Jorge Furtado from Rio Grande do Sul, 63, is a screenwriter and director full of hits, including the series “Agosto”, the films “O Homem Que Copiava” and “Saneamento Basico”. Guel Arraes from Pernambuco, 68, was one of the creators of the humor classics “Armação Ilimitada” and “TV Pirata”, both on TV Globo.
The two have worked together several times. For example in the series “A Comédia da Vida Privada” and “Decamerão, a Comédia do Sexo” and in the films “O Coronel eo Lobisomem” and “Lisbela eo Prisioneiro”. Last year, with a one-year pandemic, two years of Jair Bolsonaro’s government and a lot of strife accumulating, they decided to write a play, something they’d never done in partnership.
Filming finally became possible last month, and “The Talk” opened in theaters next Thursday (25). The film is directed by Caio Platt, and stars Deborah Bloch and Paulo Petti. The two are television journalists – he is the editor of the program and she is the presenter. They broke up after 17 years together, but remained close and co-workers. It’s behind the scenes of your newspaper and editor that the story is taking place – and just as the show covers the recent presidential debate between two unnamed candidates presented only as “President” and “Former President”. .
Idealistic and exuberant, she defends that the newspaper publishes a last-minute poll, which has not yet been registered with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), but which could change the course of voting. He is rational and adherent to the rules, does not accept interference with coverage. And between the two already takes place a discussion of ideas, ideals, viewpoints, journalism, politics, betrayal, children, love and the future.
The scriptwriters spoke to binding Via Zoom Where they live – Jorge Furtado, in Porto Alegre, and Joel Aris, in Rio de Janeiro. The interview focused on journalism and politics, the film’s central themes:
George: This plot was born out of our anxiety. We’ve been talking to each other every day since the start of the pandemic to find out how many have been infected, and how we have to protect ourselves, if we’re ever going to get a vaccine. At some point we decided to put that into our work, so we started writing the play.
generation: Even if it’s just telling our grandchildren that we did something in the period when two bulges simultaneously struck in Brazil, the pandemic and Bolsonaro. And what I could do at that moment was a theatrical script.
George: We only knew about things from the newspapers, and the government didn’t say anything. The press has been a salvation island in these two years. But it wasn’t always this way. The Brazilian press has made many serious mistakes recently and was largely responsible for the rise of the extreme right in Brazil, because he bought Lava Jato very easily, because he did not thoroughly investigate everyone’s interests.
generation: Corruption is a very common topic, because people think that corruption steals money. So it becomes a very easy way to explain poverty. If you take everything that corruption has stolen and multiply it by the number of Brazilians, you will not give even three reals to each one. But it becomes a magical explanation, and the press deals with this issue in a very exciting way.
George: But for now, and for the next few months, the press is our salvation. There was a former US president who once said that if he had to choose between having a government or having a press, he would choose to have a press.
generation: The Brazilian press is neither saint nor satanic, but it wants ratings. It’s as if we’re making up novels on TV. We look for stories that annoy the audience, but are popular. And if Ibope starts to fall, you make the story more famous. Journalism is somewhat similar to our profession. So, in the history of anti-corruption, I think the coverage has been doing well, and it has become so popular that it has taken a huge toll. The progressive camp lost the ball in the corruption case.
George: There was a lack of investigative reporting, especially of Lava Jato’s coverage. This from the beginning was not a matter of justice, it was a political activity. The Brazilian press got sucked into the story directly, buying up the right-wing rhetoric that corruption is responsible for poverty.
generation: It was a democratic moment in which we saw the country only improve, become more democratic. Then came 2013, when people in the street demanded that Dilma be removed and Lula arrested, the tables turned and the baby’s shower was almost dripping with water. And then there was no one from the PSD, there was no social democracy, there was no far right associated with very reactionary things, militias, weapons, very old ideas.
George: I think the Brazilian press has now realized that things have gone too far. The vaccine story was the last straw. Because the debate has to be there and we have to learn to respect the opinions of others. Maybe you can convince me that more guns in people’s hands can reduce violence. Perhaps you can convince me that removing car seats will reduce the number of seriously injured children on the roads. I can hear your opinion of abortion, and I can hear any opinion. But there is no talk against the vaccine. Humanity wouldn’t be here without vaccines. This is an absolutely indisputable advance in medicine and science.
generation: But we chose two journalists to be our protagonists because I’ve come to have a lot of admiration for this profession in the past three years. Journalists have become the primary teachers of politics. Just like the SUS workers when it comes to health, it’s the journalists who care about politics. on the front line. We couldn’t make a movie or TV series or produce anything or work. So, at that moment, I wanted to be like journalists. So we made a story for two journalists.
George: Journalism is a high-risk profession. We put this sentence in the text and I agree with it. There is also dialogue in which the character of Paulo Petti says he is impartial, and the character of Deborah Bloch responds that being impartial is something very close to doing nothing. He replies, “I work in the press.”
generation: And though the plot is blurred, there is an older man, in a position of power, married to a younger woman, who earns less than he does. But the female character in this film is the driver of the story, she is the hero. We wanted to reverse this pattern a little bit. She’s combative, she stands up for what she believes in and she’s the one who suggests their break up, a different breakup. They separated to continue together. It is a new love paradigm.
George: Everything is very modern in this scenario, we call it “live cinema”. There are documentaries made that way, hot, above the facts. But I wondered if this wasn’t a unique case of fiction that stuck to reality. Not. There is at least one other case, which makes me think better than being original, is to have such a illustrious background, and that is Chaplin’s “Great Dictator.” He did it in the middle of World War II mocking Hitler, not mentioning his name, but everyone knows he’s the one they’re talking about.
generation: This movie is completely different from anything I’ve ever done. She has a different motive, and a real ambition, to make minimal interference in reality. Even officially it is different from everything that Jorge and I have done, because he talks about him a lot, and he has a dialogue all the time. As if we were actually losing the reins.
George: We asked Cayo Platt to direct, and he was absolutely amazing. He had absolute control over the set, knew the script by heart, and marked scenes before filming. I find it intriguing how the actors have directed three recent political films. In addition to Caio, in this film, there is Wagner Moura with “Marigella” and Lazaro Ramos with “Medida Interim”.
generation: Caillou who climbed the cast. It is a very intimate relationship between the director and the actor, one very responsible for the outcome of the work of the other. [Paulo Betti e Caio Blat são ambos ex-maridos e pais dos dois filhos da atriz Maria Ribeiro, e essa é a primeira vez que trabalham juntos].
George: As a friend of mine says, Rio de Janeiro is like a deck of playing cards. You shuffle the cards, then you put them all together in the pile and start over.
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