Maria works in a German umbrella factory as the foreman of the production sector. João Lucas has given up on living a normal life and practically lives in bed, in the midst of green plants. His father expressly desired that his son film this eccentric daily life in 8 mm format. Maria’s wages are dilapidated to the last penny by this amateur, monstrous, family movie production. —smz
João César Monteiro (1939-2003) was born in Figueira da Foz, a cosmopolitan beach resort in Portugal and moved to Lisbon at the age of 15 where he continued his studies.
João César Monteiro remains among the most indelible and unusual figures in the history of Portuguese cinema, a visionary and profoundly eccentric filmmaker whose unique contribution to postwar European film is only gradually being recognized today. A cosmopolite imagination tethered by a provincial attachment to Lisbon, a libertine with an obscurely puritanical streak, an unrelenting aesthete guided by an archaic spirit – Monteiro was a deliberately contradictory and difficult artist who obdurately resisted affiliation with any declared “school” of filmmaking. Monteiro dedicated himself instead to a mode of sublimely, and often perversely, high modernism fascinated by a rich undercurrent between the cinema and the other arts – especially poetry, painting, theater, literature and music. Like the films of his… read more
The film feels closely related to Garrel's Le révélateur, in the sense that both productions are figurative examinations of a traditional family unit (as an idea) following a prolonged period of political unrest. The quoted dialogues and the lengthy single-shot sequences of domestic charade make it more garrulous than the silent scream of Garrel, but the film is no less haunted by the same uncertainly, and the same proclivity for poetic expression and the purely abstract...
To try and write a wall post, too hard, there is too much to say in such a little space. Film and all art, assemblies of fragments, built on the shared ideas of authors past. The condemnations of film and social structures, and a creeping, deafening silence in marriage. If you find it too disjointed, too complex, too surreal, you're kindly offered Monteiro's middle finger.