Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Skin I Live In (2011)

One of the main causes for my after-dinner soap opera slumped annoyance is the sheer inability those writing teams have to take risks. In the name of their creativity, of their personal fulfillment, but specially of their audiences. I was starting to flinch at Pedro Almodóvar's filmography, fearing I could grow to a boiling point sooner than I expected, as I considered his last film, Broken Embraces (2006), and its particular meaning backdroped against its precedents. He has always crafted soap opera like: domestic melodramas, conflicted by extra-passionate and sexual characters that arched upon sensational reversals based on genre, family bonds and traumatic pasts. Plus the steaming Latino tempering. But somehow he summoned unique features to those boring, exaggerated, repetitive and lazy stories. Mainly, he distorted time to construct meaningful and propelling flashbacks, painted the colors flamboyantly and the characters quickly, and brought a balance between light and dark, but always pierce, comedy, surprising by politically flagging the feminist and the LGBT's plights on every work. He made the masterpiece Talk to Her (2002). But along with this one, I realized that the films I wanted to re-watch the most were Women on a verge of a nervous breakdown (1999) and Volver (2006). I realized these were my favorite Almodóvar films. And that goes because he took some chances there. By making something different, other than the emotional broken-down homossexual/transsexual, he created a beautiful-to-tears tale about love and communion between men and woman (Talk to Her), the most funny and sensitive portrait of the modern woman (Women on a verge), and a flaming dark comedy about death (Volver). And he never grew apart from his dearest themelines.

In The Skin I Live In, the Spanish helmer steered the wheel until he fell on quasi-brainwashed fresh new grounds. He went way beyond those three films and and never for one minute quit being himself. He now drained the colors only to sustain some reds and lustrous gold, painting soft bleak frames of a Japanese austerity and of a female finesse. The beige is the suit and the skins, the faces, the masks. It edges a curve shaped art-direction and the perfect body of Elena Anaya. The geometrics and the anatomical qualities of the visuals connect to the big plot element of the surgeries that the scary Banderas practices. Here, plastic-surgery is not a strategy, a convenience nor a science. It is an art. The art of creating. The first horror device is the outright voyeurism of the mansion: the evocative paintings on the walls; the camera on the locked room and its big-brother correspondent screens on the other rooms. Before the first major turn, the peeking exposes us (or the characters?) to a crude raping scene followed by an unruffled murder.

Elena's look and expression, which you can't say is it sexy or scared, strips you off of any ease. Bandera's sharpens it with the eyes of an insane man. He is, in fact, wickedly obsessed. Almodóvar signs another mark when he transports us to a completely flashbacked Act II. That's when you get the nastiest horror taste, with some darker sets, scenes and objects, a gruesome and freakingly unexpected midpoint and a coherent bridled bloodbath. It is payoff after payoff and it becomes more enveloping one after the another. The horror parts signal the most important reversals or enlightenment and the structure proves to be perfect as the thematic core hits us after sixty-minutes of suspense, instead of arriving as a casual turning point surprise.

He threw away almost all of the melodrama. Despite I cannot understand why we had to know the relationship between the "tiger" and Paredes, I can accept all of Banderas' motives. It is so plausible and human, within such a stylized world. And by never letting go the LGBT fight he doesn't perpetuate a mourning song nor a perverse whining for attention. Instead, he makes a very compelling frightening revenge movie where a message is eminent and undoubtedly blunt. Everything is masterfully tied up and organic, fr0m beats, to metaphors, to narrative rhymes. This is a story about the sickness of constraining others to live in a foreign skin and on a foreign person, told upon how seductive and deceiving the surfaces are, and about the strength one must endure to break out and stand up for himself, for his identity. One of my favorite films of the year and certainly one of my favorite Almodóvar films.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Separation (2011), or why the Government won't solve the problems of Portuguese cinema

Nader and Simin: A Separation is one of the best 2011 films I've seen so far, written, directed and produced by Asghar Farhadi, 2009 winner of the Silver Bear with About Elly, among other accolades. In fact, he sort of repeated the play by conquering this year's Golden Bear, in two years attaching to his curriculum the two major awards from the Berlin Film Festival. One of the magnificent things about this work is what it is, the writing, the camera, the actors. Nader and Simin are discussing their divorce with the Judge from the usual Iranian documentary-fiction point of view, but soon is this scene turned into a mac guffin for something quite embracing and unexpected.

