Monday, 25 June 2018

Interview with filmmaker Pedro Ribeiro

200 Minutos will be screening at the Straight Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival 

*How did you get into making films? Telling about how I got into filmmaking is the same way to me as talking about my interest in art. The way all kinds of art touches people is what moves me to keep working on making films (and other artistic manifestations). You can tell anybody from any culture anything in 23.97 frames per second, that’s amazing! I discovered this power that Cinema has when I was 16 years old, when I had to make a short film as homework in school. Since that, I decided to make films for the rest of my life. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? Once I read that you only learn how to make a film making a film. I remember the filling I had when I watched “Before Sunrise (1995) – Richard Linklater” for the first time, I told myself: “he made a film with great dialogues and two actors, this is amazing”. That inspired me to make this film, we took our own recourses and started doing it, and it was the best film school I have ever took in my hole life. 

*How has your style evolved? What I think as a filmmaker is: the style comes to improve the film itself. If you ask me: “what do you prefer? A super elaborated camera movement or a single close on the face of the actress?”. I would say: “well, what is the most important for the narrative? If its the camera movement, ok, let’s do it.. if it is the single close.. ok let’s do this one”. For that, all my style when I direct a film is based on what is important.. not even for me, but for the film. If you watch this movie you will see that the sequence plans are there for a reason, the elaborated shots are there for a reason as the “tripped shots” are there for a reason too. That’s what I think about my style, and that’s what is involved in this film. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? There is a car accident in the film, and I decided to do that in a studio, with projection and flashes of light. But, we had to film all the scenario to Project the background, so, I was with the producer and her assistant in the car, at the night, driving in the downtown of Curitiba – city where we live in Brazil. The producer’s assistant was sitting in the back, with the camera filming the streets while I was driving. Then, we stopped in a part where there was some gang dudes in the corner. One of them looked at us and said: “why are you filming? Are you from the cops?” and came angry towards us. My friend took the camera off and said: “no, we are film students, we are doing a Project”. But the guy didn’t believe him and came more angrily shouting things like: “I am gonna give you what to record, I will kick you all down!!”. In that moment I realized that if we kept there we would literally die, because the man was coming faster and faster in our direction, and he really didn’t want to just talk. At the end, the traffic light got green and I ran the car so fast we could only hear that guy spitting on the car. Well, making this film almost costed our lifes... literally. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? The part I mostly liked in this manifesto was: “no shorts you lazy!”. We have problems with new filmmakers that think making a feature film is impossible – of course, it isn’t easy, but not impossible. Once a Brazilian filmmaker called Joel Pizzini said: “if you have to choose making four shorts or a feature.. well, make a feature”. Other part of this manifesto I liked was the first point, because I see a problem in film schools, I say that because I made this film while I studied in one. The problem is: “many of the filmmakers don’t have this passion for making movies, they have a passion for making a career”. This kind of things makes me sad, well, of course it’s good to have a career, make this the way you pay your bills, I want that for my life, but if you lose this passion in making movies, and think about Cinema ONLY as business, well.. I sincerely think there’s something wrong with your philosophy.. with all the respect. I see in this manifesto a way of coming back to making films with courage, as a career or not, we are all making films.. because we love doing that, and as Glauber Rocha (another Brazilian filmmaker) said: “making a film is an act of courage”. 

*What can we expect from your next film? We are in pre-production phase of another feature film, but this one is about violence and segregation. You can expect a film, as you can see in this one, that will work for the best of the narrative (the actor’s interaction, the misé-èn-scene, the script, etc.), all to communicate the problems we see in the society nowadays. Well, if the film will be good or bad, the time and you (spectators) will be able to tell me.. but most importantly, you can expect that we will keep making featured films.