Portugal

Renée Nader Messora & João Salaviza – Chuva É Cantoria Na Aldeia Dos Mortos AKA The Dead and the Others (2018)

Quote:
There are no spirits or snakes tonight and the forest around the village is quiet. Fifteen-year old Ihjãc has had nightmares since he lost his father. He is an indigenous Krahô from the north of Brazil. Ihjãc walks into darkness, his sweaty body moves with fright. A distant chant comes through the palm trees. His father’s voice calls him to the waterfall: it´s time for Ihjãc to organize his father’s funerary feast so that his spirit can depart to the village of the dead. The mourning must cease. Denying his duty and in order to escape the process of becoming a shaman, Ihjãc runs away to the city, where he must face the reality of being an indigenous person in contemporary Brazil. Read More »

João Pedro Rodrigues – Morrer Como Um Homem AKA To Die Like a Man [+Extras] (2009)

Once upon a time there was a war In the darkness of the night, a young soldier goes AWOL. Tonia, a veteran transsexual in Lisbons drag shows, watches the world around her crumble. The competition from younger artists threatens her star status. Under pressure from her young boyfriend Rosário to assume her female identity, the sex change operation that will transform her into a woman, Tonia struggles against her deeply-held religious convictions. If, on the one hand, she wants to be the woman that Rosário so desires, on the other, she knows that before God she can never be that woman. And her son, whom she abandoned when he was a child, now a deserter, comes looking for her. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Mistérios de Lisboa AKA Mysteries of Lisbon (2010)

Raúl Ruiz is one of the great cinematic self-perpetuators, like Louis Feuillade and Jacques Rivette—a film like this gathers a motion and a rhythm that makes it feel like it could on and on, self-generating new stories and new characters ad infinitum. Based on the novel by Camilo Castelo Branco (whose writing has been the source for Oliveira’s similarly fatalistic romance, Doomed Love), Mysteries of Lisbon is, to paraphrase a line from one of its many characters used to describe a disastrous relationship he had, a game that turns into a bourgeois romantic drama, to which I would add, that turns into a game. It starts—as all stories must?—with an orphaned boy questioning his parentage and falling into a fever, and out of that starting point the film evolves less as a story than a cartography of characters crossing points in space and time. Read More »

Salomé Lamas – Terra de ninguém AKA No Man’s Land (2012)

Quote:
A modest chair in the semi shade of a derelict place… An old man wearing a black shirt sits on that chair and starts talking with a calm voice: “Fiz um curso de engenharia elétrica, depois fui fazer o serviço militar e a partir daí dei caminho à minha vida como mercenário” (I did a course in electrical engineering, then I did my military service and from there started my life as a mercenary). Thus begins the 2012 acclaimed documentary Terra de Ninguém (No man’s land in Portuguese) directed by Salomé Lamas. [Terra Nullius: Confessions d’un mercenaire, 2014]. Read More »

João Rui Guerra da Mata & João Pedro Rodrigues – Alvorada Vermelha AKA Red Dawn (2011)

Quote:
February 2011, Red Market, Macao’s famous food market. Two directors, a common look. The gestures and the routines, between life and death. In memoriam Jane Russell (June 21, 1921 – February 28, 2011). Read More »

João César Monteiro – A Comedia de Deus AKA God’s Comedy (1995)

Quote:
This bizarre satiric comedy stars writer/director Joao Cesar Monteiro as Joao de Deus, who runs a small ice cream parlor in Portugal. Joao’s employees are mostly teenage girls, and he rigorously drills them in proper procedures and encourages a careful regimen of personal hygiene. But the single and rather lonely Joao has an unusual hobby — he collects women’s pubic hair, saving favorite samples in a scrapbook and claiming to have a few stray hairs from Queen Victoria. Eventually, Joao becomes romantically involved with one of the girls working at his shop, but when that relationship goes south, he finds himself attempting to seduce the 14-year-old daughter of the local butcher, which lands him deep in hot water. A Comedia de Deus was successful enough to inspire a 1999 sequel, As Bodas de Deus. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi Read More »

João Pedro Rodrigues – Esta É a Minha Casa AKA This Is My Home (1997)

Synopsis
João Pedro Rodrigues films the holiday journey of an emigrant family from Paris to their homeland in Trás-os-Montes. Footage from the couple’s daily life in Paris – he is a cobbler and she is a janitor – combined with records from their car journey through French and Spanish highways to Portugal and with moments of their holidays. Read More »