Within the domestic drama arises an intriguing question about who's telling the truth about an accident and before you know it, elements of thriller suspense pour from all sides, as tight and paused as lava. A low pace, tensely building a claustrophobic and uncomfortable atmosphere that won't even remind you of an actual police film or a traditional court drama. That is because the air and the senses aren't grounded on guns, cars chases or brilliant speeches, for that imprisonment is of moral and religious constraints and restrictions.

Abbas Kiarostami had to come to Europe with is latest Copie Conform (2010). Jafar Panahi was condemned to 20 years of impediment to make films by the Iranian justice and had to hide his This is Not a Film (2011) inside a traveling cake in order to get it to Cannes. An oppressive regime funded on equally oppressive religious dogmas whose condemnable actions go way beyond the seventh art and constantly erode the dignity and human rights of the citizens, specially women. Yet, this story makes its way to tell us about justice, moral and religious standards, protector love and, most of all, truth and its relativeness. Farhadi never takes sides, letting you be the Judge and bounce your verdict between several versions of what happened, somewhat Roshomon-like, despite here you end up knowing the truth and being emotionally hit by such. Maybe he had to do it that way in order to get passed the censorship but I'd bet he wanted the audience to delve into those simple actions and allegations and find a most complex life on the subjects, a more profound reflection about the country, Worldly-like. It is Iranian and middle-east culture all over, but you can't help connecting to all the characters (extraordinary performances), to this genuine, melodramatic-free tale of social and domestic life consequences. Compellingly universal.

Behind, alongside and on the front of what it is there's how it is. A Separation has been gathering awards all over the globe after its premiere in Berlin, is nominated for Best Foreign Film in the American Golden Globes and is the country's choice for the Academy's Best Foreign Film. It is only going to premiere in the United States on December 30 and has already collected more than $6.5 million, not counting with the Iranian box-office. With all the political and social instability, how is it possible ? How did it even get financed ? The film's budget is estimated to have been between the stupidly modest amount of $300 and $500 thousand. It has not one cent. of Governmental financing. No need to argue why this is an inspiring example and case-study for young filmmakers, a fact that should be known of the Portuguese film community and, most of all, of the Government's cultural-policy makers. Chiefly in the days when the Portuguese filmmakers keep whining and whining for the lack of state support for their films, because the Film and Audiovisual Institute has not announced the 2012 conditions yet, because they'll only receive €750 thousand this time, and so on and so forth.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Makes fun of "The Hobbit" trailer

TRAILER: The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey

Can't wait to be back to the Middle Earth.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Portuguese films were NOT Oscar pre-nominated for Best Film | Filmes portugueses NÃO foram pré-nomeados para Óscar de Melhor Filme

Note: this text is displayed both in English and Portuguese.
Nota: este texto está disponível em inglês e português.

Yesterday I published the delightfully surprising news that Já Não Estar, a song by Camané from the film José and Pilar, was pre-nominated for the Oscar for Best Song, in a 39 song list. This was a truthful statement as one can confirm by checking the Academy's official press release.
However, the ecstasy seems to have wrapped and put into a coma the professionalism that was left among the Portuguese press, as the RTP (public tv broadcasting) spread the news that both José and Pilar and Mysteries of Lisbon were pre-nominated for Best Film. Dear readers, this is a lie.

The basis for the article, which you can check in here (only in Portuguese) was today's press release from the Academy, as displayed in the Academy's official website. It doesn't take much schooling for one to notice that the Academy's list about those 256 films regards their eligibility and not their pre-nomination. You see, there is a master difference: the eligibility refers to a regulatory status or classification whilst the pre-nomination refers to a qualitative status or classification.

For a film to be pre-nominated it logically has to be eligible first, meaning it has to fill the requirements established by the Academy's rules and norms. For instance, if you take a look at the introduction of the press release about the Best Song, you'll read "Thirty-nine songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures are in contention for nominations in the Original Song category (...)". So, the 256 films that figure in today's list are NOT pre-nominated films but simply fit the requisites.

So stop being amateur and sensational and to fabricate announcements.

