Mundo Sur/real (9)


The Heart of the World (O Coração do Mundo, 2000).

Os Canibais (1988).

Barton Fink (1991).

Serão mostrados amanhã nas Sessões do Carvão, os primeiros às 18:30, o segundo às 21:30, na Casa das Caldeiras.


“Mundo Sur/real”: (1) | (2) | (3) | (4) | (5) | (6) | (7) | (8)

Revista Alma Azul 10


Esta Revista Alma Azul inclui um texto meu, “Fotografar, Filmar, Escrever”, escrito a partir de um poema de Al Berto, e lido pelo Ricardo Correia e por mim na Casa da Esquina em Março deste ano. Há de certeza muito a descobrir nas páginas deste número. Fica o convite para a próxima quinta-feira.

Mundo Sur/real (8)


Les Jeux des anges (Os Jogos dos Anjos, 1964).

A Zed & Two Noughts (Um Z e Dois Zeros, 1985).

Neco z Alenky (Alice, 1987).

Serão mostrados amanhã nas Sessões do Carvão, os primeiros às 18:30, o segundo às 21:30, na Casa das Caldeiras.


“Mundo Sur/real”: (1) | (2) | (3) | (4) | (5) | (6) | (7)

From Us to Us


Um Adeus Português.

Tomorrow I participe in a one-day event on Portuguese cinema and the Carnation Revolution held at University College London, co-organized by the University of Coimbra. I am thankful for the invitation, particularly to André Rui Graça. Further information here. Abstracts and CVs of the speakers can be found here.

Here is the abstract for my tall, entitled “From Us to Us: Um Adeus Português in 1980’s Portugal”:

The central topic of Um Adeus Português (A Portuguese Farewell, 1986), directed by João Botelho, is memory in Portuguese society — more precisely, the necessity of memory and its sparse presence in 1980’s Portugal. The film alternates scenes in the past, set in 1973 during the colonial war in Africa, with scenes in the present, set in 1985 in rural and urban areas of Portugal. A soldier dies in the war and the family gathers twelve years after his death. My analysis emphasises the context of the film, interpreting it as a meditative depiction of the difficulty of coming to grips with the Portuguese nation’s history and the suffering of its people in a particular time. Um Adeus Português was released in the year when Portugal entered the European Economic Community, under the slogan “Europe with us”. Such a moment served the narrative of Portugal as transitioning from an Atlantic past to an European future. It, once again, eluded the much needed conversation between us, from us to us, as Portugal integrated a capitalist structure of dominion that was further developed within the European Union. The colonial war had become history and therefore could be reflected upon. Influenced by the materialist filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Botelho uses the constant back and forth between a distant past (in dense black and white) and an opaque present (in postcard-like colour) only to reveal an absence in between them: the 25th April Revolution of 1974, an event connected with the end of the war as well as with profound social and economic changes that opened the possibility of a different future. The revolution is not yet history.

Mundo Sur/real (7)


Dwaj Ludzie z Szafy (Dois Homens e um Roupeiro, 1958).

Eraserhead (No Céu Tudo é Perfeito, 1977).

Videodrome (Experiência Alucinante, 1983).

Serão mostrados amanhã nas Sessões do Carvão, os primeiros às 18:30, o segundo às 21:30, na Casa das Caldeiras.


“Mundo Sur/real”: (1) | (2) | (3) | (4) | (5) | (6)



Wide Experience


Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine.

Peter Tscherkassky’s CinemaScope films are experimental films, but they are, first and foremost, films of experience. The aesthetic research that connects this trilogy — L’Arrivée (1997/98), Outer Space (1999), and Dream Work (2001) — and Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005) is displayed in the stirring use of the wide format, which highlights the uniqueness and coherence of these works.

Jim Hillier notes that experimental and avant-garde films try to escape the conventional even when they are narrative. They are “likely to explore organising structures other than narrative ones or, when narrative-based, to explore different processes and possibilities.”[1] Such cinematic works can pursue “questions which conventional narrative films would not even remotely consider, such as questions about the nature of the photographic image, or related questions about the tension between representation and abstraction in film.”[2] In analysing Su Friedrich’s Sink or Swim (1990), he considers the film categorically narrative and claims that “like many avant-garde films, its perplexing qualities are essential and integral to the pleasure(s) it provides.”[3] The same may be said about Tscherkassky’s body of work.

Tscherkassky’s cinema is a meta-cinema, which we may take simply as a “mark of modernity,” but that in this case is not merely conceptual, but also experiential. The Austrian filmmaker shows the film stock, displays the process of editing, that is to say, puts the materiality of film on view. Connected with these actions, his films showcase an interest in the intense emotional effect of cinematic experience. In a sense, it is accurate to describe the material from which Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine was composed as found footage — taken from Il buono, il brutto, il captive (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, 1966), directed by Sergio Leone. Some filmmakers go on a quest to find certain images (Oliver Pietsch) or to create large organised archives (Matthias Müller), Tscherkassky finds a new film in an existing film. This is why Drehli Robnik is able to read Tscherkassky’s film and Leone’s film together. The worn-out bodies that inhabit the western spaghetti are devoted to gold rush as a kind of fetishisation; they resist being abstracted from their physicality and Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine presents intervening times and spaces populated by living dead without place or goal.[4] The marks and instructions are unique to the film and to each one of its copies like the figures and scenes are distinctive of Il buono, il brutto, il captive. Tscherkassky manipulates them, creating a new narrative that distinguishes “Eli Wallach’s Tuco from Leone’s main figures, the nameless Saxons: Lee Van Cleef’s ‘Angel Eyes’ and Clint Eastwood’s ‘Blondie’ or ‘man with No Name’,”[5] a new figurative structure, and a new immense experience.


[1] Jim Hillier, “Swimming and Sinking: Form and Meaning in an Avant-garde Film”, in Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed of Film, ed. John Gibbs and Douglas Pye (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005), p. 155.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid., p. 166.
[4] Drehli Robnik, “Interventions in Saint Hill: On the Messianic Materialism of Peter Tscherkassky’s Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine”, in Peter Tscherkassky, ed. Alexander Horwath and Michael Loebenstein (Vienna: Filmmuseum Synema Publikationen, 2005), pp. 84-86.
[5] Ibid., p. 88.

V Encontro de Jovens Investigadores do CEIS20


Mundo Sur/real (6)


L’Invention du monde (A Invenção do Mundo, 1952).

Rendez-vous à Bray (Encontro em Bray, 1971).

Céline et Julie vont en bateau (Céline e Julie Vão de Barco, 1974).

Serão mostrados amanhã nas Sessões do Carvão, os primeiros às 18:30, o segundo às 21:30, na Casa das Caldeiras.


“Mundo Sur/real”: (1) | (2) | (3) | (4) | (5)

As Imagens Ressonantes


Agatha et les lectures illimitées (Agatha ou as Leituras Ilimitadas, 1981).

A vigésima edição dos Caminhos do Cinema Português começou há uma semana. Esta edição integra, pela primeira vez, um simpósio sobre a fusão da artes no cinema no qual vou participar como orador convidado. O encontro científico decorre hoje no Anfiteatro IV da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra.

De manhã, apresento a comunicação intitulada “As Imagens Ressonantes: A Escrita Fílmica de Marguerite Duras”, às 11:00. De tarde, modero a Sessão II, entre as 14 e as 15:30. O programa detalhado do evento está disponível nesta página.