There are modes and modes and revolutionize whatever. Form, content, just form, just content.
But revolutions in general, not just in art, usually happen before outside the industry.
Before we see visible revolutions, we see people in basements trying new things.
Many of them never got to see them born.
They stay there, in the niche.
To stay with art, Charlie Parker’s jazz bebop, Godard’s cinema. Niche products.
Products the industry said “no” to.
The film “A Mulher Rei” premiered in Brazil, which tells the story of the kingdom of Dahomey, which expelled slave traders from its coast in the 1800s. by Viola Davis.
No man knows how to film or photograph or paint women without objectifying them. This includes irrelevant people like me, who have already directed three independent feature films, great people like Leonardo da Vinci. Or like Godard.
In “Contempt”, Godard films actress Brigitte Bardot’s ass in many colors, and the other half of his charm in films is being one of the forerunners of advertising and music videos in his phase with actress Anna Karina.
Yet the industry does not. Or rather, the filmmaker has always said no to the industry.
It’s not easy to work up the courage to face the world of film financers. We’ve seen it in good films on the subject, such as “Barton Fink”, by the Coen brothers, or “City of Dreams”, by David Lynch, for example.
Viola Davis went there and got funding for this miracle that is “The Woman King” – a film that is, above all, a primer to follow on how to finally film women without objectifying them, without putting their sexuality in the foreground, without seek to determine gender in a binary way. Of how to film powerful characters without falling into the fetish of powerful women, and filming their weaknesses without falling into the fetish of fragile women. Anyway, everything that male characters have always been entitled to.
The movie “Gladiator” by Russell Crowe is the typical movie that men in the industry love to put their money on.
But it could be that “King Woman,” which has been compared to Ridley Scott’s film, came into the world because something changed. Perhaps a world after the success of the movie “Black Panther”, where the king’s guard, also made up of women, was so successful among the kids. Perhaps more women are in positions of power in the industry. And power is money. Viola Davis is, herself, one of the producers of “The King Woman”.
Her performance in the film is one of the most sophisticated of the year, because she builds a tough character that demonstrates a myriad of feelings in the cracks of the art of acting.
The actress and producer fears that if the film doesn’t do well, producers may not finance more films of the type. The film opened well in the US. In Brazil, Viola came personally to get involved in the promotion, met with other black Brazilian artists, played tambourine in Mangueira, gave an interview in Fantástico.
And it was very interesting when she chose the Copacabana Palace, in Rio de Janeiro, to gather an audience full of black people for the film’s gala and decolonize one of the most whitened places in the country’s history. Where distinguished guest galleries display a wall of portraits of the likes of Frank Sinatra.
Even so, among some of the many black communities that exist in Brazil, the film received some criticism. Because Viola hired two white screenwriters and none black for the project, and in the screenplay there is a white-mestizo-Portuguese-slave-repentant-savior character who, if not for her intervention in two action points, all the black characters of the movie would have died. And for the demonization of the black man, related in the film to violence and rape against women.
This is how, as revolutionary as Godard, but navigating in less comfortable waters than the French decided to go (within niches, mistakes and successes became, in any case, cult), that follows “A Mulher Rei” .
A historical film. He doubts? Now review “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and Steven Spielberg’s creative team’s demonization of sacred Hindu rituals. Spielberg himself gave the Palme d’Or at Cannes, in 2013, for “Blue is the Warmest Color” – the film that most teaches how not to film women.
With that in mind, review virtually the same scenes of African rituals from the Viola Davis film, this time treated in a respectful, sacred way. See the photo of the actress in Rio de Janeiro posing next to Gabriel Martins, director of “Marte Um”, who teaches a class on how to film naked bodies of women making love, and reflect.
We live, without much fanfare, a revolution to be celebrated as a manumission.