Ontem publiquei a deliciosa e surpreendente notícia de que Já Não Estar, canção por Camané, do filme José e Pilar, tinha sido pré-nomeada a Óscar de Melhor Canção, numa lista divulgada de 39 canções. Isto foi uma informação verdadeira e podem confirmá-la no comunicado oficial da Academia.

No entanto, o êxtase parece ter amarrado e deixado em coma o profissionalismo que ainda restava na comunicação social portuguesa, assim que a RTP espalhou a notícia de que tanto José e Pilar como Mistérios de Lisboa estavam pré-nomeados para Melhor Filme. Caro leitor, isto é mentira.

A base do artigo, que podem consultar aqui, foi o comunicado de imprensa da Academia do dia de hoje, tal como apresentado no site oficial da Academia. Não requer demasiada escolaridade para notar que esta lista de 256 filmes diz respeito à sua elegibilidade para Melhor Filme e não à sua pré-nomeação. Notem, existe uma diferença de fundo: a elegibilidade refere-se a um estatuto ou classificação regulamentar, ao passo que a pré-nomeação se refere a um estatuto ou classificação de qualidade.

Para um filme ser pré-nomeado, este tem logicamente de ser elegível em primeiro lugar, preenchendo os requisitos da Academia, de acordo com as suas regras e normas. Por exemplo, se repararmos na introdução do comunicado de imprensa relativo à Melhor Canção, leremos que "Trinta e nove canções de longas-metragens elegíveis estão a ser consideradas para nomeações na categoria de Melhor Canção Original (...).". Ou seja, aqueles 256 filmes de que fala a lista hoje divulgada NÃO estão pré-nomeados mas simplesmente cumprem os parâmetros regulamentares da entidade.

Chega de amadorismo, sensacionalismo e fabricação de anúncios.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"José and Pilar" song gets Oscar pre-nominated | Canção de "José e Pilar" pré-nomeada aos Óscares

It's official: José and Pilar's song Já Não Estar, by Camané, features on a 39-song list of pre-nominees for Best Song, released today by the Academy.

É oficial: a música Já Não Estar, de Camané, concebida para o documentário José e Pilar marca presença na lista de 39 canções hoje divulgada pela Academia dos pré-nomeados para o Óscar de Melhor Canção.

"The World I Knew" - "African Cats"
"Lay Your Head Down" - "Albert Nobbs"
"Star Spangled Man" - "Captain America: The First Avenger"
"Collision of Worlds" - "Cars 2"
"Dakkanaga Dugu Dugu" - "DAM999"
"DAM999 Theme Song" - "DAM999"
"Mujhe Chod Ke" - "DAM999"
"Rainbird" - "Dirty Girl"
"Keep On Walking" - "The First Grader"
"Where the River Goes" - "Footloose"
"Hello Hello" - "Gnomeo & Juliet"
"Love Builds a Garden" - "Gnomeo & Juliet"
"Bridge of Light" - "Happy Feet Two"
"The Mighty Sven" - "Happy Feet Two"
"Never Be Daunted" - "happythankyoumoreplease"
"Hell and Back" - "Hell and Back Again"
"The Living Proof" - "The Help"
"Coeur Volant" - "Hugo"
"It's How We Play" - "I Don't Know How She Does It"
"When the Heart Dies" - "In the Land of Blood and Honey"
"Já Não Estar" - "José and Pilar"
"The Keeper" - "Machine Gun Preacher"
"Life's a Happy Song" - "The Muppets"
"Man or Muppet" - "The Muppets"
"Pictures in My Head" - "The Muppets"
"Summer Song" - "The Music Never Stopped"
"Imaginary Friends" - "Olive"
"Sparkling Day" - "One Day"
"Taking You with Me" - "Our Idiot Brother"
"The Greatest Song I Ever Heard" - "POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold"
"Hot Wings" - "Rio"
"Let Me Take You to Rio" - "Rio"
"Real in Rio" - "Rio"
"Shelter" - "Take Shelter"
"Gathering Stories" - "We Bought a Zoo"
"Pop" - "White Irish Drinkers"
"Think You Can Wait" - "Win Win"
"The Backson Song" - "Winnie the Pooh"
"So Long" - "Winnie the Pooh"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Horror films landing in Portugal - Part II | O cinema de Terror chega a Portugal - Parte II

Part I | Parte I

Note: This text is displayed in both English and Portuguese.
Nota: Este texto está disponível em inglês e português.

