Official Selection 2013
Ricardo is a lonely boy with no friends. One day, while he is playing alone at the playground, he finds a puppy, but this puppy already has an owner.
Original title: Menino de Cinco
Director: Marcelo Matos de Oliveira, Wallace Nogueira
Producer: Pauline Leite
Writer: Wallace Nogueira, Marcelo Matos de Oliveira
Key cast and other credits:
Ricardo – Thomas Oliveira
ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SCRIPT
‘Everything started when I was working as a street educator on the traffic lights at Salvador, located in a noble neighborhood. A street boy approached me, outraged because a lady did not want to open down the car window to talk to him: “I don´t know how can they manage to live locked up in this way”, and pointed, furiously, to the grades surrounding a building; a cliché image for somebody living in Brazil, but which I could hardly expect to come from an 8 year old kid. This image would haunt me for a long time.
In Brazil, particularly in Salvador-Bahia (a city where there exist more Africans out of Africa) something which marks someone´s white middle class childhood is the impossibility of going out to play in the street. The street is the danger, home is the protection. The fear is of those who had no opportunity to ascend socially and that hang around the big buildings looking for that which they do not have. If in Brazil we have the issue of homeless kids on the street, we also have the other side, the kids without street.
When I started writing the script I wanted the story to express that which I heard from that kid. I assumed the standpoint of a kid who lives on the street to talk about middle class childhood. Thus, the starting point of the history was made upon a reversal: a rich and solitary kid who steals a puppy from a poor kid. I wanted to create two worlds dialectically antagonistic in an attempt to come to an unpredictable end. ‘
‘Once finished the first version of the script, I invited my mate and partner to co-direct the movie with me. The partnership with Wallace Nogueira comes from many years when we met at the Faculty of Philosophy and Human Sciences 12 years ago. During this period, we made and worked together in some documentaries.
Wallace joined the project making some essential modifications in the script and raising the end of the story to a great peak. He not only directed the movie, but also did the photograph, as the script was written from the beginning considering his photography aesthetics, which I very well knew.
However, our experience came from video and from documentary and in order to make this movie, our first experience with narrative fiction, we had to consider certain aspects inherent to movies. In this regard, we were lucky to count with a friend who has long experience in sound and photography for movies: Nicolas Hallet. So we invited Nicolas for the sound and to share the photography with Wallace, so as to bring in a movie touch into our video aesthetics. So we built a somehow different team, where the direction was linked with photography and photography with sound. The result was an impressing mobility for actors who were followed by a live camera, with realistic illumination and precise sound.’
ENCOUNTERING THE MAIN CHARACTER
We decided to make the movie in the worst season, school holidays, when few children were in the city. We made a selection with around 60 kids, none of which looked to contain within itself the main character. One Sunday we decided to go to the shopping mall, and as soon as we put our foot there a kid who had exactly the same appearance of the character came in our direction. We made one more selection and it was just him who stayed with the main character.
Marcelo Matos de Oliveira