Full Length Feature Documentary about the Music of João MacDowell
Parece Que Existo (I Seem to Exist) – 73 min.
Troféu Camara Legislativa do Distrito Federal (Mostra Brasília):
Best Full Length Film.
“I Seem to Exist” is a feature documentary (73 min) directed by Mario Salimon, focused on the life and works of composer João MacDowell. The story is narrated in the first person and complemented by interviews with important personalities from the heyday of the Brazilian capital’s cultural scene. The film portrays a path that starts with a dream and draws the arc of a career spanning from experimental electronic-based music to the maturity of serious classical composition.
Composition Process – A Tempestade:
Varied footage from concerts and music videos, as well as photos and scenes from the Brazilian opera Tamanduá (The Anteater) illustrate the documentary. There is an underlying thread that reinforces the importance of personal effort, musical literacy and support for serious music education in school systems.
Joao MacDowell was an important character in Brasilia’s exciting music scene of the late 80s, a time when the daring artists of the new capital challenged the cultural monopoly of both of Brazil’s biggest metropolises: Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. His first band, TontonMacoute, changed paradigms in Brazilian music forever. Their signature sound dispensed with the regular drum set and pioneered the fusion of electronics with native rhythms and ambient sounds.
After that, the artist developed a career as record producer and soundtrack composer, releasing four solo albums of popular music before launching his more recent works in contemporary classical music.
The film “I Seem to Exist” explores this story in detail, exposing the context in which the musical art of João MacDowell came into being. The overwhelming influence of the modern architecture of the new capital and the excitement of the first generation of artists in Brasília all come to play a part in the documentary. It’s a story that registers the strong will of unusual teenagers who would not accept being mere consumers and decided to create their own art.
More Snippets from the film:
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