Friday, 26 February 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 78: Fri Mar 18

Visit or Memories and Confessions (de Oliviera, 1982): ICA Cinema, 8.30pm

This screening introduced by José Manuel Costa, Director of the Cinemateca Portuguesa - Museu do Cinema, is part of the Essay Film Festival at the ICA. You can find full details of the season here.

Hollywood Reporter review:
His death last month, while he was still professionally active at the venerable age of 106, quite possibly made Manoel de Oliveira the oldest filmmaker to have walked the planet. Little could he have known back in 1982, when at the age of 73 he filmed a wry sort of “testament” and embargoed its public screening until after his death, that it would take another 34 years before audiences would get a glimpse of Visit or Memories and Confessions (Visita ou Memórias e Confissões). The unusual circumstances surrounding the film's making and unveiling are an enticement in themselves for the art distributors who have long been associated with the Portuguese director’s prolific output, though more than anything it seems perfect as a 68-minute festival tribute. Certainly his audiences will not be disappointed in the film, which he co-scripted with Agustina Bessa-Luis, who wrote all his films after the turning point of Francisca in 1981.

For a story revolving around the need to sell and move out of the house in Porto that he built and loved, where he wrote all his screenplays for forty years, there is little sadness about the film — though maybe some nostalgia. Oliveira’s ironic sense of humor turns the leave-taking into a humorous ghost story (“a film by me, about me”) as an unseen couple voiced by Teresa Madruga and Diogo Doria stumble onto the deserted property and trespass through rooms filled with books, paintings, souvenirs and memories. In the screenwriters’ typical style, their conversation veers into the philosophical and metaphysical at the drop of a hat.
Deborah Young

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