Directed by Gabriel Mascaro
Shirley has left the big city to live in a small seaside town and look after her elderly grandmother. She drives a tractor on a local coconut plantation, loves rock music and wants to be a tattoo artist. She feels trapped in the tiny coastal village. She is involved with Jeison, who also works on the coconut farm and who free dives for lobster and octopus in his spare time.
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★★★★ review by Leandro Luz on Letterboxd
Gosto da maneira como Gabriel Mascaro investe na duração dos seus planos - o último, inclusive, me deixou embasbacado. Sempre simbólica, a direção parece querer investigar a relação dos personagens com a natureza a sua volta, e cada detalhe nos informa algo e nos dá bagagem para interpretar o que estamos vendo. Já sinto a necessidade de rever para compreender melhor as aparentes mudanças de foco no roteiro, da natureza e do trabalho por si só para Shirley, do Pesquisador de Ventos para Geová e sua obsessão com a morte. O que posso dizer é que foi uma experiência densa e complexa ter visto VENTOS DE AGOSTO.
★★★½ review by Michael Sicinski on Letterboxd
I wrote a lengthy piece on Ventos de Agosto for Reverse Shot:
I'm in the process of catching up with Mascaro's documentary work. This guy's major.
★★★★★ review by Alex Kolpan on Letterboxd
August Winds is a meditative and hypnotic movie akin to the likes of something like Uncle Boonmee except more condensed (time wise) and more romantic. Everything in this movie was perfect for me, from the sound design to the beautiful cinematography and acting. No complaints. At 75 minutes, August Winds is a breezy experience that will leave you feeling euphoric long after the journey has ended.
★★★★ review by Keith Watson on Letterboxd
AFI Latin American Film Festival #2
This one's going to be hard to top. Shades of Costa and Alonso, but very much its own beast.
August Winds (a.k.a. “Ventos de Agosto”) — usually described as Brazilian documentarian Gabriel Mascaro’s first fiction film, though I have read that some of his prior work blurs the line between documentary and fiction pretty thoroughly — contains eight or nine of the most stirring and unusual images I have seen in quite some time. Any other movie would be lucky to have even one of them, but Mascaro doles out masterpieces of scenic construction on the regular. For some, Mascaro’s impeccable “eye” may be the only thing the movie has going for it — the film is largely plotless; its themes relatively submerged — but, while I couldn’t give you a full account of exactly what Mascaro is up to here, I was thrilled by the film’s dialectic between young and old, wind and sea, life and death, existence and extinction.
If that all sounds a little heavy, in Mascaro’s hands, it’s not. Mascaro’s style may be formally austere, composed largely of static camera set-ups and long takes, but the content is often strangely funny. Take, for instance, one of the film’s earliest scenes. We gaze on bronze-skinned, bikini-clad Shirley (Dandara de Morais) as she lies on a skiff on the open sea. The Lewd’s noisy punk scorcher “Kill Yourself” blasts out of the radio. After a minute or so, enough time for the audience to start wondering whether anything at all will happen, Shirley grabs a can of Coca-Cola and begins to pour it onto her skin, rubbing it in like tanning oil. (If this seems bizarre — and it certainly did to me — perhaps it shouldn’t; apparently some people swear by Coke for suntanning.) Later, a body pops out of the water and throws an octopus into the boat.
Here’s some more: In one scene Shirley, who dreams of becoming a tattoo artist but has no one on whom to practice, steals out under cover of darkness to try out her skills on a pig. In another, Shirley and her boyfriend Jeison (Geová Manoel Dos Santos) make love in an open trailer atop a huge pile of coconuts. Later, a meteorologist, played by Mascaro himself, shows up in Shirley and Jeison’s small town to make field recordings of the wind. The town is located in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, where the northeast and southeast trade winds meet, causing particularly erratic weather. After he dies, carried out to sea by ferocious waves caused by the heightened winds, Jeison takes it upon himself to care for his body, which lies on a table outside of his house; at one point, Jeison holds a tearful late-night vigil before the body as Tracy Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You” plays.
★★★★ review by walterporto on Letterboxd
A vida e a morte, a existência e a falta de sentido num lugar dominado pela natureza e esquecido pelos homens; a comunidade remota, rudimentar, como cativeiro e como berço.
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