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At the beginning of the year, young Brazilian director Diego Martins developed a photographic series based on the architecture of the human body related to the architecture of Copan, the famous Niemeyer building in downtown São Paulo, in which he lives. After this photographic series was born, Diego still felt the need to go deeper so he made his first video project on his own, ALGO_1 which encapsulates how the “Many sensations needed another space and the way I gave light to it was by making a film.”

Almost 5,000 people are currently living in Copan building, it is a symbol of the city as well as of Brazilian modernism. Diego was living there during the quarantine and he went through a journey of reconnecting with his desires. “I felt suffocated, everything was very intense, as if the distances had increased and the connections had been suspended. ALGO_1 was a kind of necessary cry, everything that was built-up overflowed”.

The short film is very intimate and personal; Diego talks about a tantric journey into the intimate which he had the opportunity to share with the actor Jesuita Barbosa, "The power of his acting seemed to fit this character who he is not afraid to feel. I have always had a lot of admiration for Jesuita’s work and for the way he positions himself on various subjects.” They both met in person only for filming, but through several online meetings, they unravelled the anatomy of the character. The use of light and colours in ALGO_1 is very significant. The film begins with UV Neon lights on the body, as a way of dissecting and analysing it as if someone was passing through an X-ray.

In the course of the film, when the character begins his transformation, this same colour returns through dance, alluding to the universe of raves, this cathartic environment that electronic music brings. The most natural, warmest light accompanies this body during the day, and, at first, marks its energetic stagnation, the time that does not pass. Diego explains how to relate some colours with emotions “Orange brings sex, with pleasure, as if your blood now flows differently within the body, emitting light. Orange is fever, it is joy, it is to say that this body is now alive and anointed. A process of disturbance of perception and senses was activated.”

Music is also an important aspect that gives meaning to the images and visuals of ALGO_1. Electronic music has always been a field of inspiration and expansion for Diego, fuelling his desire to create and enter other realities. “While I was producing the photos, this sound was always present, especially the incredible sets by L_CIO, they helped me to conduct that visual narrative” explains the director, “the isolation of the pandemic opened this connection with L_CIO, who from the start was very generous and receptive, giving total freedom so that he could bring a vision to the project”.

With only three people on the set (because of quarantine’s safety measures) the team shot for three days, six hours each day in Diego’s own apartment, which brought him even closer to the project, with all the necessary security protocols, but it was definitely worth it because ALGO_1 ended up being a beautiful journey of metamorphosis during weird and difficult times.

Words
Clara Izquierdo

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