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Não É normal (Not Normal)

It can't be normal.

This film tells the story of a happening: the epic return of Maria Alice Barbosa (Dona Alice), now blind, at 93 years old, to Porto, in Portugal – for the first time, after 87 years of her migration to Brazil - to dance, at sunrise, her own choreography of Bolero, from Maurice Ravel.

This is a true happening constructed in another temporality. The kind of temporality that may be explained by the Portuguese word: "Desova" and maybe can be understood in the flow of the film: a time which is fragmented, liquid, cluttered, immeasurable, juxtaposed and multiple.

The return of Maria Alice does not seem to respond to the progressive march of Bolero and the linearity of time we live in. Her journey is better expressed through its dream like nature and the multiplicity of its own contrasting connotations.

Not Normal designates an idiosyncratic filming process that belongs to a boundless succession of unforeseeable failures, adaptations and corrections. It had its own ethics. It was extreme and odd. No rehearsals. A crew of five.

How did it happen?

Desova (noun):
dəzˈɔvɐ
1. a process of spawning or laying eggs of fish, frog, mollusc or crustacean.
2. the disclosure of information which one prefers to conceal: the same as spitting out.
3. a disposal of a corpse or a stolen object at a secluded area.
4. the output of products; the action of putting items that were once stored into circulation.

Director Biography - João Villas

I am a 40 years old Brazilian living in London where I work as an artist and film maker. I hold a MA Degree from the Royal College of art and my moving image work focuses in experimental film making. I am specially interested in unconventional ways to tell stories using improvisation to create documentary-like films.

Director Statement

I like to think of my work as fragmented trajectory, disordered, giving form to a long imprinted sequence, like in a film; or the same as life. I am a visual artist working with film so the idea of imprinting; of leaving a mark is present throughout my work. Film, photography, performance are commonly used.

My projects are long in duration. This way they can have time and space to develop and gain density. In this whirlpool of different mediums, places and people, I intentionally drift to the edge of precarity relying on my intuition. Whether I am making, directing, editing or printing, I remain liquid and act upon instinct. I attempt to calculate the unforeseeable.

It is, at places like these - when I feel displaced and about to loose control - that my work defines itself. Only then I am able to see why it is important for me to inhabit this precarious space: the edge of failure, when my work becomes larger than me and free of my tyranny, coincidentally made, like unpredictable consequences of my existence. These moments, which present themselves as something truthful, which maybe I could fall in love with. Something consisting of a smaller part of me and mostly made of everything else around us.

Não É normal (Not Normal)João Villas

Project Title (Original Language):Não É Normal Project Type:Documentary, Experimental, Short Genres:Art Film, Performance, Dance, Portugal, Brazil, Porto, Migration Runtime:11 minutes 30 seconds Completion Date:June 28, 2019 Production Budget:5,000 USD Country of Origin:United Kingdom Country of Filming:Portugal Language:Portuguese Shooting Format:16mm, Digital Aspect Ratio:16:9 Film Color:Color First-time Filmmaker:No Student Project:No