Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 206: Wed Jul 27

The Movement of Things (Serra, 1985): ICA Cinema, 6.15pm

The Machine That Kills Bad People* is
a bi-monthly film club programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacois Cruz and Ben Rivers. Tonight's programme for their latest screening:

O Movimento das Coisas (The Movement of Things), 1985, Dir. Manuela Serra, DCP, 88 min 

, Dir. Rose Lowder, 1992, 16mm, 13 min

Time Out review of The Movement of Things:
This film, the only one by Portuguese Manuela Serra, had a complicated production, which lasted from 1979 to 1985. It was shown at a couple of festivals and at the Cinemateca, and in sessions outside the commercial circuit, and is now premiered in a restored digital copy, with a final plan that was not included in the original editing and was introduced by the director.
The Movement of Thingswas shot in the northern village of Lanheses, following the daily lives of three local families, and as an only child and rarely seen, it gained the status of a cult film and a singular work of national cinematography. But it is far from being comparable to the tapes of António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, in whose line it belongs. It is a curious and significant document about life in rural Portugal in the years after the 25th of April, even though the interior of the country had not been profoundly modified by the socio-economic and customs changes caused by the revolution.
Eurico de Barros

Here (and above) is the trailer.

*The Machine That Kills Bad People is, of course, the cinema – a medium that is so often and so visibly in service of a crushing status quo but which, in the right hands, is a fatal instrument of beauty, contestation, wonder, politics, poetry, new visions, testimonies, histories, dreams. It is also a film club devoted to showing work – ‘mainstream’ and experimental, known and unknown, historical and contemporary – that takes up this task. The group borrowed their name from the Roberto Rossellini film of the same title, and find inspiration in the eclectic juxtapositions of Amos Vogel’s groundbreaking New York film society Cinema 16.

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