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.
Tag Archives: Portugal
O Princípio da Incerteza / The Uncertainty Principle (2002) Manoel de Oliveira, Leonor Baldaque, Leonor Silveira, Isabel Ruth, Drama
Se Eu Fosse Ladrão, Roubava / If I Were a Thief… I’d Steal (2013) Paulo Rocha, Norberto Barroca, Márcia Breia, Joana Bárcia, Drama
1920s. Vitalino, a small farmer from São Vicente sees his father die of the epidemic which decimated the country. Some years later, of all the brothers, Vitalino is the strongest and takes his father’s place in the house. But the village is too small for his aspirations and he decides to head to Brazil, leaving his sisters in charge of the household. In parallel with Vitalino’s story, If I Were a Thief… I’d Steal portrays the world of Paulo Rocha rummaging through his films and ghosts over the years.
Rosa de Alfama (1953) Henrique Campos, Alberto Ribeiro, Mariana Villar, Alves da Cunha, Drama, Musical, Comedy
Alberto Ribeiro and Mariana Villar star in a popular melodrama set in Alfama (neighborhood of Lisbon), which tells the story of a young orphan, Rosa, who was picked up by a fisherman family and raised by a widowed father with two sons Renato and José. One day, Renato, seduces and impregnates Rosa, refusing to take responsibility for his actions. And only the greatness and humanity of José, who offers to marry the girl and take the paternity of the child, could save her. Unless the birth of a child will help rescue a life of doom for Renato…
A caixa / Blind Man’s Bluff (1994) Manoel de Oliveira, Luís Miguel Cintra, Glicínia Quartin, Ruy de Carvalho, Comedy, Drama
The battle of the sexes? The forces of despair and seduction? On S. Miguel in the Azores, Rogério, a young man with old money, and his enigmatic wife Leonor host a garden party at their villa. The intriguing guests are an older unmarried couple, the philosophical and observant Irene, and Michel, a roué. While Rogério and Irene talk, Michel and Leonor go down to the sea. The conversations upset Rogério and capture Leonor’s imagination. Five years later, the four dine at the villa. Michel and Leonor again leave the other two. Intentions and undercurrents are subtle. One of the four proves strong, one weak, and two must choose. Wind and rain bring down the curtain on both acts.
O Crime da Aldeia Velha (1964) Manuel Guimarães, Clara D’Ovar, Alma Flora, Lídia Franco, Crime, Drama, Horror
Set in a little remote village, where everyone is very religious and primitive, “O Crime de Aldeia Velha” (The crime of Aldeia Velha) tells the story of Joana, the most beautiful girl in village. She is badly regarded by all other women because they envy her and her affairs with men. As soon as accidents start happening involving her (at some point, she holds an already sick baby and he eventually dies), the women (and slowly, men too) in the village start claiming that she is possessed by the devil. At first,she doesn’t believe it. They ask for two priests to exorcise her, but they leave and say to the people that she isn’t possessed at all, and that people need to relax. But, little by little, they start convincing Joana that she is really possessed and she starts entering a stage of slight madness and behaving like she is. So, people “believing” that she isn’t going to die, and that the demon will leave her body, with her permission, they end up burning her alive…
Adeus, Pai / Goodbye, Father (1996) Luís Filipe Rocha, Afonso Pimentel, João Lagarto, Laura Soveral, Drama
Noite Escura / In the Darkness of the Night (2004) João Canijo, Fernando Luís, Rita Blanco, Beatriz Batarda, Drama, Crime
João Canijo latest movie adapts a Greek tragedy “Ifigénia en Aulis” to a provincial Portuguese family that has to deal with the Russian Mafia after a deal went wrong. In a place where everything is bought and sold even the youngest daughter may have to be offered for prostitution to make up for a deal that went terribly wrong. “Noite Escura” deals with the emotions of a small family that runs a provincial whorehouse, having to sell their youngest in order to survive.
Os Mutantes / The Mutants (1998) Teresa Villaverde, Ana Moreira, Alexandre Pinto, Nelson Varela, Drama
A bleak drama about street children abandoned by the Portuguese juvenile system, Os Mutantes/The Mutants was immediately controversial in Portugal, where it inspired nationwide debate over reform of the nation’s youth authorities. Os Mutantes examines the lives of Pedro, Ricardo and Andreia, three kids in their early teens who have rejected life in juvenile homes or with foster families to take their chances on their own.