“The day when I met Danilo, the weather was mild and sunny. He lives in one of the quiet areas of Lisbon where you can still enjoy a bit of quietness in this picturesque city overrun by tourists. I remember I was in a good mood, just as one of my so many photo shoots, I didn’t expect much. It felts like I was visiting a friend.

Danilo is a Brazilian film maker and script writer who came to Lisbon om 2017 after winning a contest to work on a project here. After the project was finished, he chose in this city where, as he says, he discovers his biggest qualities, greatest flaws, vulnerabilities and uncertainties.

It happens that I don’t know much about the model’s life before the shoot. Usually the model sends me a text about his stories before the shoot so I can have a touch on his life experience. However, Danilo sent me a text about flying, literally flying on a plane, from which he talked about loosing control.

That’s what I like about this project. Most of the time, I get to chat with the model during the shoot. We talk in such a spontaneous way that it comforts me and the other. So, I asked Danilo the reason why he came to Lisbon and how his life was like. That’s how he started to unfold his stories.

Danilo asked me if it’s ok to touch his penis shortly after we started the shoot. I laughed and replied, sure you can! Maybe it’s because of his Latin root or maybe it can help him relax. Either way, he was being himself.”

—– by Chris

Control.What do we really have control of?

I’m terrify about the idea of entering a plane. Yeah… I know everybody says its the safest way to travel. Is even safer  than taking the elevator right?  But for me it’s a nightmare. I moved 2 years ago from Brasil to Portugal… so imagine, I actually travel a lot, so there you go, sometime we need to cross distances so far away that you have no other option then to fly. 

I’m capable of doing it, I know. But it’s really really how I face my biggest fear of death. The longest I’ve been inside a plane was 15 hours no stop from São Paulo to Dubai. Was the weirdest feeling to get into the plane during the night then see the sunrise, the sunset and there we go back to the night and I’m still inside this big sardine can that can fly. 

When I’m inside a plane I’m fully aware that I have absolutely no control of whats going to happen. I have no control of life at that moment! How weird is to actually think about that. In that situation everything can happen that can goes wrong and there is nothing that I can do so I feel completely powerless. I’m a filmmaker, director and screenwriter… so you kinda can say that I like to have certain things under control.

Somo will say: “such a control freak…” The Master in a dom/sub relationship. Well… you can go wild on that thought. The weirdest part is that I believe that even when you have no control of a situation there is a feeling or kind of an energy that you actually can control. 

In 2016 I had a flight Lisbon to São Paulo and when the pilot announced that the plane was in the final cruising altitude I started to search for a film to watch. I always try to find the longest films so I can say: “ok, after 2 max 3 films I’ll arrive and the airplane experience will be over. So in this particular flight I found that my favorite film was available. Magnolia, from the director Paul Thomas Anderson.

After one hour watching the film lunch was served. The flight attendant had just delivered my meal in front of me when I feel that the plane is really slowly tilting… a clear image that we are going to land… But we are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

After that everything happened really fast.

All the flight crew started to pick up the passengers meal. I had not even started to eat. FINALLY the captain speaks: “ Ladies and gentleman we will have to do an emergency landing in the canary Island…” (10 seconds of pure silence that felt like hous and hours) “… one of our passengers is not feeling good and will have to leave the plane immediately for a hospital” 
Can you imagine my heart with those words: EMERGENCY LANDING while the plane is going down to the middle of nowhere?

I know I love drama, but c’mon. Why did I have to experience that feeling that something can go extremely wrong? Then something clicks on me. I have to let it go. Whatever Happens, let it happen. Trust that the pilot knows best and he will do what is possible.  Just breath. There is nothing else to do.

When the plane landed they had to open the aircraft cargo to pick up the passengers bags. My seat was next to the window. (I aways prefer to fly at the window so I can see what’s going on…) I look at the aircraft door opening that was just under my seat and I realize that there is a number there: 82.

It’s the same number that Paul Thomas Anderson uses in the beginning of Magnolia as a hidden symbol of Exodus 8:2. “ If you refuse to let them go I will plague your whole country with frogs” I have a magnolia tattoo with five little frogs in my arm. My grandfather was super afraid of frogs.That day I decided to let them go outside my arm, outside my skin, outside the film, outside the metaphor and all my fears. 

I had no control but in a way I knew that everything was connected. To have no control is also a form of having control of your spirit. When you decide to let it go and accept the mystery that is about to happen. It’s hard for me to fly but the feeling of arriving in a new city or in a city that I have good memories and to experience this atmosfera is something so strong that I can allow myself to trust my guts, so it’s not about power or control it’s about to accept, be grateful and respect your inner self.

Transform you frogs. Learn to live with them and amazing possibilities will happen.