All That is Living Overflows

in Rio de Janeiro Talent Press

by Claudio Azevedo

The nervous twitching of two feet is framed in a close-up. The sighs of the leading character of I See the World from the Window (2021) can be heard over the clicking of the keyboard, until a new frame opens. An elderly woman, sitting at her kitchen table, in front of a computer. All her gestures reveal a rising impatience, until she closes the computer with a brusque movement. This is when the protagonist kicks off her shoes and begins to feel the emptiness of the floor, searching for a memory to fill it.

A chat with her daughter reveals her desire to walk over a sandy beach again, showing her recent post on Facebook about memories of past days and how the sand stuck to her body when she came out of the sea. Her daughter’s lack of attention, eyes fixed on her mobile or on a little mirror while she applies make-up, indicate the disassociation of the two. Thus the sand becomes a metaphor for the invisibility which is slowly burying her present. The box of sand she puts on the table begins to pour sand like an hourglass which continues, inexorably, to count the time that remains. From thence, the film gains in symbolic intensity and the first grains of sand start spreading out and accumulating around the house like living symbols of persistant memories and of passing time.

The sand which invades the space of the house, like the water which gushes from the kitchen sideboard are elements emanating from the character´s inner life. The film´s beauty lies in the subtlety with which these signals will sculpt the progress of her memory. A dinamic combination of all the symbolic elements conjugate to give the film itself an interior movement.

The inequivocal qualities of Ana Catarina Lugarini´s direction reside in a symbolic and poetical construction based in a precise formal work. The simplicity with which she places each element in scene reveals a capacity to transform the banal in a fílmic superfície where the emanations of that which is hidden in the interior of the protagonist can flow together.

In the end, Lugarini highlights a frame in which the human vacuum is substituted by a space invaded by all the symbolic layers emanating from the character’s interior. The ambiguity of this symbolism persists. If on the one hand, these interior intensities have been submerging the character in her loneliness and invisibility; on the other hand, this texture which has been elaborated from her interior world becomes a latter-day signal of a life which has always been overflowing.

Cláudio Azevedo