DEPTH WISH 2021, PT, 11 min

a film by Margarida Albino.

In an attempt to escape the entire flow to which she is exposed, M goes in search of a place - the sea and its beings - that sets her free from time and can give herself pleasure, but is constantly infected and interrupted by phenomena that affect her and alter her perception.

text by Horácio Boavida

1. the woman and the sea

a film that could be called

the woman and the sea

flashes of light

flashes of sea

to dive in the sea

water sea

loving the sea

a blue bathing suit

the colour of sea

what light is that shining

in the bottom of the sea

making us look

listening to the sea

loving to swim

in the shore of the sea

and to be a body

made of water

made of sea

blue body

like the blue that shines

in the blue of the bottom

of the bottom of the sea

2. to find out the body, to find out the world.

a film that could be called: to find out the body, to find out the world.

a body finds out itself as a body, but a body only finds itself out juxtaposed to the other bodies, to the other forms of matter, to the other modes of existence.

to float in the water, to crawl in the rocks, to touch the sea urchin and the starfish. to feel the sunlight burning our face or the salt crystallizing in the granulate of sand that covers our skin.

the body finds itself out, then, when finding out the world, because the body does not exist apart, nor ahead, nor behind, nor above the world itself.

the body gives itself as an image of the body, like the world gives itself as an image of the world. the images clash, merge, devour, burn, dance and swim one unto another.

there are films about this finding, about the small findings of the smallest immensities of the world.

to go to the beach, to stroll in the woods, to stare at the horizon, to stop for an instant and to listen to all those small city noises that a while ago seemed like a single indiscernible flow, isolating them one by one, like children do when they play at the beach and separate the sand grain by grain.

but to stop for what?, ask those that are always in a hurry.

to contemplate, to turn that contemplation into a form of action. the equivalence between contemplation and passivity is false. the ones that contemplate also act, but they act so slowly that it sems like they’re not moving at all. the truth is that some actions, in order to happen, have to happen really slow. almost as if we’re quiet.

and that’s why, sometimes, when we stop, we manage to get out of ourselves. to get out so that we can come back and in that coming back to find ourselves deeper.

to stop is relative, of course. because we’re always moving. to stop is still to be going somewhere.

to stop means something like:

to get out of the big crusades, the big narratives, the big wishes:

money work success love etcetera.

to get out of the epic journey of our lives. to get out of the ego, that gigantic i that inhabits us and prevents us of seeing all the other things of this world that dance and laugh and swim all around us.

the ego like that grandiose image – serious, arrogant, pathetic – that we build of ourselves.

who knows what is the ego when they lay in the beach sand listening to the comforting sound of the sea, in the background, but so close, as if its murmur was slowly licking our ears? suddenly we’re incapable of distinguish ourselves from the sun, or the sea, or the sand… everything touches us with such intensity that we free ourselves from the feeling of being i.


cinema helps us to stop. cinema helps us to stop and get out of ourselves.

1 minute, 10 minutes, 100 minutes. little does it matter time, or better, little does it matter time as precise duration, that is, as counted time, clocked, marked off to the millimeter.

time has other ways of being time and cinema, better than no one, is capable of creating its own time.

and with that invented time we learn to get out of time itself, like we learn to get out of the world, like we learn to get out of the i. and that’s how, for some instants, we can get out of that world where everyone runs and everyone acts so surely of themselves because everyone already knows all the things they’re supposed to 4 know (of course all of this is nothing but a big lie, but beware of those that dare to show the world their most genuine fragility).

what a boring world, that one!

world of the adults, world of work, world full of people that (think that they) know everything. and because they think like that, they don’t have anything else to tell us. or to show us. or to teach us how to see.

cinema can help us get out of that place. cinema can establish a new order of perception.

if no one is born taught, then seeing is also something that you learn – like everything else. and cinema is a technique – or a machine vision – that helps us in that voyage of learning how to see. like a pair of glasses, or a telescope, or an x-ray machine. but cinema is more powerful than all of that.

films help us to see, resizing reality itself, showing us things that were not there before. sometimes, small things, so small that we could almost call them invisible and that without those films that we watch in the course of our lives we would never know how to see. it’s not that those things were there waiting to be seen (like in the classical representation system), but that when we see them, they begin, truly, to exist.

cinema makes us see, it’s true, but only in the sense that making something be seen is also making something exist. to see is a productive act and cinema is an act of creation: it gives birth to the sea and the sun, the sand, and the wind, the water and the stone. and that’s why no one ever sees the same way, because things are different for all of those that learn to see them differently. there are films that are like small miracles. because they make these things that we presume to be as old as the world (the rock, the sun, the sea) being seen as if for the first time.

it’s because they hadn’t been seen before. not this way, at least. no image is the same and the eye and the camera walk hand by hand so that together they can learn to reinvent the world.

that’s why in depth wish the stylization – for instance: the psychedelic sound design, the jump cuts, the work over the material quality, and in process of disintegration, of the film itself – turns what could have been the most “naturalistic” of the décors in a sci-fi alien landscape. space-time – the world – are transfigured, but only in the sense that our own experience of the world is already composed by a more or less random succession of transfigurations (or could we call them: hallucinations) that with time are, in fact, normalized. the look of a child that resists the normalization of the adult life is a look where those hallucinations can develop all of its potency without constraints, where the experience of hallucination itself becomes a learning, an exploratory mechanism. it’s a look where nothing presents itself as normal, rational or logic because both the biological nature and the human nature have lost its grounds, that is, their “essential” quality. The “this is” discourse becomes a succession of “and this and this and this” – something that here is absolutely clear: the scenes succeed one another in an almost aleatoric or accidental way, purged of the necessity of a closed and linear onto-narrative discourse that would function as a sort of synthesis (desire itself – in all of its depth – will never be explained…). the stylization, then, is never a mere deformation, but the assumption of the most radical potentialities of the subjective – or hallucinatory – perception, disrupting the dominant models of objectivity and convention (let’s call them, to simplify, “realism”).


