João César Monteiro

  • João César Monteiro – Silvestre (1981)

    The plot of the film is taken from two traditional Portuguese tales: A donzela que vai a guerra («The maiden who went war» 15th Century?), of Judeo-Iberian origin, and a novella, The dead one’s hand, orally transmitted, which forms part of the Bluebeard cycle.

    Dom Rodrigo has two daughters, one legitimate, the other bastard, Silvia and Susana. Growing old, and without male heir, Dom Rodrigo decides to marry off Silvia to his neighbour, a rich nobleman, Dom Paio, with the aim of securing and expanding his domain. After a brief visit from the fiancé, a great glutton and skirt-chaser, Dom Rodrigo leaves for the court to invite the king to the nuptials. Upon his departure, he instructs the girls not to open the doors of the mansion to any stranger.Read More »

  • João César Monteiro – O Utimo Mergulho AKA The Last Dive (1992)

    What young Samuel (Dinis Neto Jorge) was doing at that time of night on the deserted quay, nobody will ever know for sure. In fact, when Mr. Eloi (Henrique Canto e Castro), an old retired sailor, approached him, he was staring at the waters of the Tagus. Tired as he was of his days, Mr. Eloi could not have thought any other way: Samuel was there to put an end to his life. And when Samuel, symbolically or not, invites him to share his last dive, Eloi, as a last resort, stops him from throwing himself in the river and, saying that Heaven can wait, takes him on a tour of the city. So the two characters go off for two long nights of roving during the Saint Anthony festivities.Read More »

  • João César Monteiro – Que Farei com Esta Espada? AKA What Will I Do with This Sword? (1975)

    Part of the Portuguese militant cinema made on the 70s. The title of this documentary (What Will I Do with This Sword?) is a call to anti-imperialist struggle and to the union of the working class.Read More »

  • João César Monteiro – Fragmentos de um Filme-Esmola: A Sagrada Família AKA Fragments of an Alms-Film (1972)

    On his first feature, Monteiro analyzes a family: the relationships between father and daughter, husband and wife, and also the relationship between the head of the family and his wife’s parents. The pressure to build a standard family, results in an ominosity transmitted through texts by, among others, James Joyce and André Breton.Read More »

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

    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, RoviRead More »

  • João César Monteiro – Lettera Amorosa (1995)

    Small film integrated in a series of 3 shortfilms about the adventures of the good old João de Deus.Read More »

  • João César Monteiro – Recordações da Casa Amarela AKA Recollections of the Yellow House (1989)

    This quirky Portuguese comedy won a silver lion at the 1989 Venice Film Festival. The story concerns the irrepressible Joao de Deus (played by the director, Joao Cesar Monteiro), an ill-kempt, lusty and none-too-honest resident of Violeta’s boarding house, which happens to have yellow walls. Joao, who has no visible means of support, is in his fifties, and is not above cadging money from his 70 year old mother, who still works as a cleaning lady. He has a wistful sort of lust for the young ladies in the boarding house, and gets a kind of thrill when he is permitted to take a bath in their used water. Read More »

  • João César Monteiro – Vai~E~Vem AKA Come and Go (2003)

    João Vuvu, a widower with no family, except for a son who is doing time for a double murder and an armed bank robbery, lives alone in his own, large, sunny house in an old wealthy neighborhood of Lisbon.
    Filmed as he was terminally ill, Come and Go is Monteiro’s minimal goodbye to a cinema—and a city, Lisbon—he loved. “João Vuvu” (Monteiro) is an elderly libertine who spends his days riding the creaking trams up and down Lisbon’s streets, feeding birds the wrong things in leafy-green parks, speaking alternately poetically, philosophically, and illicitly to the poorly paid women who clean his apartment, and discussing art, literature, politics, and more with various strangers and apparitions. Read More »

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