In Tinta Bruta (Hard Paint), Pedro (Shico Menegat) is a socially awkward young man facing criminal charges for beating up a tormentor. Alone in his room he finds solace, and money, by entertaining people from the comfort of a laptop on his bed.
His insular, but sexually charged, world gets rocked when his older sister decides to move across the country, forcing himself to now take care of himself. He also finds his performance of painting his naked body with neon paints while performing online is stolen, and with it, his audience.
Indie films from outside North America are not afraid of the occasional male nudity (including erect genitalia as is here), adding both realism and a seedy desperation to the story.
They also often have a languid pacing ,and this film is two hours long. Given that Pedro has no ambition and seems buffeted by his increasingly dire circumstances, its length can make for a challenging viewing.
Writers and directors Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon have split Pedro’s story into three parts and get wonderful performances out of the cast. This is especially true of Menegat who carries both a lost loneliness, and a quiet determination.
The ending feels rather conveniently tied up without actually solving Pedro’s problems, but it is a fascinating look into the world of online, and puts a real human story behind the beautiful body.
Tinta Bruta screens as part of the 2018 Vancouver Queer Film Festival on Saturday, 11 August 2018 at 9:30 pm at the Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas. Visit queerfilmfestival.ca for tickets and information.