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.
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I've seen only Pedro Costa's segment and it's 5+ stars worth. It's a work that screams with anger and deep sorrow about an infernal past, but limiting itself only to evoke with a still, feverish intensity, images of an adult life lived in fear and desperation. It reminds one of an Aeschylus play in its way of conveying emotionally charged visions while staying most of time in the same confined space.
5 for Costa and for the Mubi community who shares the same view. Aki played it safe by making another Aki's film but very shallow that time as he never delved into his subjects as he always does in his other films. Erice's was successful by the workers' stories and the beautiful photo. Oliveira's was very simple, a joke with a punchline. Costa's is pure cinema. Ultimate cinema. Cinema with skin and it breathes.
The Kaurismaki, Erice, and Oliviera are pretty solid; the Costa is major, albeit the sort of major that doesn't play well in an omnibus. The second movie in an four-part omnibus shouldn't induce one to say "Okay, I need to take a break from movies and go process what just happened for the rest of my life."