If you are a reality shows’ maniac or even a heavy user of social media, you’ll probably agree that 2020 wouldn’t have been the least without Manu Gavassi. You should probably remember her as the “tamborzinho” girl and by her hair ties and red sandal, which became web-icons during the latest edition of Big Brother Brasil. But in her 27 years of age, Manu has built a career that goes far beyond the “white room”. Her work in the music scene has been around for 10 years, and now, after being confined to the reality show, Manu has triumphantly returned to the charts, with a featuring with the drag queen performer Gloria Groove, which has yielded a lot to talk about.
"Deve ser horrível dormir sem mim" was released on August 21st, and reached three million views in only 24 hours! The song, written by Manu, Gloria, Lucas Silveira and Thiago Abrahão, debuted at the second place in the Spotify’s Top 50 and, a day after, reached 40 thousand streams, entering the charts of Global Spotify. But, the reason of this success isn’t restrict to the dancing and sticky beat of the composition: the song arrived on YouTube with a 10-minute video clip full of easter eggs, hidden references and a cinematographic aesthetic that shocked the internet.
Due to this instant success, Her Campus Casper Libero decided to reunite and analyze some of the pranky references and innovations of this video, that some people are saying that came to start the “generation Manu” kind of thinking about art. Check out what we discovered on the list below - and understand why “Deve ser horrível dormir sem mim” made the people mad!
- Light, camera, Manu: an experimental audiovisual project
In an increasingly immediate society, it seems unbelievable that a video clip with more than 10 minutes (of which only 2 minutes and 30 seconds are musicized), could reach the tops of the charts so fast. The first time that this happened was with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, in 1982. But Manu bets on this daring project with mastery! In a funny, critical and engaging script written by the singer herself, she seems to be trying to bring back artistic formats from before the era of advertising and marketing rules, betting on a bold and innovative language.
And, taking advantage of the clip as an experimental audiovisual project, Manu also presents us to the unusual cinematographic technique of the “break of the fourth wall”: she builds the narrative as a documentary, speaking directly to the audience and turning the public into a character of the story. This tactic is used, for example, in the Netflix series “Fleabag”, which is even mentioned in one of Gloria Groove’s lines in the clip. However, in music productions, this is very uncommon. Breaking walls and breaking rules, right Manu?
- Big Brother Brasil
Ok, this is for all those who reserved Sunday nights to watch voting in the confessional: “Deve ser horrível dormir sem mim” is clearly inspired by Manu’s experience in Big Brother Brasil 20 - and we can prove it! The first reference to the reality show appears right at the opening of the video, when we can see an entire team on the set dressed uniformly in white overall: the similarity with the clothes that Manu had to wear during the “white room” dynamic is no coincidence…
Another allusion to BBB is the guy wearing a rabbit costume, which is very similar to the uniform worn by the participants in the first test in the TV show. In addition, some of the scenes starring the singer in the reality are reinterpreted by her and Gloria during the clip, such as the famous choreography of “Don’t Start Now”, by Dua Lipa, and the conversations between Manu and Rafa Kalimann in the leader’s room. All these references are sealed in the moment that Manu appears in the video reading the book “1984”, a futuristic dystopia that talks about a world in which everyone is watched by cameras, commanded by a dictator called “The Big Brother”. The reality show was born inspired by this book, written by George Orwell.
- From Manu to Manu: References to her own music and history
Amazingly, this easter egg is authored by Gloria Groove - and not by Manu! In an interview to the website Portal POPline, the singer said that it was her idea to introduce excerpts from other Manu songs on this single: “I am a huge fan of her and I live with her songs in my mind. Listening to the demo, I was very excited to notice that the theme of the song would allow me to write a verse bringing to the public’s memory several successes from various phases of Manu’s work”. And she did! In the second verse, Gloria makes references to four Gavassi’s songs: “áudio de desculpas” (2020); “Muito Muito” (2017); “23” (2017); and “Farsa” (2016).
But don’t think that the video links with Manu’s life end there: after all, the video is a great retrospective of the singer’s career! Starting with Malu Gabatti, the blonde, intent, arrogant - and fictional - artistic director that Manu plays in the clip: this character was built from a stereotype based on adjectives that haters used to attribute to her. An excellent way to use critical lemons to make lemonade, isn’t it?
In addition, many people who were part of Manu’s trajectory appear in the clip, such as Bruno Anacleto (who in 2010 played her romantic partner in “Garoto Errado” and the “rabbit guy” in the clip), and even Chay Suede! The actor was once Manu’s boyfriend, inspired her to compose “Farsa” after a betrayal and, in the new video, now plays, alongside his current bride, the role of “trash boy with a face of who will end your life"...
- Movie Buff: References to cinema’s universe
Actress, dubber and a self-declared film buff, Manu always finds a way to add a touch of cinematic aesthetics to her video clips - and this one was no different! The clearest reference to the seventh art, which you may have noticed at first glance is the type of letter used in the disclosure of the song: it is the same font that the Oscar awarded director Quentin Tarantino uses to sign his films!
But, even before that, the first reference to the movies' universe comes in a dialogue between Malu Gabatti and Gloria Groove, in which they mention Sofia Coppola. This Italian-American filmmaker, screenwriter and producer is acclaimed worldwide and became, in 2003, the first woman to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director, for the movie Lost In Translation. Did I hear female power?! This information sufficiently explains why Sofia’s name appears in a music video of an artist with a “clear political positioning” for feminism. But what you probably didn’t know is that the Coppola’s easter egg goes beyond that: the luxurious scenery of “áudio de desculpas”, Manu’s previous video, is totally inspired by the aesthetic of Marie Antoinette, a film directed by Sofia in 2006!
Another movie that is honored in the clip is The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain, the 2001’s rom-com directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. In addition to the aesthetics inspired by the warm colors of the French film, in a specific scene Manu even compares herself to the eccentric and nonstandard protagonist, Amélie, and also reproduces the famous raspberry scene! Cute and meaningful, isn’t it?
- A new era for pop: critical, political and feminist
Manu Gavassi started her career in 2010, as a teenage songwriter singing, in a pop-country vibe, about teenagers’ problems - high school tales, first love, first kisses. It was when she released her first single “Garoto Errado”, which was an enormous hit among pre-teens. You should probably remember that time when every girl in school wanted to wear a headband with flowers - yes, that was one of the symptoms of Manu Gavassi’s first wave. But in this new - and more adult - phase, Manu is concerned to discuss other issues, and decided to use her art and her “critical sense” to talk about political, structural and social problems.
In “Deve ser horrível dormir sem mim”, we see Manu talking about self-confidence, female power and the “machine to make famous artists”, while satirizing the way art is made and consumed nowadays. She asks, looking at the camera: “What do we need to make a successful video clip? Truth, spontaneity, talent? No, formula”. A formula that, she says, includes nudity - and, here, the feminist discurse began. Malu appears criticizing a stereotype that has haunted women since... well, since always: the sexualization and trivialization of women’s bodies in audiovisual productions. In this video clip, on the contrary to what we usually see in advertisements, who is hired to “undress” on scene is a man (Chay Suede). A powerful reflection about the sexim on art, right?!
What if we say that this is only a part of all the secrets hidden in the clip? A wanderer or not, it’s undeniable that the art of Manu is not for amateurs - and that, after BBB, it is difficult to get used to sleeping without her...