well, the body-character that in this film wanders along the seashore is like that other body-spectator who sees the very images of the film and who wanders uncertainly through them, looking and listening to everything as if for the first time. both bodies are spectators, but active spectators (actors, actresses?) who learn to see each new image that appears as an unexpected flash of light. both, character and spectator, learn to touch the water, the rocks and the small beings brought to the surface of this luminous ecosystem made of small, but deep wishes. the gaze is here a purely tactile thing, it does not exist disconnected from the body and the relationship that this body faces at every moment with the world. that is why the gaze leads the hand and the hand leads us to the world, but only so that the world leads us back to us. at each look, at each touch, a new discovery: we don't know, therefore, what to expect at each moment, with each new beat of light and each new explosion of sound. the story is over – the story with the big s, at least. we entered another dimension, personal, dreamlike, intimate, where each image of the world has its own story to tell us, a story that must be told slowly and silently, at the risk of disappearing forever at the bottom of the sea.

we are, therefore, on another plane of perception, on another plane of affection, on another plane of cognition – where, for example, the small and the large are mixed. to speak only of “sensorial” (as if sensations belonged to a “minor” and self- explanatory category) would be to forget that sensations are linked to cognition and that they help us to reframe the world and its concepts.

after all, the disjunction between thinking and feeling is just a reproduction of all the other binary cuts: between man and woman, between adult and child, between human and animal, between culture and nature, between the self and the world.

this film is part of that lineage of a simultaneously microscopic and cosmic cinema (and one because of the other) that teaches us to love the little things, linking our existence to theirs: the flight of a bee, the whistling of the wind, the soft touch of rain.

and, of course, all the inhospitable beauty of the sea.

this sea that in all its sublime immensity is after all composed of small things, small beings, small worlds like those that we explored as children among the rocks, in pools of water and by the sea.


this learning of small things (this attention dedicated to them) seems to involve something ludic in itself, something that directs us towards a becoming-child. precisely because it takes us out of that other world, serious, adult, always in a hurry and always right, from that boring world that is our world for most of our lives.

this film is like a child's game, because children are those who have not yet learned to look and listen as adults say you should look, as adults say you should listen. they are those who still hold within themselves the hallucinatory power of freedom. and, in fact, children know how to see things that adults are not capable of.

cinema can, after all, be like a child's gaze, like a child's listening, like a child's wish. about learning to play with the little things in the world and to feel them and to feel 8 one's own body entangled in other bodies, in other forms of matter, in other modes of existence.

about discovering that our own body is, after all, part of other bodies and, therefore, part of the world itself – what a simple and beautiful thing, but there are so many people who don't know this...

because all this is clearly different from what the great delusions of white and western thought preach to us, which has taught us to instrumentalize the world, precisely because it tells us that the self is placed above everything else (and there are so many films that only reinforce this idea in our minds at all costs). fighting such a delirium of the ego is, therefore, a wonderful thing, a true project of resistance, even if it does not have to be shouted to the seven heavens.

perhaps it will be in this gesture of discovering the little things in the world, and their incalculable beauty, that we will finally be able to save ourselves from these other great monstrosities that we have set in motion over the centuries: from being an adult, from being a man, from being eternally boring and productive and rational, from being an instrument of domination of others and of the world itself. salvation – or, at least, the possibility of resistance – is, without a doubt, in the small films. being that the “smallness” here has nothing to do with the precise duration or with an alleged aesthetic quality, but with something much simpler and difficult at the same time: where, when and how we learn to direct our eyes – or our ears – or our hands.


precisely, cinema has the gift of teaching us that films could be “only” about those little things that we discover in our day-to-day life, about small perceptions, about small affections, about small cognitions. about everything we usually don't see because we're not trained to see, or because we're in a hurry, or because we think it doesn't matter, or because we're told that's the way it should be.

boring world, this one, of the adults!

boring cinema...

and sometimes even dangerous.

cinema – the one that proliferates in multiplex rooms and on television channels – that doesn’t make us stop and get out of ourselves, get out of the fantasy of the ego and its technical and industrial rationality that always places us above the world and the others – and never in the heart of the world itself.

cinema of heroes and heroines and those who must win at all costs.

when it is true that a film could be just about this: about a body that discovers its own body by discovering other bodies, by discovering the other worlds that exist around and inside the world itself.

about a body that learns to touch the sea and the rock as it would touch itself. and who learns to love the sea and the rock as he would love himself.

depth wish: a cosmic film, therefore, and about that wish that is deeper than all others: the wish to feel, the wish to feel the world itself.

to feel the world.

to be the world.

– image, sound and matter gathered in the form of hallucination.

3. we want to be free like children playing

a film that could be called: we want to be children playing, we want to be children playing in the sea.

because children have all the time in the world, they have all the time in the world to learn how to love.

this film is as free as children are whey they hallucinate.


sounds by Margarida Albino & Ricardo Guerreiro