Horror films landing in Portugal - Part II

Bad Behaviour. A name that could have something to do with the necessity of breaking the strains I talked about in the first part. The kid who flees from home and emancipates from the grandfathers, godfathers, fathers and the whole family of the New Portuguese Cinema (Cinema Novo Português). Bad Behaviour: this is a name for you to fix.

Started off as a winning project of the program Poliempreende, destined to promote the academic entrepreneurship by the creation of valuable participants to the market and soon assumed itself as the producer of "the future classics of European horror cinema". It's been about three years since its first steps and for three years there has been some humming here and there about a new vision, a new concept that would eventually come up with a first unique project. The blog, hosted here, shows an attitude which you rarely, if ever, feel when treating the Portuguese cinema. Throughout 2010 and 2011, a consistent thread of subjects showed us that the guys behind the intriguing mask from the logo were extremely accurate about what they wanted to do, being profound connoisseurs of the horror genre. From little fun facts to very interesting and professional analysis on production, marketing and writing of horror pieces, endorsed by the case-study method, there were reasons to believe the lack of action was part of a strategy. Yes, there you go, strategy.

Well, the bodies hit the floor. After three years of planning, working and re-working, Bad Behaviour finally announced the upcoming of their first feature film, the horror picture Mannequins. There's still not much information about it but the mere fact that the key art would be conceptually acknowledged was a motivantion factor. But it goes beyond: the key art is not on their minds only, it is out there, being slowly uncovered. The film does not have public financing and might in fact have foreign investment. It is already aiming at the international marketplace, as one can see by the banners. You can follow their website or their facebook page and keep checking here for updates.

The Portuguese cinema lives dark times. It always has. This time, darker times promise to be fortune times.

Cheers, to a new way of doing things.

O cinema de Terror chega a Portugal - Parte II

Bad Behaviour (significa "mau comportamento", em português). Um nome que pode ter alguma coisa a ver com a necessidade de que falei ontem na primeira parte. O miúdo que foge de casa e se emancipa dos avós, padrinhos, pais e toda a família do Cinema Novo Português. Bad Behaviour: este é um nome para fixarem.

Começou como projecto vencedor do programa Poliempreende, destinado a promover o empreendedorismo académico pela criação de participantes com valor para o mercado e desde cedo se assumiu como o produtor dos "futuros clássicos do cinema de terror europeu". Já passaram cerca de três anos desde os seus primeiros passos e durante três anos têm havido burburinho aqui e ali sobre uma nova visão, um novo conceito que eventualmente resultaria num primeiro e inédito projecto. O blog, aqui, revela uma atitude que raramente se sente, se é que sente, quando tratamos o cinema português. Ao longo de 2010 e 2011, uma consistente corrente de assuntos mostrou-nos que que as pessoas por trás da intrigante máscara do logotipo sabiam com bastante precisão aquilo que queriam fazer, sendo profundos conhecedores do género de terror. Desde pequenas curiosidades a muito interessantes e profissionais análises sobre produção, marketing e escrita de peças de terror, com base no método do estudo de caso, havia razões para acreditar que a falta de acção era parte de uma estratégia. Sim, aí está, estratégia.

Bom, cabeças já rolam. Depois de três anos de planeamento, trabalho, mais trabalho, a Bad Behaviour finalmente anunciou a chegada da sua primeira longa-metragem, o filme de terror Mannequins. Ainda não existe muita informação disponível mas o simples facto de tomarem a key art como algo a ter em conta já era factor de motivação. Acontece que vai para além disso: a key art não está apenas nas suas cabeças, anda já por aí, a ser revelada pouco a pouco. O filme não tem financiamento público e pode até ter conhecido investimento estrangeiro. Já está a fazer pontaria aos mercados internacionais, como podemos perceber pelas imagens. Visitem o website da produtora, a sua página do facebook ou continuem a passar aqui para saber as novidades.

O cinema português vive tempos negros. Sempre viveu. Desta vez, tempos ainda mais negros prometem ser tempos de fortuna.

Um brinde, a uma nova forma de fazer as coisas.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Horror films landing in Portugal - Part I | O cinema de Terror chega a Portugal - Parte I

Note: This text is displayed in both English and Portuguese.
Nota: Este texto está disponível em inglês e português.

