(São Paulo, Brazil)
Vermelho Gallery presents Dora Longo Bahia’s new feature film, “The Dora Case”, which is inaugurating the gallery’s new projection room, salaAntonio.
Dora Longo Bahia’s new feature-length film, O caso Dora [The Dora Case] aims to carry out a practical investigation situated on the border between documentary and fiction, taking as its main reference the film-happening by Jean-Luc Godard La Chinoise. The narrative of O caso Dora establishes a distorted mirroring between the happenings of May 1968, in Paris, and the protests of June 2013, in São Paulo.
The title refers to the first case-study published by Freud, in 1905, which until today is considered a paradigmatic text for presenting the central tenets of his theory on hysteria. Taking advantage of the coincidence between the pseudonym assigned by Freud to his hysterical patient and the first name of the director of the film, O caso Dora proposes an autobiographical reflection that also comments on the position of the artist in contemporaneity.
In the film, the main character, Rosa, played by Camila Mota, finds herself in the gap between figuration and abstraction, and her deliriums and rambling thoughts question the hierarchy of truth, evoking the sense of helplessness experienced in contemporaneity. Lacking a language able to articulate her lack of freedom, she discusses about art in a dazed way, immersed in an unreal atmosphere.
The film is constructed on the basis of three interlinked and mutually cross-influencing axes: fiction, documentation and falsification. Each of these instances is organized in two symmetric parts, separated by an interval.
The first level, that of “fiction,” presents a dialog of a hysterical patient with her psychoanalyst and establishes the narrative’s main thread. The scene unfolds within a strange atmosphere, conveying the idea that something fateful and inescapable is about to happen. The psychoanalyst’s voice is heard at a distance, muffled and nearly inaudible. It becomes confused with the voice of the film’s direction, configuring the distant and inextricable position of knowledge and authority.
The second level, that of the “documentary,” is composed by two scenes that place the spectators in a subjective position. The first scene shows a couple involved in a sadomasochistic relation. The fixed camera records the scene like a voyeur. The second scene shows a girl reading a political pamphlet, in an outdoor landscape, in the light of day. The camera sweeps throughout the scene, in a long take, gradually revealing what is taking place. Apart from these two scenes, the level of the “documentary” consists of collages of parts of works by artists, documentaries and filmmakers, which interrupt the narrative like virtual postcards.
The third level, that of “falsification,” consists of appropriated, edited and re-contextualized scenes and interviews, coupled with the restaging of these scenes. It establishes a deformed correspondence with the second level, at the same time that it resembles the level of the “documentary,” repeating it, counterposing itself to it, inverting and subverting it.
The film was produced with a postdoctoral fellowship grant arising from the 2011 Capes Theses Prize. The fellowship was carried out under the orientation of Prof. Dr. Vladimir Safatle, at the College of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences at the Universidade de São Paulo, between 2014 and 2016.
The credits for O caso Dora include photography by Newton Leitão and Rafael Assef; direction assistance by Maya Guizzo; production by Larissa Zylbersztajn; costumes by Marcio Banfi; hair and makeup by Andrea Cassolari and Rafaella Cassolari; original music by Cão; sound editing by Bruno Palazzo and mastering in 5.1 by Ricardo Carioba.
“The Dora Case”, film by Dora Longo Bahia
Duration: 70 min
Opening: 8th April
On view through 4th June
Minas Gerais Street, 350 / 01244010 – São Paulo – SP – Brazil
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