Adapting a book by Clarice Lispector is not an easy task. Reading is hard enough without mindfulness, imagine thinking about stream-of-consciousness constructs (when the text goes through the character’s head) in a logical beginning-middle-end narrative for a different format of yellowing pages. Lucky that there are women willing to dissect this language and present us with films as sweet as The Book of Pleasures.
Directed by Marcela Lordy and written by her alongside Josefina Trotta, it follows the story of Lóri and her most intimate encounter with her own emotions, through love, loss, affection, intellect, affection, and places the woman as the protagonist of their experience. “I always liked Clarice a lot, since I was young, but I only got in touch with her. An Apprenticeship or the Book of Pleasures after my divorce from a 10 year marriage. There, I immediately connected with Lori [no filme, interpretada brilhantemente por Simone Spoladore]”, tells the director to CLAUDIA.
For a book that starts with a comma and ends with a colon, Marcela managed to move between discontinuity through a lot of dialogue with the team, especially with Simone. “She is very sensitive, cultured, intelligent. Her experience with ballet also adds an important body awareness to this character who is quite silent. I learned a lot from her, so generous and brilliant,” she comments.
The narrative that begins strong and melancholy crosses tidal waves to reach a place of calm. In it, Lóri has to deal with the bureaucratic procedures of her mother’s death, which leaves her a beautiful apartment facing the sea in Rio de Janeiro. The passage of time is marked by a routine without a routine of the high school teacher who runs away from family demands and hides in love encounters. By chance, she meets the philosophy professor Ulisses (Javier Drolas, known for median), which immediately intrigues her.
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Feeling the lands of the heart, she leaves pieces of herself at each new moment together with him until discovering herself, finally, whole – and not for him or for him. “While still in film school, I realized how much Brazilian films always put women in the place of objects, with torn bodies. There’s no such thing as the guy dictating and paying for choices. Therefore, when I saw this full woman, in a process of internal construction, I was fascinated”, he elaborates.
Clarice Lispector’s delicacy to account, in brief pages, of the magnitude of this personal transformation, of which Lóri is almost a Homeric Ulysses of the internal adventures that form maturity, is exciting. So is the adaptation, and on different scales, to a more contemporary context: the filmmaker’s great achievement was to understand where her poetic license resides and create new tools for immersion. “The book is pure literature, so the adaptation took the place of capturing the essence of the story and transposing it into a film language, with photography and sound design, for example,” she explains. “I was weaving myself as an author along with the character who finds her own voice”, she says. And we, the spectators, weave ourselves together with this courageous protagonist.
special session The Book of Pleasures
Support: CLAUDIA Magazine, Vitrine Filmes, Editora Rocco and Gato Sem Rabo
When: Friday, 9/23
Where: Petra Fine Arts Cinema
Address: Rua da Consolação, 2423, Consolação, São Paulo/SP
Time: 8:30 pm
Debate after screening of the film with the presence of Marcela Lordy (director), Eliane Fittipaldi (teacher and author of the book Trajectories of the Feminine in Narratives by Clarice Lispector), and Simone de Beauvoir and Agnès Varda), mediated by our editor-in-chief, Paula Jacob.
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