• Ciné + competition  
  • International Competition

Parque de Diversões

Amusement Park

Ricardo Alves Jr.


The city by night. Solitary figures skirt the walls, casting furtive glances here and there before discreetly climbing over the park gates. Breaking in, guitar riffs. In this amusement park, an urban heterotopia where only playful pleasures reign, Ricardo Alves Jr stages a night of gay cruising, terribly sensual, entirely punctuated by eye contact and carnal exchanges. The camera glides, slipping between trees and attractions bathed in pink and blue, following the movements of anonymous silhouettes. Over the course of the film, during these successive encounters that we imagine to be simultaneous, few words are exchanged, only bodily fluids. Observe, slide a hand, a tongue, screw, and go and look elsewhere. In this hot, sticky night where sight is precious, a blind man is given an intimate account of the scenes going on around him, before he, too, is caressed by a man. There’s no need to see to take part in this massive orgy where all that matters is flesh and desire. Crude sex and pleasure are shown without shame by the director, who plays on the fantasies and fetishes with amusement. The screwing doesn’t prevent bursts of laughter; on the contrary, it provokes them. Here, sex is brought back to its pure power of games and invention. For, as it says at the beginning of the film, “Breaking the toy means playing even more. The pieces become other games: we build another secret. The bits become other realities”.

Louise Martin Papasian

The film opens with an invitation to play differently and to break the toy, to allow new realities to emerge. Is this the idea behind the film?

The initial idea was to develop a sensory and performative narrative about the experience of cruising in an urban park, where tropical vegetation and a children’s playground would bring together nature, fantasy and play, intersecting desire, fetishism, incessant searching, the encounter, bodily fluids and sex, and translating the ways of being and behaving of dissident bodies that find possibilities for expansion and perception outside of the system that regulates sexual expression. And how can these multiple ideas be represented? Through the act of playing, which also involves the construction of a game, a game between bodies, space and the camera. The idea of breaking the toy is for desire not to be a single object; with the pieces, it becomes multiple.

And since it makes reference to play, the choice to shoot the film in an amusement park seems completely natural. Could you tell us more about this?

Shooting in the municipal park, in the heart of Belo Horizonte, was also one of the initial ideas for the film. I’ve been going to the park since I was a kid. I have a lot of old memories from childhood in that space. Furthermore, as I always do in my films, the place is also one of the driving forces of the narration: it is one of the characters.

The fragment, already mentioned at the beginning, seems to be the main plot element of the film, held together by the gaze and the wandering of the characters and the camera. How did you work on the narrative structure?

The film’s structure is fragmented, but unified by the temporality of a night and the sole location of the park. A game between the exhibitionist and the voyeur develops during the wandering. The camera is the observer, establishing the viewer as the voyeur in the narrative. And as in the cruising experience, wandering and observing are roles, and as you wander, you observe scenes that may have already begun, and you also abandon scenes in search of the next ones.

The actors in the film are familiar to you, some having already appeared in your previous films. How did you work with them, and to what extent were they involved in developing the scenes?

Aisha Brunno, Bramma Bremmer, Igui Leal and Will Soares starred in my previous film, Tudo o que vecê podai ser, and it was from then that we started developing ideas for Parque de diversoes. The cast was formed by inviting, via social networks, interested actors and non-actors to share stories about voyeurism and exhibitionism. A group was selected -favouring queer individuals- made up of people who had an affinity and interest in exploring sexuality as a performative domain. After several meetings and moments of interaction, where personal stories about experiences of cruising or consensual collective sex were exchanged, a script was developed. This script reflected the performances that each actor wanted to act out. The shooting days were a veritable explosion, with the park as our creative laboratory. We filmed each shot several times, allowing the choreography to develop between the bodies, the light and the camera.

In this wandering, there are very few dialogues between the characters and the interactions seem to pass almost exclusively through the sensory organs. What led you to this choice?

The experience of the film is that of the attraction of bodies, of skin, of saliva and of breathing. The dialogues take place on a bodily and sensorial level. This is not a film of psychological construct or a thesis on a theme. It is a pure experience of the freedom of desire, both for the one who displays it and practices it and for the one who looks at it, observes it.

In this representation of desire and its multiple expressions, the photographic direction and sound play a central role. Can you tell us how you worked on these two elements?

Photography is a play of light and shadow, a game between what is seen and what is not. The colours chosen for the lighting oscillate between the playful and the dreamlike, establishing a choreography between the bodies and the camera. The sound is based on three dynamics: the first emphasises the bodily presence of the performances and the space, the second places the spectator in the scene, immersed in the space, and the third is the soundtrack which drives the choreography of the bodies.

The representation of the bodies seems to be the film’s central element. What ideas particularly guided you in their portrayal?

The portrayal is structured around an ironic and provocative game, a choreography of behaviours which evolve towards adult and explicit images, a catalogue of practices presented as a game that puts the concepts of freedom and prohibition at the heart of sexuality to the test, and finally, possibilities for political and existential affirmation from the margins, considered shady by the civilising conscience: erotic performance referencing child’s play for what they both have in common, namely a space still free of all censorship.

Interview by Marco Cippolini

  • Ciné + competition  
  • International Competition
18:4527 June 2024Artplexe 2
21:1529 June 2024Artplexe 2
09:3030 June 2024Cinéma Artplexe 3

Technical sheet

Brazil / 2024 / Colour / 72' / 16+ : explicit sexual content

Original version: Portuguese
Subtitles: English, French
Script: Germano Melo
Photography: Ciro  Thielmann
Editing: Henrique Zanoni
Sound: Dellani Lima
Soundtrack: Dellamud

Production: Ricardo Alves Jr (Entre Filmes), Julia Alves (Quarta-Feira Filmes)
Contact: Julia Alves (Quarta-feira Filmes)

Material Bruto / 2006 / 16min
Invitación para Cenar con el Camarada Stalin / 2007 / 10min
Permanências / 2010 / 35min
Tremor / 2014 / 16min
Elon Doesn’t Believe in Death / 2016 / 75min
Russa / 2018 / 20min
Dazed Flesh / 2019 / 45min
Vitória / 2020 / 14min
Aragem / 2022 / 20min
Who is Afraid? / 2022 / 80min
All That You Could Be / 2023 / 73min