Horror films landing in Portugal - Part I: Why should it be any different ?

The Portuguese cinema lives dark times. It always has.

While national critics congratulate themselves for their extra-developed intellect, that allows them to realize the geniality of Portuguese films, the filmmakers themselves tap each other on the back for another festival nomination from God knows where, to no one's care. Both factions have similar views on why people don't buy tickets to acknowledge the new Teresa Vilaverde's Cisne (Swan ?) or the new Paulo Rebelo's Efeitos Secundários (Secondary Effects ?): the State doesn't provide enough money to the industry and the people are consumed by prejudice against their homemade culture and are infected by americanized popcornism.

The reason why I'm making such a stark introduction is because I do believe this is a very artistic way to conceal the actual problem, being that there seems to be someone willing to change the course of the ship - don't get me wrong, there have been some good things, just take a look at José and Pilar.

When you notice $200.000 films premiering in Sundance and crossing the $1.000.000 profit barrier only in domestic distribution, you question the money problems - Another Earth (2011). When you peek at the multiple investors in Carnage - Germany, Spain, France, Poland - you question the money problems. The expression has been on the road for a while: think outside the box. Being creative also means endorsing a creative production - intelligent contacts, agile methods, pragmatic solutions. Go international, search for partnerships, accept and take advantage of globalization. And for God's sake, stop shooting in film. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) was was digitally shot and won the Oscar for Best Cinematography. If such was done, they wouldn't need to deceive themselves by blaming the audience, which takes me to that second point: prejudice against Portuguese films.

The King's Speech (2010) won several Oscars in 2011, Best Picture among them. There's no better seal of approval than this one, whether you like it or not. With the very modest budget equivalent of $15.000.000 (almost setting a new record, after the around $14.000.000 The Hurt Locker (2009) became the cheapest film to ever win Best Picture), it grossed about $250.000.000 worldwide. In the Portuguese market it took, according to the Film and Audiovisual Institute (ICA), 327.330 people to the theaters, in a total of 1.566.424,05€. If in 2010 the Institute had optioned all the money available for subsidies to the production of Tom Hooper's film, it wouldn't have got paid in Portugal. Actually, no film would. So why should the Portuguese films be ? Why is the Portuguese audience the one responsible for the commercial failure of homemade movies when they don't even bother to collect 10cent. worldwide ?

If your answer is, like that from the critics and filmmakers, we don't have the money for international distribution, I say check two paragraphs above, we're over it. If the film is any good, good money will come after it. European co-productions. And then, the Americans don't care if they're watching an Hungarian story or a Portuguese one, they'll either double it or remake it.

But there's yet another point. The Portuguese critic and filmmaker usually tends to refer to the Portuguese people as an inferior piece of human being, that of bellow-average intellect and cultural background, incapable to understand and feel delighted with their cinematographic babies. But then if they watch the very same thing other people watch all over the world, does that mean the whole world suffers from some kind of epidemic stupidity or mental dullness that our elite doesn't ?

Money is not the issue here. People are not the guilty ones. The State doesn't know how to rule it and the Institute doesn't have the slightest taste for strategy and is filled with corruption and Godfathers. Then try to do as everybody else: aim at the privates, that's where the money is. Here or anywhere. But for that you need to think outside the box, as I said earlier. You'll need a great idea. You'll need a great project. You'll need marketing vision. You'll need to work very hard. Do we ? The Institute attributes half a million euros to directors who are still to premier the film they made with the same amount of money the same Institute provided one year before. What, everybody thinks he's Woody Allen, now ? The Coen brothers ? You'll need to be professional. Are we professional, in Portugal ? I do doubt it, I do doubt it with all my heart.

The Portuguese cinema lives dark times. It always has.

This time, something much darker threatens to rise. But this time it feels good, fresh, new, empowering. Check in tomorrow to know how and why we can have hope in some people. People like us, who love films.

Filmes de Terror aterram em Portugal - Parte 1: Porque que razão devem trazer algo diferente ?

O cinema português vive tempos negros. Sempre viveu.

