The “growing pain” of a child, in a country at the height of an economic crisis, serves as the motto “Sadness and joy in the lives of giraffes,” the new film by Tiago Guedes that is shown today at IndieLisboa.
The film is an adaptation of the homonymous play by Tiago Rodrigues, presented for the first time at Culturgest in Lisbon in 2011, in production of Mundo Perfeito.
Tiago Guedes followed the whole process of the play, having watched “until before she debuted” and liked “much of the text”.
In the film, ‘giraffe’ (played by Maria Abreu), to solve a problem, set out in search of the only person who thinks he can help, the prime minister. The path is made in the company of his teddy bear, Judy Garland (Tonan Quito).
In the play, the protagonist was played by Carla Galvao, a woman playing as a child, “which changes the whole game at once, all the way the play – which is assumed on stage – is suddenly confronted with a realism that the cinema came to impose in some way. ” In the film, it is a child to take the role.
Tiago Guedes wanted to “keep a lot of the cast of the original piece,” and the four actors who took the stage, two (Miguel Borges and Tonan Quito) are in the film.
The film’s cast also includes, among others, Gonçalo Waddington, Miguel Guilherme, and Tiago Rodrigues, who plays the prime minister, who in the play had a name, Pedro Passos Coelho, but in the film is only the prime minister, and “the reason is very simple “: the director” did not want to date the film “.
The option was “very conscious” and even “cost a lot” Tiago Guedes to take it, since “he was very fond of one of the speeches [in which he was called by name].”
The action of the play unfolds in Lisbon at the height of the economic crisis. Eight years later, the director considers that “unfortunately, much of the problem that is portrayed in the film at this level remains.” “It may be less serious here and there, but it’s short patches. In general, people are in a lot of trouble and with less money,” he said.
‘Sadness and joy in the lives of giraffes’ ended up taking a long time to do – almost eight years – and the main reason was the lack of funding.
“When we left for this, we did not have almost any money and they [actors] agreed to travel with us, and we decided to take risks when it was already running out for as long as possible”, said the director, explaining that he risked “urgency” felt “to tell that story could disappear.”
“When I felt that this was in jeopardy, we decided to risk it and we took our chances with no money, we got some very important support, which made the film viable, but we did not have the money to make the film. with the film shot, and that’s where we got the money right, “he said.
The play debuted in 2011, the team was “a year or two until they had the full story”, followed by “several unsuccessful attempts to subsidize and finance”, and the shooting took place in the summer of 2017.
‘Sadness and joy in the life of the giraffes’ premiered at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Mexico at the International Short Film Competition in March of this year.
Since the film “has a lot of text, there are a lot of lines, and this has to have a lot of subtitles,” Tiago Guedes was “very afraid of how people would be able to follow and identify with the story at all.”
“I was very pleased because I realized that the theme is indeed universal. I felt that the people who attended have gone through a lot in history, not only in the difficulties of the crisis but also with all the existential problems that the film portrays,” he recalled.
With ‘Sadness and joy in the life of the giraffes’, Tiago Guedes wanted “a lot to help perpetuate” the characters he saw on stage on stage.
“The theater has this ephemeral magic, the characters disappear and the cinema somehow manages to keep them,” he said.
‘Sadness and joy in the life of the giraffes’ is exhibited today at 9:30 p.m., in the Manoel Oliveira Room of Cinema São Jorge, and on Friday, at 2:30 p.m., in room 3 of the same cinema.