Director: Julia Murat
Country: Brazil/Argentina/France
Year: 2017
Running time: 105 min
In Portuguese with English subtitles

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In an empty loft a woman and a man stick orange-colored tape to the floor to demarcate two identically sized areas: one space is to be her dance studio and the other his sculpture workshop. An open plan kitchen and a mattress turn the place into a home. We observe them fusing in sexual passion, playing soccer with friends or partying, after which they always retreat behind their dividing lines as a means to spur their creativity. Before long, he begins to use her space for his large sculptures, and she uses them for her choreography. This interplay between intimacy and rivalry means that the couple are constantly exploring themselves anew. One day she catches sight of the end of a steel rope, an installation that leads outside and would appear to extend throughout the city. As she makes her way toward the other end of the rope, he experiences a growing desire to have a child with her.

Julia Murat playfully explores two lovers’ desire to belong. Their past and their longing for each other begin to challenge both their artistic identities as well as their identity as a couple.



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“Try to imagine a movie that is at once identical to and the complete opposite of La La Land. The result might be something like Julia Murat’s exacting and poignant portrait of two artists in love and at work. The camera rarely leaves the cavernous industrial space where a sculptor (Rodrigo Bolzan) and a dancer-choreographer (Raquel Karro) have sex, hang out with friends and pursue their creative ambitions. The loft is divided by a masking-tape border on the floor, and the film is concerned above all with the negotiation of boundaries: between the intimacy of a couple and the autonomy of an individual; between art and eros; between labor and leisure. In some respects, Pendular is about the pursuit of that ever-elusive goal known as work-life balance. What makes it unusual — and, despite its slow pace, exciting — is the time and attention Ms. Murat devotes to showing her unnamed characters, in particular the female half of the couple, in the midst of actually working. While they aren’t dance numbers in the usual movie-musical sense, the scenes of a woman in concentrated motion at once transcend the story and provide its emotional core.”
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times









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