‘Hard Paint’

hardpaintThe turbulent double-life of a young Brazilian gay man (Shico Menegat) immerses the audience in a beautifully nuanced narrative that is simultaneously haunting, thrilling and erotic.

By day a lost, lonely soul whose sister, in moving to Salvador from Porto Alegre, leaves Pedro alone in their shared apartment. But at night, as NeonBoy, he has developed a unique adult entertainment for paying gay internet trawlers involving luminous paint. A copycat performer leads Pedro to unexpected love.

Deft telling of the story by directors Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon (Seashore) with several unexpected developments, muted tonality and a claustrophobic sense of place create an intimate character study of a vulnerable gay male and a commentary on wider issues of loneliness, homophobia and love.

Rating: 69%

Screened as part of Melbourne International Film Festival

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‘The Second Mother’

TheSecondMotherMost of my (limited) experience of Brazilian film has been restricted to street gangs and violence (Pixote, City of God). So The Second Mother‘s story of Val and her years as a nanny to Fabinho in Sao Paolo whilst her own daughter in brought up by relatives in northern Brazil is something completely different.

It comes with a swag of awards for female writer/director Anna Muylaert (Don’t Call Me Son, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes) and boasts a great central performance from Regina Case (Me, You, Them, Rio I Love You). But, whilst entertaining, The Second Mother is a little too predictable as a feisty Jessica arrives in the city and upsets the unspoken class barriers between employer and employee.

Rating: 59%