Tag Archives: Portugal

The Dead Girl’s Feast / A Festa da Menina Morta (2008) Matheus Nachtergaele, Daniel de Oliveira, Juliano Cazarré, Jackson Antunes, Drama

The Dead Girl's Feast (2008)
For every one of the last 20 years, The Dead Girl’s Feast has been celebrated in a small riverside community in the upper part of the Negro River. The occasion commemorates the ingenuous miracle that was performed by THE SAINT, a local boy who, soon after suffering his mother’s suicide, recovered the shredded and bloodstained remains of a missing girl’s dress from the fangs of a stray mongrel. The little girl’s remains were never found, but those of her dress were enshrined to create in The Saint’s humble dwelling a place of worship and pilgrimage. The practices of the cult and the annual feast evolved over the years into a huge enterprise, despite persistent objections from the dead girl’s brother, TADEU. These days, the inhabitants of nearby Amazon villages visit the small town on the holy day to worship, pray and beg, as they anxiously await the girl’s revelations, which are to be channeled by The Saint. The Saint’s FATHER is eager to exploit every opportunity to profit from the event and from his son’s growing reputation in the region, even as he carries out a casually incestuous relationship with his son. The devout AUNTIE lives as a surrogate mother in service to The Saint and keeps her concerns about his private life a secret. The doting and sexy DAS GRAÇAS and the young novice LUCIA do their best to maintain order and decency in the household shrine, which is given to occasional flare ups of madness. On the day of the feast, Tadeu steps back into his role literally propping up the spellbound Saint through the procession to the riverside. A hush goes over the largest gathering ever as The Saint steps up to the microphone to utter the Dead Girl’s annual message.

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Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993) François Girard, Colm Feore, Derek Keurvorst, Katya Ladan, Biography, Drama, Music

Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)
As the title suggests, this dramatised documentary about the eccentric Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is broken up into thirty-two short films (mirroring the thirty-two part structure of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’, the recording that Gould made famous), each giving us an insight into some aspect of Gould’s life and career. Out of respect for the music lead actor Colm Feore is never seen playing the piano, merely reacting to Gould’s own recordings, which are extensively featured.

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Dans la ville blanche / In the White City (1983) Alain Tanner, Bruno Ganz, Teresa Madruga, Julia Vonderlinn, Drama

Dans la ville blanche (Alain Tanner, 1983)
A Swiss sailor jumps ship in Lisbon, tired of the noisy engine room, the ship “a floating factory of crazy people.” He rents a room and does little. He writes letters to his lover, describing the whiteness of the city, the solitude and the silence. He sends his love and emptiness; she replies with love and confusion. He sends movies from his 8mm camera. Then he becomes friendly with Rosa, a chambermaid, and soon it’s a love affair. He continues to send letters and movies home. His Swiss lover is hurt and angry; she sends an ultimatum.

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La finestra di fronte / Facing Windows (2003) Ferzan Ozpetek, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Massimo Girotti, Raoul Bova, Drama, Romance

La finestra di fronte (2003)
Giovanna is a bookkeeper in a company which packs chickens. She is married to a man who has a precarious job. First she starts being curious about a young man who lives in the block opposite hers, and then she falls in love with him. The relationship between the two becomes much stronger when she starts to find out more about him from an old man who bursts into their lives. The old man, obsessed with the memories of some things that happened n the long past autumn of 1943, has lost his memory and finds refuge in Giovanna.

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O Leão da Estrela / The Estrela’s Lion (1947) Arthur Duarte, António Silva, Milú, Maria Eugénia, Comedy, Romance

O Leao da Estrela AKA The Estrela's Lion (1947)
Anastacio, a football fan supporting the Sporting Club, meets the Baratas while on vacation with his family. They make friends and when Anastacio, his wife and two kids decide to travel from Lisbon to Porto to attend the Invicta/Sporting soccer game, The Baratas invite them in their home. What they do not know is that Anastacio is not a nouveau riche like them and when Juju, Anastacio’s daughter falls in love with Eduardo, the Baratas’son, things get complicated…

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La virgen de la lujuria / The Virgin of Lust (2002) Arturo Ripstein, Luis Felipe Tovar, Ariadna Gil, Patricia Reyes Spíndola, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

La virgen de la lujuria AKA The Virgin of Lust (2002)
In Vera Cruz in the 1940s, Nacho, an Indian, waits tables at Don Lázaro’s café at Hotel Ofélia. He falls for Lola, an opium-addicted, alcoholic whore who’s hopelessly in love with Gardenia Wilson, a masked wrestler who slept with her once but knows she’s unbalanced. Don Lázaro warns Nacho about Lola, and Nacho knows his love will be unrequited, but he’ll do anything, regardless of how degrading, to be near her. Lola, for her part, can be sadistic. Republican exiles who are regulars at the café encourage Lola’s desire to assassinate Franco. Nacho in turn mixes this political mirage with his fascination with the plot of “The Mikado.” Where do fantasies and obsessions lead?

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Atrás das Nuvens / Behind the Clouds (2007) Jorge Queiroga, Nicolau Breyner, Ruben Silva, Sofia Grilo, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Atras das Nuvens AKA Behind the Clouds (2007)
Jorge Queiroga’s magic realist drama Behind the Clouds concerns young Paulo, a little boy bereft of his father, whose widowed mother ardently refuses to grant him permission to meet his paternal granddad. When Paulo reaches the age of 10, he expressly defies his mother’s orders by making a secret journey to his grandfather’s home, in a remote part of the country. Once there, he finds a fantastic invention: a little red car with the ability to take him soaring high into the clouds, and the added ability to send him spiraling backward in time. Alas, Paulo’s grandfather grows increasingly distraught over the time travel element, and in the process, Paulo arrives at some sobering and disillusioning realizations about the mystery surrounding his clan.

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