Interview with Lais

Learn more about Laís work and future projects!

The interview

At the time Supernova was created, I was very interested in investigating the way we see gender. I was thinking a lot of my plays as a woman. I was really attracted to the fluidity of gender roles and this gray area between being a woman and being a man. We have a choice as a society to either repress our sexuality the way we express ourselves and generate violence, and towards others, but mainly towards ourselves, or we can welcome these new forms of expression. How long were you filming for?

 

We shot Supernova in three days. Do you have any interesting stories to tell about what happened on set? The day we went to Kuwin, the city where we went to the exterior shots, we went to this beautiful lavender field, and it was gorgeous. It was on the top of the mountain, but of course, there were a lot of bees flying around. And the day before the shooting, we found out that one of the performers, Yolanda, he was awfully allergic to bees.

 

He had to perform practically naked without any clothes on between this b cloud that was around him. And we weren’t near any hospitals or anything like that. And we were all very nervous, and we had, like, this basic first aid kid, and that’s all. And so we just stood there and praying that the bees stayed away from him. Praise to Yolanda because he was very courageous and he did an amazing job.

 

So tell me more about the dancing. It’s very interesting. Did you choreograph it or did you just give the performers free range? It was freestyle. Both of the performers, Yolanda and Katarina, are amazing dancers, and it was mesmerizing to just watch them dance together.

 

They actually knew each other before the shooting that created this amazing interaction between them. I would only position them in the right place or give them directions regarding the frame and how much space they had to perform. But mainly everything that we see in the movie was created by them. At the time we were shooting. There’s some sort of interesting shots there.

 

Can you tell us more about the technical aspect? At the time we shot Supernova, we didn’t really have a lot of resource. It was one of my first films, so we borrowed the camera from a friend and the director of photography, Leo, to disco it’s. One of my favorite photographers of all time. He actually manufactured the final we used in the film.

 

He actually grabbed the light bulb and some pieces of metal and created the lighting equipment we used in the film. We faced the shooting as an experience, let ourselves to make mistakes that created the freedom of creation. You mentioned before, you know, that you felt things were quite repressed. Where from? Can you tell us more about how important this portrayal of intimacy and sexuality was for you as an artist?

 

Sexuality is one of the course of my inspiration. It’s one of the most important aspects in my artistic production. It’s always there sexuality as a way of expressing ourselves and our bodies and our relationship with others, gender roles. It’s my way of thinking about my place in the world. And what’s the title?

 

Supernova. Sort of a metaphor for orgasm. Orgasm, I think, is as strong as the supernova. It just breaks everything we have as preconceived. Can you tell us a little bit more about this expansion of cinema into contemporary art?

 

I graduated in film two years ago, and since college, I knew that I was really interested in the intersection of art and cinema and not cinema per se.

 

Video art and video performances are things that really inspire me. I think I start to realize that when one professor I had in college introduced me to the work of Sophie Kali. The notions of what an image should look like. I think that we have this kind of freedom right now in contemporary art to just explore not only the contents in the image, but the destruction of image and reconstruction of image. Okay, can you tell me more about what tools you’re using to make your film?

 

I have a digital camera, but I also have been exploring our mobiles create, the Glitches, and I like to explore a lot of different cameras and ways of producing image. Every tool we use has a different way of filtering the world that we live in. And I like to just grab all of these tools and mix them together. That’s what allows me to analyze and think about the different attributions that image has in our contemporary society. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on at the moment?

 

What new projects you have? I know that you’ve recently created a new short film on your artistic residency. What’s next for you? I have just come back from an artistic residency called Casa. It’s located in the coast of San Paulo State at the beach.

 

I spent 15 days there, and it was one of the most amazing experiences. I met some amazing artists. Francisco Per and we created this project called And There Was Light, and it’s a photography series and a video performance that investigates the sun as these archetypical and symbolic figures. Here, the sun, as other natural phenomenon, is represented in different cultures because we all relate to it as humans. Specifically, the sun is commonly represented as a male figure and the moon as a female figure.

 

So interesting because at the same time that the sun controls organizes our galaxy, it organizes our daily life. So on your website, you’ve broken it down into three categories of fashion, film, video art, and film. Would you say that you’re working amongst these categories equally, or are you more focused on one type at the moment? I think that I’m really focused in video art and video performance right now, but it’s hard to trace the line, right? When talking about these genres, they often mix.

 

And I have seen fashion films that are truly pieces of art. So it’s a blurred line. But I would say that I’m mostly focused in video art and video performance in the experimental film genre. What kind of breakthroughs are you expecting? I had the chance to work in an art gallery here in San Paulo, and there I work with NFPs and the Metavers.

 

What I can say is that I’m observing and studying what’s going on. They have the potential to be something powerful and innovative, but at the same time, I think that it has a lot to do with speculative way of seeing art and dealing art. I see people using the word decentralization as if it were the same as democratization. But in reality, I see it as deregulation. More than anything, it would be democratic if we all had the same tools to explore this new world.

 

And coming from Brazil, we know it’s not the case. So can you tell us a little bit about what kind of issues you’re facing as an independent filmmaker? I’m not only an independent filmmaker, but I’m also a Brazilian independent filmmaker. Brazil is not at the center of the film industry. It’s a lot harder to create here.

 

Our elected president has just destroyed the Culture Ministry. We don’t have it anymore. That’s why I think that this network that we’re doing here, participating in international festivals, bringing people together, is very important because it’s a way to showcase your work, celebrate artworks that come from places that are not the center of the film industry. Do you have any advice for young experimental filmmakers? I’m still a young experimental artist.

 

I’m just 24 years old. So this piece of advice is also something I tell myself all the time. Be courageous in expressing your beliefs and don’t censor yourself and your creation to beat the art world or the film industry. Look at those who are beside you. Exchange knowledge and create together.

 

This is always a very enriching experience. Say true to yourself and to what you really want to say and what is important to you.

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