Green Screen Gringo

****1/2

Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Green Screen Gringo
"Cinema at its most inventively audacious."

The story that I learned when I was at school in Texas (long story) was that 'gringo' came from the Mexican armies of Santa Ana, back when the Lone Star state was working its way through some of its earlier flags. More specifically, in fact, from their opponents, whose marching songs included the frequently misheard Green Grow The Rushes Oh. That multinational confusion informs Green Screen Gringo, Douwe Dijkstra's inventive portrait of modern Brazil, a process of discovery made delirously amusing by use of another process - green screen.

Accompanied on his travels by a folding screen, Dijkstra uses a process many will be familiar with to madcap effect. As he explains to someone "the situation here is a bit complicated," but the crazy thing is, "everything seems normal." With a backdrop (pun intended) of Dilma Rouseff's impeachment, Green Screen Gringo plays with juxpaposition, substitution, perception, to amazing effect.

If you've seen Gareth Edwards' Monsters you'll know that kind of single-handed VFX effort has earned him some small reward, but that was perhaps a more conventional use than what's seen here. This is simultaneity, complexity; obfuscated by that folding screen of green the film-maker becomes themselves the window, not just the eye behind the lens.

Winner of the Jury Prize for international film at 2017's Glasgow Short Film Festival, it was praised for it's "innovative" depiction of a "tourist in a complicated political landscape", its ability to "communicate... a grand narrative." As the film itself says, "make up a story of your own", "there's a lot going on here". Playful, startling, stunning, Green Screen Gringo is cinema at its most inventively audacious.

Reviewed on: 20 Mar 2017
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Green Screen Gringo packshot
Behind a green screen, a foreigner finds his way in an enchanting - and yet turbulent - Brazil. Where the streets are a stage for politics, art and affection, a gringo can only watch.

Director: Douwe Dijkstra

Year: 2016

Runtime: 16 minutes

Country: Netherlands, Brazil

Festivals:

GSFF 2017

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