Enquanto os críticos nacionais se congratulam pelo seu intelecto sobre-desenvolvido, que lhes permite notar a genialidade dos filmes portugueses, os próprios cineastas dão palmadas nas costas uns aos outros por cada nova nomeação num festival de sabe Deus onde, sem que ninguém queira de facto saber. Ambas as facções têm visões semelhantes quanto ás razões pelas quais o público não compra bilhetes para ver o novo filme de Teresa Vilaverde, Cisne, ou o novo de Paulo Rebelo, Efeitos Secundários: o Estado não providencia dinheiro suficiente para a indústria e as pessoas estão consumidas por preconceito contra a cultura feita cá dentro e estão infectadas por um americanismo de pipocas.

A razão pela qual faço uma introdução tão aguçada é o facto de acreditar que esta se trata de uma forma bastante artística de esconder os verdadeiros problemas, tendo noção de que há gente disposta a mudar o rumo do barco - não me interpretem mal, têm havido coisas boas, vejam José e Pilar.

Quando reparamos em filmes de $200.000 a estrear em Sundance e a ultrapassar a barreira de $1.000.000 em receitas apenas com distribuição doméstica, colocamos em causa os problemas do dinheiro. Quando espreitamos os múltiplos investidores de Carnage - Alemanha, Espanha, França e Polónia - colocamos em causa os problemas do dinheiro. A expressão têm andado na estrada desde há uns tempos: think outside the box. Ser criativo significa suportar uma produção criativa - contactos inteligentes, métodos ágeis, soluções pragmáticas. Pensar internacionalmente, procurar parcerias, aceitar e tirar partido da globalização. E, por favor, parem de filmar em película. O Curioso Caso de Benjamin Button (2008) foi filmado em digital e venceu o Óscar de Melhor Fotografia. Se se fizesse isto, não haveria razão para se enganarem a eles próprios, culpando o público, o que me leva ao segundo ponto: preconceito contra os filmes portugueses.

O Discurso do Rei (2010) venceu vários Óscares em 2011, Melhor Filme entre eles. Não há melhor selo de credibilidade do que este, quer gostemos ou não. Com o bastante modesto orçamento de $15.000.000 (quase batendo o record de Estado de Guerra (2009), que custou cerca de $14.000.000 e tornou-se o filme mais barato de sempre a vencer Melhor Filme), fez $250.000.000 em todo o mundo. No mercado português arrecadou, de acordo com o Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual (ICA), 327.330 espectadores, num total de 1.566.424.05€. Se, em 2010, o Instituto tivesse aplicado todas as verbas disponíveis para os subsídios na produção do filme de Tom Hooper, o filme não se teria pago em Portugal. Na verdade, nenhum filme teria. Então porque deveriam os filmes portugueses conseguir ? Porque é que os espectadores portugueses são os responsáveis pelo falhanço comercial dos filmes feitos cá dentro quando estes nem se preocupam a colher 10cent. lá fora ?

Se a vossa resposta é, tal como a dos críticos e dos cineastas, não há dinheiro para a distribuição internacional, eu digo para olharem dois parágrafos acima. Está ultrapassado. Se o filme tiver alguma qualidade, bom dinheiro virá atrás dele. Co-produções europeias. E, depois, os americanos não querem saber se estão a ver um filme húngaro ou português; vão dobrá-lo ou refazê-lo.

Mas há ainda outro ponto. O crítico e o cineasta português tende a referir-se ao público como uma pedaço inferior de ser humano, aquele de intelecto e conhecimento cultural abaixo da média, incapaz de compreender e de se sentir deliciado com os seus bebés cinematográficos. Mas, se o que fazem é ver a mesma coisa que outras pessoas vêem em todo o mundo, significa isso que todo o mundo sofre de alguma espécie de epidemia de estupidez ou superficialidade mental que não afecta a nossa elite ?

Dinheiro não é problema, aqui. As pessoas não são as culpadas. O Estado não sabe como governar as coisas e o ICA não tem a mínima inclinação para estratégias e está mergulhado em corrupção e compadrio. Por isso, tentem fazer como toda a gente: fazer pontaria aos privados, é aí que está o dinheiro. Cá ou em qualquer outro sítio. Mas, para isso, temos de pensar mais além. É preciso uma grande ideia. É preciso um grande projecto. É preciso uma visão de marketing. É preciso trabalhar arduamente. Trabalhamos nós arduamente ? O ICA atribui meio milhão de euros a realizadores que ainda estão por estrear filmes que fizeram com a mesma quantidade de dinheiro que o mesmo ICA ofereceu um ano antes. O quê, julgamo-nos todos o Woody Allen ? Os irmãos Coen ? É preciso ser-se profissional. Somos profissionais, em Portugal ? Duvido disso, duvido disso com todo o meu ser.

