Research PhD Project: OBSCENUM BODIES

The film | starting point given to the actor

SYNOPSIS | The Secret Life of My Great-Aunt: Elderly by Night, Mata Hari by Day is a film that captures the life perceptions of an 86 year old woman. Maria (86) lives by herself in a flat. She has a very severe life, without much money or goals. She sees TV intensely and the only dream world that enters her universe comes from the soap operas. Are they real?

NARRATIVE | Once a wealthy woman came back in the 60’s. She hired Maria as her maid. When she passed away, Maria continued to live there and her philosophy changed the flat interior decoration, as well as it’s inhabitants; her universe arrived matching the previous one. Nowadays, Maria survives with her pension check and helping other elderly people on their day-to-day life. Having a television, laces to be made, a radio station and the cats as company, her conversation subjects revolve around football and soap operas, with very particular communication codes. Everyday on the telephone, she tells her niece about her day, what the soap characters did, with her moral reproaches. Her descriptions get confused between the fictional soaps she watches and what she assumes to be real. She narrates the lives of the fictional characters like she is a voyeur that someone let in, a spy of the soaps. At some point it seems that she went actually there, on those places, that the characters are relatives.

  • content | actor | character | out-of-field | Today there is nothing that still belongs to the domain of intimacy and privacy. What is the character obscenum? Will the audience want to see the intimacy of an elderly?


  • technique | actor | character | The actor will have to do engine with the camera in order to make the film, like the violinist with his violin.

Reacting to the camera – research for the character (filmed by me) – with presence of the camera

Reacting to the camera – ?????? – without the presence of the camera

  • structure | rhizomatic 

Research with circus students -The Ball


Several narratives with Clowns to do a bigger narrative – Clown Women Show


Research for a theatre play – The Encyclopaedia Seller



  • To receive the audience feedback, to find new dramaturgical structures.


It is common for cinema lovers to know details of the production before the release dates.

a no-man’s-land separating real and virtual.

If it is not acquired and the memory is not transmitted, the experience does not turn into heritage and it is lost.

a new “us,” a new community, a new group of belonging and the new homeostasis that they generate.

images were separated from bodies and started their own paths.

The images rushed to fill the soul vacant seat.

are they the soul of the new biotechnical body?






The actors belong to the interior of this machine of making films. They are our insiders in this new world. If they have the ability to transmit and narrate, all will be transformed in experiences, building up an important heritage.

Little films of all the production, like a real film, are going to be put primary online, to create an engagement with the audience, and their obscenum. With their feedbacks, changes will be maid.


  1. Seeing and analysing the work of directors that use actors to achieve narratives, the more diverse the better. Methods of working, new narratives created and debating with the professionals and audiences.


  1. Doing short films of all to create a big film.
  2. Presenting films online, theatre venues or even festivals, if it is possible.

Doing 3 years of continuation work, with continuous connection, it will make a whole film, delivered in bits, where audience will have to perceive what is not happening.

This should lead to a material that I can work to construct a methodology that enables the creation of new perspectives through actors. This methodology can be then picked up by anyone interested.


Having a background in Theatre and a MA in Screen Directing done in a drama school, I got to understand and experiment various methods used by actors: from Stanislavsky, Uta Hagen and Meisner, to complete different lines like the Jungian and Laban, Meyerhold and Brecht approaches. All of these made me able of being a director of actors who use different languages. This facilitated the narrative exploration that I’ve been doing in Theatre and Circus – finding my method through their artistic individualities. I believe that such works always have the potential to create new ways of seeing the world, fulfilled with communication diversity, body specificities and creativity.

While actors use one or several work methods, directors also have their own. Beneath the actors’ director umbrella, John Cassavetes stood out when a handheld 16mm camera in Shadows empowered the actors, yielding spontaneity and freedom of movement (Carney, 1999). Later on, Mike Leigh also created his films partly from the script but more significantly from his actors’ own experiences, instincts and intuitions. The result is organic, resonating with the colours and textures of personal history, interpersonal dynamics and socio-historical vibrations (Watson, 2004).

What type of narratives can be achieved? How does this type of work connects with the writer, director of photography, sound and art department in order to make a power work hub without being guerrilla or handheld – how to achieve innovation and creativity that could enter normal productions, and restructuring the hierarchies work flow


Directing actors in order for them to engage better with the audience has been my work as a Director.

Pursuing a PhD that is more directed towards these practical aspects of filmmaking is what I have been looking for in the past years. The intellectual freedom of this PhD gives me the opportunity to be engaged in the creation of new artistic prospects, in specific new methods to achieve new narratives through the work with actors.

Doing Theatre Directing for bachelors and Film Directing for Masters in addition to working in different artistic areas, which includes circus, make me believe that I have the knowledge, ability and the skills to make use of this opportunity to be constructive in the research field.

Additionally to doing artistic work, I have also been engaged in teaching activities, coordination of social projects and management of cultural funds. This diversity enriched my capabilities of dealing with different situations and made me able to get the most out of different environments and circumstances.

A Portuguese point of view about devising and audience connections is not a very common, so maybe it will bring something different to this research topics.

The fact that this opportunity is related to filmmaking, which has always been my largest artistic passion, is making me very enthusiastic about making the most out of it to progress forward in my career.


I like to engage audiences.

  • Others

Exemple of previous work – password: dogs