We are thrilled to know that 'Estás Vendo coisas' / You are seeing things, a film by Bárbara Wagner (DAI, 2011) and Benjamin de Burca is in the competition for the Golden and Silver bears in the 67th Berlinale in the category of short films.
In the social and professional landscape of Brega music from Recife, video clips are the catalyst of an imagined future punctuated by a powerful appetite for success as encouraged by capitalism. You are seeing things looks at this world where self-regulation and image management play a crucial role in the construction of voice, status and identity of a whole new generation of popular artists. Scripted and performed by actual members of the Brega scene, the film follows two main characters – hairdresser / MC Porck and firefighter / romantic singer Dayana Paixão– as they plot their course from studio to stage. Resembling a musical, You are seeing things is set in the darkness of a nightclub, where gestures are accompanied by melodies about love, fidelity, success and wealth. Drawn from its mediatised context, Brega language is broken and rearranged to expose the vocabulary of spectacle experienced as a form of affective labour.
Brega is an informal term applied to a whole body of mass-oriented popular music produced since the 70's with a strong association to the idea of bad taste. Rooted in a broader context of socio-economic phenomena, today Brega has incorporated sophisticated methods of production and distribution, giving account of the visibility of a burgeoning middle class reaching out of the favelas of Brazil. Different from approaches that often satirize the subject by magnifying its carnivalesque aspects, 'You are seeing things' adopts a psychological and more melancholic tone to reflect on how cultural expressions respond to economic conditions.