As we toured through modern Guimarães, the founding city of Portugal, we wondered: “What stories does it have to tell?” The answer to this question came to us via the voices of four filmmakers with unique visions of cinema, Aki Kaurismäki, Pedro Costa, Victor Erice and Manoel de Oliveira, who worked together in the making of this film. Things are not what they seem at first: the multiple dimensions of the story are generated by both reality and fiction. —International Rome Film Festival
Pedro Costa (born 1959) is a Portuguese film director. He is acclaimed for using his ascetic style to depict the marginalised people in desperate living situations. Many of his films are set in a district of Lisbon inhabited by the socially disadvantaged and shot in a natural and low-key way that makes them resemble documentaries. While studying history at University of Lisbon, Costa switched to film courses at School of Theatre and Cinema (Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema). After working as an assistant director to several directors such as Jorge Silva Melo and João Botelho, he made a first feature film O Sangue (The Blood) in 1989. He collected the France Culture Award (Foreign Cineaste of the Year) at 2002 Cannes International Film Festival for directing the film No Quarto da Vanda (In Vanda’s Room). Juventude em Marcha (Youth on the March, known as “Colossal Youth” in Anglophone countries, and “En avant, jeunesse” – “Onward, Youth” – in Francophone countries) was selected for… read more
Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira, GCSE (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐnuˈɛɫ doliˈvɐjɾɐ]; born December 11, 1908) is a Portuguese film director born in Cedofeita, Porto. He is currently the oldest active film director in the world.
Manoel de Oliveira was born in Porto, Portugal on December 11, 1908, to Francisco José de Oliveira and Cândida Ferreira Pinto. His family were wealthy industrialists.
Oliveira attended school in Galicia, Spain and his goal as a teenager was to become an actor. He enrolled in Italian film-maker Rino Lupo’s acting school at age 20, but later changed his mind when he saw Walther Ruttmann’s documentary Berlin: Symphony of a City. This prompted him to direct his first film, also a documentary, titled Douro, Faina Fluvial (1931).
He also has the distinction of having acted in the second Portuguese sound film, A Canção de Lisboa (1933).
His first feature film came much later, in 1942. Aniki-Bóbó, a portrait of Oporto’s street children… read more
Aki Kaurismäki did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965)) with his older brother Mika Kaurismäki, also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific film-makers, and together have been responsible for one-fifth of the total output of the Finnish film industry since the early 1980s, though Aki’s work has found more favour abroad. His films are very short (he says a film should never run longer than 90 minutes, and many of his films are nearer 70), eccentric parodies of various genres (road movies, film noir, rock musicals), populated by lugubrious hard-drinking Finns and set to eclectic soundtracks, typically based around ‘50s rock’n’roll.
In the 1990s he has made films in Britain (I Hired a Contract Killer (1990)) and France (La vie de bohème (1992)). —IMDb
Spanish director Victor Erice made two of his country’s most important and critically lauded films, El Espiritu de la Colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive) (1973) and Sur (The South) (1983). Erice had studied political science before entering the Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográficas in 1960. Shortly after graduation in 1963, he worked as a film critic and worked on the script for Antonio Eceiza’s El Proximo Otoño (Next Autumn) (1963). He also collaborated on Miguel Picazo’s Oscuros Sueños de Agosto (Dark Dreams of August) (1967). Influential producer Elías Querejeta provided Erice his first opportunity to direct by assigning him a chance to helm one of three episodes in Los Desafios (The Challenges) (1969). Following his success with El Sur, Erice became a prolific director of television commercials and worked uncredited on numerous other feature films. In 1992, Erice reemerged on the film scene with his dream-like documentary of painter Antonio Lopez’s quest for… read more
The Portuguese maestro talks digital, film and DCP, early influences and teachers, David Fincher and filmmaking now.
Our first report from the 2013 festival, about new films by Sergei Loznitsa, Peter Schreiner, Pedro Costa, and Filipa César.
La Furia Umana debuts in print, Scorsese and De Palma prep new projects, Cinema Scope divulges their 2012 faves, Oshima + Kurosawa & more.