In a natural crisis scenario, the entire population of Azores is forced to evict due to an uncontrolled plague of hydrangeas, a common flower in these islands. Two young soldiers, bound to the beauty of the landscape, guide us to the stories of sadness of those forced to leave and the inherent desire to resist by inhabiting the islands. The filmic wandering becomes a nostalgic and political reflection on territorial belonging and identity, and the roles we assume in the places we came from. Read More »
In 1992 Oliveira made O Dia do Desespero, which deals with the last days and suicide of Romantic novelist Camilo Castelo Branco and is based largely on the writer’s letters. Most of it was filmed in the house where Castelo Branco in fact committed suicide. The film opens, midway through the credits, with a 50-second static shot of a pen-and-ink portrait of the writer. Other portraits, always shot with a static camera, punctuate the film’s narrative, lending it a documentary tone from the outset. Read More »
Follows a jealous countess, a wealthy businessman, and a young orphaned boy across Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil where they connect with a variety of mysterious individuals. Read More »
One of Manoel de Oliveira’s masterpieces, A Caixa (The Box) / Blind Man’s Bluff is an adaptation, in parable form, of a play of the same name by Prista Monteiro.
The action takes place around a flight of steps in a poor neighbourhood and is about the final misadventure of an old Blind Man who has yet again been robbed of the official alms box with which he earns is living. His daughter, besides doing the house work, wears herself out taking in washing. Her companion, an unemployed lay-about like many of his friends, lives off the Blind Man’s box which has just been stolen for the second time. Read More »
A man, a child, two wars, a river, a tree. A man and a child meet under a tree on a river bank, sharing the same memory and a secret. They find in each other the serenity, the silence and the time they lost in the flowing water of the river. Read More »
This classic of Portuguese cinema depicts the friendships and rivalries of the inhabitants of a square in downtown Lisbon, where exists a spirit of familiarity between neighbors. (from IMDB) Read More »
Joáo Bénard da Costa, director of the Portuguese National Film Archives [deceased in 2009], interviews the dean of contemporaneous film directors [96-years-old then]. Two humanists of different philosophical backgrounds, both with their long, entire lives dedicated to culture in general (music, painting, literature) and to film in particular, discuss freely, sometimes haltingly, the director’s power as a creator or a magician, the philosophy beyond particular scenes in classic movies, film technique, the importance of color, sound and music to films, art versus entertainment, and much more. Their talk takes place in a museum room, seating in front of “The Annunciation” (a 1510 oil painting by João Vaz, a Portuguese artist), which eventually leads to a discussion of ‘Leonardo da Vinci’, and the relationship between a trend-setter master and his disciples. Read More »