João Botelho is the Portuguese filmmaker of memory, whose films seek to transform the physical into the metaphysical and to render ideas and poetry physical. His work is based on the word, a creative approach that is almost more poetic than cinematographic and which was already demonstrated in his debut feature, Conversa Acabada (1982), a conversation between two great Portuguese writers, Fernando Pessoa and Mário de Sá-Carneiro, that could be defined as an epistolary framework for an examination of what is articulated through different times and fashions: a conversation that is anything but ‘finished’ (‘acabada’).
His subsequent films include Hard Times (1987) and Aqui na Terra (1993), for which he wrote the screenplay. In 1999 he was in the Venice Film Festival with Se a Memória Existe which received a good critical reception. He returned to Venice with Quem és Tu? (2001) from a novel by Almeida Garrett called Frei Louis de Sousa, and in… read more
A look back at the posters for departing festival director Richard Peña’s very first NYFF.