ANIMAFEST PRO | ANIMAFEST SCANNER VII | SYMPOSIUM FOR CONTEMPORARY ANIMATION STUDIES | Panel 1 - HEAVY LIKE THE WORLD: ANIMATION IN THE WORLD OF CHAOS
City of Pirates and the Social Chaos - Eliane M. Gordeeff (Quadro Vermelho Produções/CIEBA-FBAUL/Veiga de Almeida University, Almada, Portugal)
The article analyzes how the animated image and its narrative have the strength to represent a historical moment in Brazilian society, as described by the statement attributed to Leon Tolstoy, “if you want to be universal, start by painting your village.” The animation in focus is City of Pirates (Otto Guerra, 2018), a feature film in a cartoon with live-action excerpts of interviews with Laerte (1951-), a recognized Brazilian comics artist, talking about the decision to assume his female personality.
The film has a documentary and complex aspect, not just because of the theme, but mainly for the chaotic approach to its four narrative axes. Those show facts from Laerte's life (with his cartoon characters), about the film production (and Guerra's disease), and a story of an election campaign with a homophobic white man candidate. As a meta-linguistic and social work, it mixes these issues, creating anarchy and a sense of absurdity coherent with the chaos of the new century. This chaos (according to Greek etymology from Mythology, and in the conventional sense of disorder) finds in the cartoon the crucial channel for gathering the subjects covered by the narrative.
The animated images work as the diegetic Imaginarium of the live-action images, showing facts that happened before and after Laerte's interview. It is the animation and drawing styles that help keep these stories together. Therefore, it offers itself as a form, a coherent means to ironize, caricature, and fantasize about real serious issues, but in a playful way that is simultaneously shocking. The dynamics of its storyline and the various diegetic plans that film presents, highlight it wherever it goes, even if its full understanding is not possible. It is not possible to understand the chaos. However, as chaos, it marks a particular moment of Brazilian History since every ending is a new beginning. The film received several awards, including Best Film at Anima Latina (Argentina), Cinanima (Portugal), and the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano (Cuba).
E. Gordeeff is an associated researcher (CIEBA-FBAUL, Portugal), an animator (co-partner of Quadro Vermelho Produções), professor of the Veiga de Almeida University (Brazil), and ASIFA member. She produced more than 15 animated shorts that were screened all over the world. Ph.D. in Fine Arts (Lisbon University with a scholarship from CNPq / Brazil), her thesis Representation of the Diegetic Imaginarium in Animation for the Cinema Life-Action (2018) analyzed Animation as art and medium, which enhances the representation of the scenes of a dream, memory, fantasy, and hallucination within the live-action movies. In 2018, she released the book Aesthetic Interferences about stop motion animation.