While location shooting for Bread, Oliveira stumbled upon the subject for Rite of Spring, the annual passion play enacted by a community in Northern Portugal. Intrigued by the ritualistic and incantatory qualities of their production, Oliveira returned to the village and set about directing the villagers in a re-enactment of the passion play, adding a rich performative layer to the film. A fascinating ethnographic study of local tradition and history that folds in on itself, Rite of Spring climaxes unexpectedly in a furious apocalyptic montage that links Christ’s death to the violence and lunacy of the Vietnam era. Oliveira’s tour de force return to feature filmmaking offers a blend of fiction and nonfiction that, like the contemporary work of Jean Rouch, was radically ahead of its time. —Harvard Film Archive
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
a última sequência é a que realmente dá o sabor ao filme. é uma autêntica chapada na cara. tudo o resto é um recontar dos últimos dias da vida de Cristo, o acto de filmar uma representação de cariz teatral, por tantos anos feita, com tanto clamor e força de vontade, repetida até à exaustão. sim, este é o portugal das aldeias, o interior; o centro da tradição e do primor, das pessoas e das cousas. são actos, nada mais
WOW! The last word is so poignant: the resurrection is always in the eschatological future: "he will rise up," a hope after the devastations of the century. Such popular theater (almost always everywhere Brechtian avant la lettre; so many dear Indian examples: yakshagana etc) as this film is built around is close to my heart & I have never seen it filmed more movingly.
Cinemateca Portuguesa - Museo do Cinema's film-to-film transfer is absolutely magnificent. It's like watching an oil painting through the lens of a dream.
The 54th BFI London Film Festival will open on October 13 with Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go and close on October 28 with Danny Boyle's