O cinema português vive tempos negros. Sempre viveu.

Desta vez, algo muito mais negro ameaça erguer-se. Mas, desta vez, é bom, fresco, novo, traz força. Apareçam amanhã para saber como e porque é que podemos ter esperança em algumas pessoas. Pessoas que, como nós, amam o cinema.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Golden Globes'12 Nominees

Best Motion Picture - Drama
The Descendants (2011)
The Help (2011)
Hugo (2011/II)
The Ides of March (2011)
Moneyball (2011)
War Horse (2011)

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

The Artist (2011)
Bridesmaids (2011)
50/50 (2011)
Midnight in Paris (2011)
My Week with Marilyn (2011)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

George Clooney for The Descendants (2011)
Leonardo DiCaprio for J. Edgar (2011)
Michael Fassbender for Shame (2011)
Ryan Gosling for The Ides of March (2011)
Brad Pitt for Moneyball (2011)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs (2011)
Viola Davis for The Help (2011)
Rooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady (2011)
Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Jean Dujardin for The Artist (2011)
Brendan Gleeson for The Guard (2011)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt for 50/50 (2011)
Ryan Gosling for Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Owen Wilson for Midnight in Paris (2011)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Jodie Foster for Carnage (2011)
Charlize Theron for Young Adult (2011)
Kristen Wiig for Bridesmaids (2011)
Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Kate Winslet for Carnage (2011)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Kenneth Branagh for My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Albert Brooks for Drive (2011)
Jonah Hill for Moneyball (2011)
Viggo Mortensen for A Dangerous Method (2011)
Christopher Plummer for Beginners (2010)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Bérénice Bejo for The Artist (2011)
Jessica Chastain for The Help (2011)
Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs (2011)
Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011)
Shailene Woodley for The Descendants (2011)

Best Director - Motion Picture

Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris (2011)
George Clooney for The Ides of March (2011)
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist (2011)
Alexander Payne for The Descendants (2011)
Martin Scorsese for Hugo (2011/II)

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture

The Artist (2011): Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants (2011): Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
The Ides of March (2011): George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
Midnight in Paris (2011): Woody Allen
Moneyball (2011): Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin

Best Original Song - Motion Picture

Albert Nobbs (2011)("Lay Your Head Down")
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011): Elton John, Bernie Taupin("Hello Hello")
The Help (2011): Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason Jr.("The Living Proof")
Machine Gun Preacher (2011)("The Keeper")
W.E. (2011)("Masterpiece")
Best Original Score - Motion Picture

The Artist (2011): Ludovic Bource
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011): Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Hugo (2011/II): Howard Shore
War Horse (2011): John Williams
W.E. (2011): Abel Korzeniowski

Best Animated Film

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
Arthur Christmas (2011)
Cars 2 (2011)
Puss in Boots (2011)
Rango (2011)

Best Foreign Language Film

The Flowers of War (2011)
In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011)
The Kid with a Bike (2011)
A Separation (2011)
The Skin I Live In (2011)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Manoel de Oliveira keeps rockin'

No matter our personal convictions about his work, Manoel de Oliveira is one of the most worth considering human beings in contemporary society, for each day he walks through carves a standing for power of will, joy of life and and inspirational persistence. Happy 103º Birthday.

Friday, December 9, 2011

More developments on PTA's "The Master"

Paul Thomas Anderson has been gone now for as much as he had been between his glaring romantic dramedy Punch Drunk Love (2002) and the period oil epic There Will Be Blood (2007), two of the most remarkable masterpieces of modern cinema (and as far as my preferences go, of all time). By the end of 2009 he was set to start a new film, an alleged biopic of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Prior to shooting, things got off the tracks with the retreat from the investors and the dropout by Jeremy Renner, time when he may have started the now possibly finished script adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon's book, the 60's neon-lit neo-noir Inherent Vice.

