It all begins with a denial. A love that cannot be. Choked by his broken heart, a man tries to find the voice of peace in order to go on. Uses the distance to observe and learn the new life of his ex-companion. Collects information about the female that filled his being with darkness. Starts doing minimal acts of threats in a state of total awareness and control. Piece by piece, rotting every flower that once blossomed in her life. Attracts the new person who rises upon this relationship.Rehearses a final lesson for the last chapter. In a desperate attempt to make one feel what he felt, proves his point in a elegant yet twisted way.
Anticipating the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival premiere of ‘Asco‘, we profile the film’s Director Ale Paschoalini, discussing the many visceral aspects of the film, as well as how the festival’s philosophy and ideology are particularly in tune with the film’s mission.
‘Asco‘ screens at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival as part of the festival’s FEATURE COMPETITION in Park City, Utah. ‘Asco‘ screens on Saturday, January 24 and Monday, January 26, 2015. The Slamdance Film Festival takes place January 22 – 29, 2015.
Find Tickets to ‘Asco’ at the Slamdance Film Festival – HERE
Asco is a beautifully composed, visually striking film. With your combined use of wide shots, sharp contrast and B&W imagery you created a dreamlike world. What discussions did you and DP Adolpho Veloso have in developing the visual look of the film? Why did you choose to shoot in B&W over color?
Being Asco my first film, I choose simplicity. The use of B&W was another way of expressing minimalism. As an independent filmmaker I felt that combination of colors could be a barrier instead of a catapult. We wanted it to have a visual signature and from early conversations we already had the concept of black or white, never grey. From that moment on, our decisions were always based on the contrast of every frame.
How did Rafael Baliu, the co-writer of Asco, become involved in the project? Can you describe your working relationship as co-writers?
I had the story, meaning: beginning/middle/end. Rafael already had successful experience writing short films and web series. So we would meet for lunch once a week in other to turn the story into a script. We would talk and make notes, sometimes even take some situation to solve as homework for the next week. The script had nine pages with objective description of actions. One day we read it out loud with a timer, them we knew we had a 70-minute feature.
In Asco there’s more of a focus on action over dialogue. Why did you choose this minimalist approach to dialogue?
Lack of dialogue helps to emulate the feeling of solitude you get when a relationship breaks. Also it gives time for the spectators to include themselves in the narrative and try to fill the gaps it would normally be given to them. It was never said what the main character was thinking but during the film every person concludes individually some kind of justification for his actions.
Your lead actors in Asco, Sol Faganello and Guto Nogueira, are relatively unknown. Can you talk a bit about the casting process for the film? How did you know they were the right actors for the roles?
Like every main person on the team, I already knew them. Guto had worked with me before by chance, covering for another actor in a photographic project. That day I knew I met a fearless actor. He was always the one in my mind and I would put new elements in the story as we were discussing the project and he was interrogating me about the character. His talents for dance and music inspired me to create the dancing scene. Sol was long known to me and I would always see her perform in theaters. I remember she would always make me laugh, so I knew she could make me cry. Also when I was conceiving the visual concept for the female character I could not get her amazing big red hair out of my mind.
It’s been said that a path to directing is through editing. Do you think this is true? Do you take very hands on approach in the editing room? What degree of creative freedom do you give to your editor?
I started as an assistant editor. Always cutting my own material. It helped me to know exactly what works and for how long. I had a first cut organized on a timeline, but felted some moments weren’t satisfying. That’s when I opened the project to Andre, one of the editors I assisted in the past and he knew immediately what needed to be done. His understanding of the narrative was amazing and I agreed on almost every suggestion. By the way it was already structured, it challenged him to create and collaborate with his technique and style. In a couple of weeks we solved specific points and agreed on a final cut.
– Interview conducted by Stephen Reilly
About the Director
Otto’s Dad. Director for 5 years at Prodigo Films in Sao Paulo, Filmmaker for the last 3 years at Wieden+Kennedy, for which traveled the world in a campaign for Coca-Cola to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Video installation CRU (13′) debuted at the ‘Made by Brazilians’ artistic occupation, with another 100 Brazilian and international artists. Has recently finalized a short film Uprising Pact (15′), adaptation from the poetry book by Bellé Jr. One of the Director’s last work is a support video clip for the Palestinians. “ASCO” was produced and directed by Ale and it is his first long featured film. He is currently writing a new film called “HAPPENS”.