Let’s clarify:

if you wait absolutely a work scenario (expanded, or even just present), issues of narrative, a dynamic pace… ) OF AGOSTO you may not displease.

The movie from Gabriel Mascaro is not seeking at any time accessibility but rather its own tone, its own sensoriality, through an understated, but extremely sought after and complex… as long as we are willing to dive in.

The pitch : Shirley has left the city for the care of his grandmother in a small quiet village on the coast in the Northeast region in Brazil. The month of August marks the arrival of a startling discovery which leads to Shirley and her boyfriend Jeison in a questioning of life, death, memory of the wind and the sea.

) DE AGOSTO adopts a style that is both sensory and documentary.

The digital camera, and quasi-fixed y adopts a posture voyeuristic, giving the impression of observing an undeniable reality; a reality that is enhanced by the increase of the shutter speed of the camera (as in Gladiator, or Soldier Ryan), giving an even more precise and realistic in his image… Yet, Gabriel Mascaro contrast with its sublime picture the coldness too realistic digital by a constant research atmospheres, between wonderful and indomitable.

It captures its characters in hours and atmospheres specific (dawns & twilights, heat, storm, night, etc.) within environments that symbolically overwhelming. Crushing by the weight of the vacuum around (the sea), their density (in forests) or by the mixture of the two, imprisoning the characters (forests along a river, cliff, rocky + horizon). The same goes for interior environments, poor, skimpy, minimalist.

The primary symbolism is an additional complexity in the subtle composition of planes, creating in the aggregate a unique mix of emotions. Anxiety, wonder, incomprehension, stimulation.

Here is an excerpt of the first 3 minutes, showing, I think, pretty well this.


The composition of the plan, therefore, is very symmetrical, angular; psychologically, there’s immediately the ideas of danger, loss, and stability, reinforced by the image of a boat on a rough sea. Colorimetrically, the blue triangle moves on a sea of disorder, almost grey, but getting closer despite everything in his summit, another element immutable: the sky. Within the image, the character of Shirley. Again, the play of colors between his dark skin and her bathing suit, warm colors, contrast, binary with the coldness of “that which is not alive”: the rest of the world. Everything in this plan, is contradictory: a rough sea is not conducive to rest. A pretty woman in a fishing boat. Coca as self-tanning (?). Subtly, the placement of the camera gives a wide strange to his body, giving him a look more shriveled.

The set, delivered in the context of the film, proposes the idea of a character, benevolent, indecisive and immature, stuck in his daily life, seeking to evolve to a stable immutable, a synonym of escape.

Every scene of the film offers, in the image of it, an interpretation subconscious of who are the characters, their history, their aspirations. And if… The scenario of the film was a notion suggested more than shown ? An interpretation as an alternative to explain the fascination with this film on me.

“) De Agosto barter any pace scenario and accessibility for a highly symbolic merging with a staging sober than impressive.”

There has thus consistently, in ) OF AGOSTO, several levels of reading.

That or they let themselves be carried by the sensoriality of film () OF AUGUST , to my mind, to discover the total immersion; in the cinema the best, if not without outside intervention and in a helmet)

The one or the one seeks to give a meaning to the image, knowing that multiple tracks are constantly being proposed.

That or they are trying to enter the film in a socio-cultural context;

Because the history of ) OF AUGUST and takes place in a campaign littoral of Brazil, which we can define as “poor”. Poverty is written here with big quotation marks, because culturally, our vision is framed and the western part of this environment if exotic is quite different from the brazilian reality of these characters. What we would call poverty, from our point of view ethnocentré is translated here by proximity and affect, the exploitation of the environment, bridging the boredom.

The love-story live in Shirley and Jason just as the jobs they perform, the adventures they live and their evolution, psychological are thus motivated by this “poverty”.

The camera of Gabriel Mascaro invites us to see beyond the preconceptions we have of this world there, making dissoner this so called “documentary cinema” by a variety of fantastic elements (the lungs of the earth, a crane, the earpiece of the August wind, the sex on the coconut). It is as well of ) DE AGOSTO a film to poetry, playful and unsettling, a bit like in Bong Joon-Ho (Memory of Murder, The Host), where one never really knows if what one sees on the screen is cultural differences or a theatrical staging of the real.

As for the famous “winds of August”, they are still the basis of all the foregoing as they shape it, indirectly or not, the events, the psychology, the situations and the movements of the characters. An August wind picked up accurately by Gabriel Mascaro, a component that is a fascinating film, and incredibly deep, capable of stimulating his audience by the force AND simplicity of its staging, the printing of a symbolic complex and constantly renewed throughout its 1h17min.




Original title : ) de Agosto

Realization : Gabriel Mascaro

Screenplay : Gabriel Mascaro, Rachel Ellis

Main actors : Dandara de Morais, Geová Manoel dos Santos, Maria Salvino dos Santos

Country of origin : Brazil

Released : August 26, 2015

Duration : 1h17min

Distributor : Sokol movies

Synopsis : See critical

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