SHORT REVIEWS (36): O JARDIM DAS ESPUMAS / THE FOAM GARDEN
Jardim das espumas / The Foam Garden, Luiz Rosemberg Filho, Brasil, 1970
Bombings, King Kong, Hitler, and Nazi crowds saluting and celebrating the leader with a ridiculous moustache. In contraposition, some open shots in which young naked bodies are seen. Hell and paradise, war and love, the uniformed and the uninhibited; the opposition of signs is here a dominant poetic principle, a tension that even determines a major rift between sound and image. A reiterated example, paradigmatic of the film—the sonorous violence of the machine-guns often rivals with the placidity of images showing nature, or sensual pleasure. Opposites never reconcile.
The programmatic narrative chaos is intelligible enough to convey that the emissary of an (imaginary) galaxy has arrived to implement economic and political agreements with his peers on this world. The visitor will be kidnapped by a group of young rebels before he meets the leaders of government; such a political maneuver will have consequences to their ideologues and executioners.
Rosemberg Filho chooses to represent society’s own contradictions and the time in which he films, as well as the place of the filmmaker facing that dramatic present which is allegorically alluded all throughout the plot.
The last minutes in O jardim das espumas recontextualize the ludic and allegoric tale into a major and concrete violent story, a brutal genealogy of the current regime which Rosemberg Filho combats by means of cinema. The unforeseen inclusion of archive material from Nazi concentration camps may seem inappropriate given the tone of the film, but Rosemberg Filho is convinced of the connection between Nazi barbarism and the pseudo-democratic capitalism that defines life in the region.
Roger Koza / Copyleft 2021