Eight months ago, film lover Megan Ellison, daughter of the millionaire Larry Ellison, solved all our existential problems - some of mines, at least, and I do bet she couldn't take it anymore either - when she announced, alongside Annapurna Pictures the financial securing of both projects: The Master and Inherent Vice. Anderson decided to postpone his first incursion through film noir and rewrote the first one, from which Scientology would no longer be the backbone and leaving the fans querying themselves about a new title. The current promising synopsis goes something like this: Set in the 50's, a charismatic intellectual (Hoffman) launches a faith-based organization, creating a new religious belief system, and taps a young drifter (Phoenix) as his right-hand man. The drifter eventually finds himself drawn to the Master's daughter (Amy Adams) and distanced to the cause, questioning the nature what they've embraced and the authority of his mentor. An ambiguous promo-art poster came to public one month later, at the Cannes Film Festival'11, titled as Paul Thomas Anderson Untitled Project, announcing Philip Seymor Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix as the main stars.

After the halts, by today we can surely assume "The Master" as one of the most expected films for 2012 (or 2013, let's hope not). The film was shot with a brilliant cast - the aforementioned; Amy Adams ("The Fighter"), Laura Dern ("Blue Velvet"), Kevin J. O'Connor ("There Will Be Blood"), Lena Endre ("Millenium" Swedish trilogy), David Warshofski ("There Will Be Blood"), Jesse Plemons ("Friday Night Lights"), Raimi Malek ("The Pacific") e Madisen Beaty ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") - and the screenplay has received huge appraisal from those who got their hands on the leaks. The soundtrack will be composed by the 2008 Oscar-robbed Johnny Greenwood, the guitarist from Radiohead, responsible for "There Will Be Blood" music. Good news kept coming as Amy revealed (to Collider) she takes part in one of PTA's beautiful virtuous long-shots and that working with him was "amazing" and as Emily Watson ("Punch-Drunk Love") stated (to Cigarettes & Wines) "I saw the first half an hour (...) It's incredible. I'm not going to say anything more on that. He'll kill me!".

The film is currently in post-production and now we can see some very intriguing backstage photos. My excitement was already settled when I suddenly read that Robert Downey Jr and Paul may actually be doing a film together, possibly "Inherent Vice", giving some factual basis to some long-run rumors.

O Rei Leão, a convite do Sound and Vision

No seguimento da retrospectiva que o blog Sound and Vision, de Nuno Galopim e João Lopes, tem estado a fazer sobre o mundo Disney, convidando algumas pessoas a escrever sobre o seu filme favorito, deixo o meu agradecimento pelo convite que me foi feito, bem como o link para o artigo. Foi uma excelente iniciativa.

'O Rei Leão' (1994), por Diogo Figueira

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Next Scorsese film: set in Japan, main characters are Portuguese characters

While Hugo keeps raising very enthusiastic audience and critical appraisal, Martin Scorsese has revealed which will be his next project. Not that a hiatus was hovering, much the opposite - having droped The Wolf of Wall Street, he he still had in hands the biopic Sinatra, the adaptations of The Gambler (also, a remake) and of the recently acquired thriller The Snowman, and a Rock n' Roll set-up TV series with Mick Jagger and Terrence Winter ("The Sopranos", "Boardwalk Empire). This one is called Silence and has been on the front-line for sometime now, too. A screen translation of the Japanese book with the same name (by Shusako Endo), tells the story of a "Young Portuguese Jesuit (Sebastião Rodrigues), sent to Japan to succor the local Church and investigate reports that his mentor, Fr. Cristóvão Ferreira, has committed apostasy. (Ferreira is a historical figure, who apostatized after torture and later became a Zen Buddhist monk and wrote a treatise against Christianity.)" (Wikipedia). At this point, no Portuguese stars seem to be attached.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"City of God" director, Fernando Meirelles, praises "José and Pilar"

Fernando Meirelles, best known for his moving depiction of the Brazilian slums in City of God (Oscar nominee for Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Editing), who has recently presented his new feature 360 at the Toronto Film Festival, talked a fifty-second video praising the Portuguese documentary José and Pilar. Credited as one of the executive producers (the others being Miguel Gonçalves Mendes and Pedro Almodóvar), says he is proud.

Saturday, December 3, 2011