The Blue Flower of Novalis

A Rosa Azul de Novalis

  • Gustavo Vinagre
  • Rodrigo Carneiro

  • 2019
    • Brazil
  • 70 min
  • Colour
  • Rodrigo Carneiro (Carneiro Verde Filmes),, +55 11 99699-7854


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Marcello occupies the image from beginning to end and talks about a jumble of things: his passion for coffee, his HIV status, his chronic headaches, his homophobic father, his fantasies of having his father watch his lovemaking with passing boyfriends, his lovers’ passion, his Catholic grandmother or his incestuous brother. At times, he takes himself for Genghis Kahn, Novalis or a French courtesan; at others, he talks about Bataille or the Saint whose name he has forgotten and who, on the scaffold, is said to have taunted his executioner with a startling sense of humour. In all of the monologues that Marcello delivers to the camera, it is perhaps the story of the Saint responding to pain with humour and lively wit that embodies the most sincere part of the self-portrait. With Marcello, Gustavo Vinagre and Rodrigo Carneiro take up the masochistic–sadistic exercise of confession that has now invaded our images, at the point where Shirley Clarke with her Portrait of Jason had left off. In other words, by viewing its theatricality straight-on and by laughing – much like the Saint facing his executioner – at the impasse of cinéma-vérité, which imagines it can get to the very bottom of all that is exposed to its gaze. Here, provocation, the refined taste for blasphemy, are less a means of deflecting the requirements of a confession than a way of turning it into a baroque spectacle – brutally trivial yet just as sacred, in conjunction with Marcello’s formula which serves as a moral: “I’m useless, like everything that is important.” 
–Jérôme Momcilovic

Gustavo Vinagre studied literature at São Paulo University and scrip­twriting at the EICTV (Cuba) and directed several shorts. Lembro mais dos corvos/ I Remember the Crows, his first documentary feature, won best first film at Cinema du reel 2018 and best film at Indie Lisboa 2018. 

Rodrigo Carneiro studied history at Ouro Preto University and editing at the EICTV (Cuba). He is the writer and director of the short films Marília, Microsieverts and Copyleft. He has edited several shorts and feature films.