This is Sofia Caetano's first feature film. She is a female filmmaker, an immigrant in the USA, who bridges the art and the filmmaking world.
The Happiest Man is a sci-fi musical comedy, a feature-length epic journey that reveals the story of Abram: a caveman of the future who embarks on an odyssey to the city of GLOOM, where he will free humanity from entertainment slavery.
Abram lives in a cave, on top of a mountain, his only company is a crow – Icarus. They live in symbiosis: Icarus hunts for Abram, Abram writes songs for Icarus to sing with him. Inside Abram’s cave is a hole on the floor, a black void avoided by Abram. A terrible link to the unknown, a deep pit that once swallowed Abram’s family. A certain night Icarus disappears, and Abram has a series of prophetic dreams about a colossal female crow with a serpent’s tail. When Icarus returns, she is hurt. Abram is desperate to save his only friend so he decides to go jump on the hole, in the search for help.
Abram arrives at GLOOM, a post-apocalyptic civilization in the year of 3757. Gloomed people are dependent on a head apparatus that feeds and entertains them. The city is like a graveyard; people live inside open floor graves. The light is sparse and comes from small openings on the mountain’s top, but it must be avoided – it electrocutes with the head apparatus, causing Gloomed to die easily. They are ruled by Parnach and Darla, two siblings who control Gleam, the entertainment platform. Parnach proposes a deal to Abram: he will heal Icarus if Abram accepts to be part of a Gleam show.
"I was born in the Azores islands. That is my main influence, its volcanic dynamism and mystery; its colossal green beauty. Then, I grew into the works of Sandy Skoglund, Terry Gilliam, Alejandro Jodorowski, Björk, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Matthew Barney. What all of these may have in common is a grandiose and/or stylized approach to a certain alienation of, a skewed, or alternative, reality. Some might call it fantasy, I call it mystery. A shrieking escape to someone else’s hush-hush subjectivity. The forbidden space for what it could have been. The limitless possibility for the inextinguishable desires of the human mind – of those who dare to desire. My past work marries experimental and fiction film, installation, art, comedy, and sci-fi film, analog and digital. I started as a painter and that has a tremendous visual influence on my film work, and how I explore a maximalist production design."