WHAT IS NOT SEEN 2020. PT. 23 min

a film by Paulo Abreu

Documentary film shot in two of the Azores islands, Pico and Faial, between 2015 and 2016. The idea of this film happened by accident. Going back to the footage of a location scouting from a previous project, canceled years before, another hidden film was found. The power of Nature and the role of chance in the creative process build a narrative about life, friendship, cinema and the influence of the unexpected in artistic creation.

From you to me
You you you

A secret I've kept
Far from here

A page from a diary or a love letter
Are often the same

A student far from home, talks to his mother on the phone. The distance to the mother and the distance to the gardeners are the two weights in tension that start from the first window of the film, the first frame, through which we occupy our gaze. Distance works like a thread that binds us to someone, a phone call, for example, or the invisible thread that pierces the center of the Earth and joins me to the feet of whoever is on the other side of the mirror.
Sound and image are understood in a dynamic of You + Me, elements that present themselves independently, each paying attention to a layer of perception. Were it not for Marcelo's relationship with sound, the biggest and warmest embrace, the most intimate and generous, offering, within the film, care and attention and, to those watching from the outside, the nature of the relationships that are shown to us.
However, I + You are not uncorrelated and non-coexistent. On the contrary, it is only because one exists that the other reveals itself. We are predisposed to listen in order to be heard, to offer in order to receive, to remain together in order to build the ideal place of utmost togetherness and absolute sharing.
In Tu. Tu. Tu., like memories, the images seem to orchestrate impressions. Magnifications of what was seen in the present and which now build our relationship with the past or with what is far away. Today, far from the student residence and whenever we are far from home, it is the images that the film shares with us that reveal the flow of a potential memory, the key points for reconstructing the places that were once inhabited and the relationship that is established with them in the present. From a place, we keep with us, the view from a window, the flames of a fire or the outline of the brothers.

With cinema we write letters that speak of impossible things.
What is not seen.
Filming what you can't see.
Filming not to be seen.
Filming to show that you can't see.
Filming to show that you can see what is not seen.

Over Pico, a dozen or so lights burst across over the available twenty-four hours, in tune with the curves of a road, which serves the traveling shots that follow one another in a prolonged attempt to bring the most beautiful letter from Pico.
To film Pico, you have to leave Pico, move away to the right distance for the perfect frame, wait for the first or last ray of sunshine, wait for five clouds in the sky.
Piquinho will be the secret, halfway through the last of the fog.
To film Pico you need time and a certain encouragement. To understand the search as a process and to make the journey the end.
In a dialog that is continually in tension with distance, always attentive to what results from it. The measure of a shot, from its scale to its duration, is a weight to be added to a scale that sometimes tips towards a transparent understanding of the film, sometimes towards the subtlety of what is hidden in it.
Distance helps discernment, what is not seen when you are inside. Discovering Cinema is also a way of discovering tools that allow us to read and understand what we can see, what may exist, but which has to be perceived from a distance in order to be unveiled and (re)known.
What is not seen translates to a reunion with the images that take us back to a friend who has left. Going to meet the memory of what doesn't exist, what is in off, on a transcendent plane to what we can experience and is therefore not seen but belongs to the field of emotions and feelings. Cinema is grateful for the materials of the sensible, they are its golden ingredient, the hidden nugget in the flow of a river.

Like memory, desire is also something that accompanies us off-screen. Like out of frame moments leading us through the frames we inhabit and reveal - where our lives fit in.
Both Tu. Tu. Tu. and What is not seen are films that are offered to someone and that are built on the possibility of establishing a new connection and sharing intimacy with those who are far away or absent. What you bring to tell and share from afar to the warmth of the encounter.
Marcelo knows that the people we choose to bring with us are the ones who enable us to look at ourselves and understand what journey we want to take, what windows to inhabit and what camera to choose to take with us. In this way, the image we have of the world changes its shape and light.

The breathtaking views from the heights convinced me early on that you can see the whole world from up there.
I also immediately question the veracity of this theory since it's impossible to see what's behind me.
What we see through the window makes up the frame that wakes us up, rattles us impatiently or accompanies us as we wait before going to sleep or making a phone call.
The whole world concentrated in a landscape is, up to a certain point or at all times, the measure of an innocence that gradually opens up and enables us to look and see and, above all, to understand how to do it.
The hard part is finding the right shot, the right words to share the immeasurable, to articulate the emotions that bring us together, but also throw us far away, in the hope that on the way back we can bring home something else, a gesture that builds - love.

I'm proud of you you you.
Laura Gama Martins
march, 2024

directing PAULO ABREU editing LEE FUZETA super 8 PAULO ABREU sound mix SÉRGIO GREGÓRIO producers JOÃO DA PONTE, FILIPA REIS associated producer PATRÍCIA FARIA