 Kino 7 im Zoo Palast
Victor is a man living on the edge, out of work and looking for ways to survive: it's clear he had it easy living with Dalva. When her mother arrives and sees Victor, she orders him out of the apartment, but he lashes back and locks her in the bathroom. What started as a desperate act of reconciliation rapidly deteriorates into a kidnapping, and then to murder, rape and other acts of sickening violence as Victor strives to reassert his authority and keep Dalva in his life. As the police close in, however, Dalva strikes back.
A STARRY SKY is a singularly gritty film. Made with modest resources, this is one of the best kitchen-sink dramas to emerge from Bazil in recent years. It strikes at the core of women's role within Brazilian society, within relationships, and within themselves.
Wonderfully scripted, finely acted and audaciously directed with stunning force, A STARRY SKY heralds a promising career for filmmaker Tata Amaral.
(Ramiro Puerta, Toronto Film Festival Catalogue)
For the last few decades, Brazilian Cinema has mainly been the cinema of the ,auteur', in the practical sense of the word: the director decides to make a film, writes the script and goes out looking for money to finance his vision.
The process for THE STARRY SKY was somewhat different. It started in 1991 when the author of the book, Fernando Bonassi, suggested I turn it into a movie. The book was about a steel-worker who is fired from his job after being dumped by his girlfriend. He desperately hangs onto the hope of a reconciliation as if it were his last hope of life itself. He then kidnaps her. The story has a very sad end...
Three years after the authors's suggestion, the scriptwriters Jean-Claude Bernadet and Roberto Moreira were ready with a final draft of their adaptation. Based on my suggestion, the female character became more important: it was to be the victim, not the aggressor, who was going to control the narrative.
I was faced with a story rich in content, which was both contemporary and Brazilian. I was ready to start work. Immediately I was faced with multiple challenges. The film takes place in real time, and the characters are confronted with horrifying situations. There are several moments of extreme violence. I tested dozens of different actresses. I needed, for the role of Dalva, someone who was prepared to strip herself of a lot of things, in particular the well-behaved image common to most female characters. I found exactly what I wanted in a young, albeit experienced, actress called Alleyona Cavalli. I wanted an extremely realistic look to the film (which the film has) instead of merely insinuating tense and sexually violent scenes. I wanted to make these scenes devoid of any cinematographic splendour. I also shied away from using traditional editing methods, I wanted to make sure that the action sequences in the film were truer to life. I wanted to accentuate the tensions. The camera never leaves the confines of Delva's house. Any action that takes place outside the house is only heard - with the exception of the TV coverage of the kidnapping which the characters watch on their TV. It is only through these video images, and a few images viewed through the windows of the house, that we come into contact with the outside world.
The film's editing reflects Dalva's emotional state. The fixed pans and slow dollies express the awkwardness and discomfort that the continous presence of her discarded love unleashes. When the conflict escalates into violence, the camera is released from the ,confines' of the tripod, reacting as if in fright, and proceeds to document the action that follows in a series of long uncut takes. The camera's motivation seems, at times, almost obscene as it lurches towards the action, continually asking for more and more. The characters fail to explain themselves. They carry on, oblivious. Each action reveals a new surprise. For them, and for me.
The most rewarding aspect of filming THE STARRY SKY, for me, as an artist, was the way in which I was allowed to control the whole process with complete freedom. Having created a situation in which the film's budget was no longer a worry, I was able to devote myself entirely to the investigation of the film's form and dramatic content, and experiment with a new way of making films.
THE STARRY SKY represents this relationship to freedom, to experimentation, and to new challenges. (Tata Amaral)
Tata Amaral was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1961. She began working as a production assistant on films and videos in 1983, and has produced several short and feature films. She has directed television programs, short films and videos, garnering awards at numerous festivals. A STARRY SKY is her first feature film.
© 1997 by International Forum of New Cinema. All rights reserved.