MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO (22', Brazil, 2011)

 

Awarded the Special Mention of the Jury at Locarno 2012, MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO, "a film about obsession, limits, and madness", as his author describes it, tells the story of a bodybuilder dedicated to a daily, heavy, and obsessive routine of physical exercises. He finds in his perfect body his only source of pride. But what could be the life of a bodybuilder when his own body wants something that his mind is not so sure about? A strong conflict appears, between desires and temptations, with a lot of sweat, tears and blood. A surprising and ironical mixture of genres, ranging from psychological thrillers to gory exploitation flicks, whose the well-orchestrated twist in the end makes it a must-see for all film buffs.

Director: JULIANO DORNELLES

 

Cast: FLÁVIO DANILO

Screenplay: DANIEL BANDEIRA, SIMONE JUBERT

Cinematography: PEDRO SOTERO

Editing: DANIEL BANDEIRA

Music: TOMAZ ALVEZ SOUZA

Sound: CARLOS MONTENEGRO

Producer: KLEBER MENDONCA FILHO, DIOGO ALMEIDA, CLARISSA DUTRA, SIMONE JUBERT, DANIEL BANDEIRA

Production: SIMIO FILMES



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JULIANO DORNELLES was born, lives and works in Recife in Brazil. Since 2001, he has been working with a group known as Símio Filmes and has signed his first film in 2005, DEIXE-SE ACREDITAR.

 

Special Mention of the Jury - Locarno 2012 / Special Mention of the Jury - Goiania Mostra Curtas 2011 / Best Film of the Young Jury - Panorama Coisa de Cinema 2011 / Canal Brasil Award- CINEPE / Porta Curtas Award - Kinoforum 2011 etc.

 

"MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO is a demonstration on how you can play with film genre, re-interpret the principle of classic narration and also obtain an appealing film for the audience. A maniac bodybuilder reaches a crisis in which he might lose the one thing he loves most. Seeing the way he looks, with his muscular body and hammer-like hands, we can expect bloodshed. Although, half way through the film, it is still not clear what's going to happen. The opening shot is a kind of low-budget ROCKY, with powerful music and a physical demonstration. The film then turns to thriller- we have recurring nightmares and bedrooms imbued with bloody red light. The man keep pushing his body to limits, in PEDRO SOTERO's stylish cinematography, which turns each macro shot in an documentary on epidermis. Even sex relates to physical achievements, and you really should keep an eye on the scene with the stripper showing off in front of our hero. The camera insists obsessively on the bodybuiler's body, discovers centimeter by centimeter and then goes under the skin, in a series of CGI imitating images from cameras used in microscopy. The score changes again, we hear a discordant piano, the over-used heartbeats, and we know we are in a horror movie, a kind of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Finally, as any story should have, we are provided with an antagonist and a conflict, but not in a way we are used to. When it appears, the antagonist is unexpected, to say the least. It turns out to be not the monster, but the bodybuilder perfect body, which tries to get rid of the imperfect part, our hero's head. We can say thus, that we are provided with an inner conflict!" (Andrei Dobrescu, BIEFF 2012)

 

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