Saturday, 27 September 2014

The dawn of Portuguese cinema

[For you that's reading this and saying "why is she writing about Portuguese cinema in english?"...don't even. ]

For many years I have been resisting Portuguese cinema.

I feel almost embarrassed to say it but every time I watched a Portuguese movie with Portuguese actors was either about a great novel about other times where we were a greater country (this was ages ago, kids, nobody gives a damn about us, now, but we used to rule every corner of this world) or it was about our country. Don't get me wrong my country is full of untold stories I'm sure ...still, they kinda felt all the same...boring.

This week though, I witness something great.
I went to the movies twice in one week and the films that I choose were all 100% made in Portugal. 

Day one : A movie about a novel (what else?). That was really what was in my head going in the theater "I just hope I don't fall asleep and snore, please, oh please don't let me snore!

Then I literally ate this words syllable by syllable. 

A doomed love in Os Maias, João Botelho
Credits
Os Maias de João Botelho was much more than a movie, it combined, brilliantly, characteristics of a live play and it work. Every bit of it worked. João Botelho took a novel that was told, untold and then told again, a novel that has been giving high scholars nightmares and he transformed it into something "almost" cool. He got it, the actors got it and they made magic happen in a way that for me was truly new for the Portuguese cinema.

Day two:  Ok, by then I was like "Can I be amazed twice? No, of course not" So me and my high horse entered the movie theater haunted by a previous good-so-they-cant-duplicate-it feeling. Then...there was the opening scene from Os Gatos Não Têm Vertigens de João Pedro Vasconcelos: five minutes into the movie and I was already sobbing like a little girl. 

No! Something like this can't happen, not with a Portuguese movie! They are supposed to be boring.

Oh yes it can and with the same intensity it also made me laugh. Above all, there was something about this moments, they were comedic but they also were full of magic and love and that "sugar-spice-and-everything-nice" factor that I love about going to the cinema. 

"Arsenic!" in Os gatos não êm vertigens, João Pedro Vasconcelos
"Arsenic!" in Os gatos não êm vertigens, João Pedro Vasconcelos
Credits
I expected nothing, I was given everything, I laughed and cried, I was concerned and wanted to punch somebody, by the end I felt completely exhausted like I've been to war (jezz! exaggerate much?) but it also  lifts you up so when you leave the cinema there is a smile stuck to the corner of your mouth ( Oh god women! Control your cheesiness!). 

João Pedro Vasconcelo's movie washes away all the stupid and petty shit from your day, can you ask for more? Totally worth it.

Keep that quality coming, guys.
Make us proud.

Your TopCrusher,
Alex