Entertainment » Movies

Hard Paint

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Oct 24, 2018
'Hard Paint'
'Hard Paint'  

"Hard Paint," a.k.a. "Tinta Bruta," is an intriguing and somewhat perplexing - but highly erotic - tale that scooped up the prestigious TEDDY AWARD FOR BEST LGBT FEATURE AT THE BERLINALE last month.

The film is set in the south of Brazil in the small town of Porto Alegre, which is a place so sad that everyone is desperate to leave. This leaves the ones that remain feeling even more isolated and wanting. This is the tale of one of them who will probably never leave.

Set in three sections - each named for one of the characters - the movie kicks off with the departure of Luisa (Guega Peixoto) for a new job in Salvador. It is kind of odd that she is leaving behind her only brother Pedro (Shico Menegat) because she is extremely close to him, and now he will have to cope on his own with his impending trial for blinding another student as a result of a fight he feels he was dragged into, and which got him expelled from college.

Pedro is an introvert who prefers never to leave his apartment, especially as he is now convinced everyone stares at him, but he has promised his sister to go out for five minutes every day. He literally times himself so he doesn't spend a second more outside. He gets by performing as 'Neon Boy' on a website where he splatters his naked body with neon paint. It is quite a lucrative business until he finds out that he is starting to lose his audience because someone else has copied his idea.

The two meet up and decide to do session online together, which is a great hit with the fans... and also with the two of them. Leo (Bruno Fernandes) is the total opposite of Pedro, as he is outgoing, confident and surrounded by friends. The only reason he started his chatroom was he wanted some spending money when he won his dance scholarship. The couple's steamy online sessions soon convert into even more passionate ones offline as Leo empowers Pedro to start opening up for the first time in his life.

Pedro pins all his hopes on his burgeoning relationship with Leo, which seems to be the first good thing that has happened to this orphaned youth for a very long time. However, there is always an underlying feeling that this newfound happiness may only be temporary after all...

"Hard Paint" is the second feature written and directed by Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon (who both still live in Porto Alegre), and it's immensely more satisfying than their first film, "Seashore." It is thoroughly engaging, despite being a melancholic tale whose message seems rather bleak overall. It is also an incisive comment on how the Internet allows even the most isolated and conflicted souls to create fantasy moments of escape, even if it means exploiting the weaknesses of others.

The two young actors both give superb performances portraying the perfect balance of innocence and the inevitable acceptance of the limited opportunities that life can offer them.

"Hard Paint" is by no means perfect, but its rather compelling take on life for these young queer guys is both refreshing and fascinating. It is quite easy to see why the Berlinale Judges wanted to honor it with an award.

Hard Paint (tinta Bruta)

Hiding behind colors, a fluorescent soul comes to life. While facing criminal charges, Pedro must grapple with his sister's sudden decision to move away and leave him behind. Alone in the darkness of his bedroom and covered in neon paint, he dances while thousands of strangers watch him via webcam. His loneliness is broken when he meets another dancer and together they can chase their dreams. Hard Paint paints a melancholic portrait of how the burden of being different and the artificial construct of internet chats break down social bonds.


Runtime :: 118 mins
Release Date :: Jan 01, 2018
Country :: Brazil


Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.

NewFest 2018

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