Take an emotional trip from Brazil to Berlin with two young Brazilian filmmakers Gustavo Jahn and Melissa Dullius. Muito Romântico is a multi-stop journey into the heart of Europe, and a very imaginative piece of experimental cinema, with elements of video art. It feels almost like a film from German filmmaker Alexander Kluge in its deeply fragmented montage approach, but instead from a transatlantic perspective. The movie is a collage of moving images, stills, shreds of imagination and slivers of allegory. The narrative is fluid and organic: many viewers will rearrange the story and make sense of it according to their own experience.
The film sets off the two partners cross the Atlantic on a red cargo ship. The Ocean is a watershed, as the immigrants embrace a new life in the old continent. The story is then inundated with literature from Goethe, Alfred Doeblin, DH Lawrence, as well as music of all sorts (the title of the film was taken from the eponymous song by the legendary Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso). The couple also venture into the music territory, and the movie wraps up with a melancholic bedroom performance. The most intimate living space is often where creativity flourishes.
But the waters of the Atlantic are not the only symbol of change. There are also plenty of construction sites in Berlin, and – despite their apparent inaction and stillness – they are a fitting metaphor for transition. The German capital is a city in perpetual movement, and the two directors examine such phenomenon by observing the urban architecture. There are plenty of contrasts, with the old being destroyed in order to make room for the new. Yet the “new” is often barren and soulless, while the “old” is teeming with nostalgia. Which raises the question: why do we constantly need to embrace change?
Spoken in various languages, Muito Romântico will explores a plethora of themes, always from a very idiosyncratic perspective. The movie delves with the identity of Brazilians in Europe, the longing for home (both as in your residence and as in your homeland), the fear of disease, the relation between time and space, and much more. The film is dotted with a wealth of both intelligeable and non-intelligeable, visual and sensorial anecdotes. Muito Romântico is a plesant and soothing experience, if reserved to those more used to alternative cinema practices.
Muito Romântico is currently showing in festivals around Europe and the world. Click here for more information about film distribution and exhibition.
The film trailer can be viewed here: