Tempest Desert - Directed by Talita Maia



Tempest Desert has an abstract beginning. A woman is lying on the ground in a desert and we hear the narrator's voice on this picture. Drawing the viewer into the story with it, the opening of the film appears remarkable. Where is this place? Subsequently, we return to the real world. We are in a car and Laura is talking to her friend. It gives us a glimpse of their lives: how hollow friendships can be and that Laura does not have a good relationship with her mother. In this very short conversation and in one sequence, the filmmaker introduces her characters and also distinguishes between them by referring to the relationship with a third person. Laura wonders how deep one can go in such a friendly relationship. And this is the difference between her and her friend.



Now that the film has made its introduction and presented its main character, it expands and they show up to a party. Laura, who feels lonely there, accidentally befriends another girl. Interestingly, the director, Talita Maia, has also incorporated her Brazilian identity into the role and at the same party, she points to this origin. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Talita Maia has previously played parts in numerous films and series- Community, Why Women Kill and ICarly Revival to name a few. The current film is Talita's first experience as a writer, producer, and director. Along with Talita, starring as Allie Gonino, actors like Evan Williams and Idalia Valles have played roles in Tempest Desert.



The party does not seem to be very enjoyable for Laura. She cannot make friends with anyone, nor can she keep the person to whom she starts talking in her company. Tired of the party, she calls her mother, but apparently does not get an interesting answer from her either. These all together lead her into taking pills at the party. Tired and distraught, she leaves the party and collapses in the street. The filmmaker depicts her mental space well and cuts to the beginning of the film in that desert- in that gradual death. However, she recovers from the dizziness of drugs, and once again, it is the beginning of a friendship- a friendship she no longer trusts to continue.



The cinematographer of the film, Diego Torroija, has done a remarkable and spectacular job and brings light and color into play excellently, especially in the scenes that take place at night. When a short film succeeds in realizing its potential, it still has a special quality that cannot be attributed to its duration alone. It is not the length of the film that makes it perceived as different, but the effort on a low budget to achieve a coherent structure and an acceptable form that distinguishes the short film from the feature film. For example, the cinematographer of Tempest Desert has attempted to obtain the best results from the still images, from the motion scenes, from the scenes related to the party, and from the work in a crowded environment, considering the existing limitations. This shows that the filmmaker has been successful in employing a professional and strong team to its full potential.


At the party which did not go well, Laura meets Justin and they establish a deeper relationship, go out of the party, and talk about themselves. It is in these conversations that their bond becomes more internal and private, they talk about their dreams and problems, and Laura seems to start all over again after experiencing that drug. They stroll, drive, laugh, and the night ends. The next day, everything has changed for Laura and she is happy now. She brings her half-hearted relationship with Becca to a good end with her devoting her time to draw, making peace with her mother, and now she has another life ahead of her.


Tempest Desert is a film that can be considered a great first experience bringing the viewers the eagerness of waiting for its director's next films- a director who knows the frame well, is perfectly aware of the rhythm, and knows how to recount her story flawlessly.