2 items from 2017
Full disclosure: this reviewer was not the biggest fan of Miguel Gomes’ Arabian Nights trilogy. Hailed as masterpiece(s) by most, the 6.5-hour docu-fable could just as easily alienate viewers through its abstruse cinematic language and an overall undersupply of charm. While films certainly don’t have to be plot-driven, it’s much harder to remain engaging or even approachable when you communicate in coldly abstract terms.
Along came Colo, another Portuguese arthouse offering with a capital A set against the backdrop of the country’s economic recession. It’s not only the longest film in competition at this year’s Berlinale but also its most obstinately enigmatic. As with Arabian Nights, traditional storytelling is stripped to a bare minimum here. The way writer/director Teresa Villaverde plays with suggestion and symbolism, however, proves immensely seductive, leaving one teased, provoked, blissfully mystified.
To be sure, the quiet, deliberately-paced drama »
- Zhuo-Ning Su
With nine Portuguese films – including five co-productions – selected for the Berlinale, the country will have a record presence at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017.
This comes at a pivotal time for the Portuguese film industry: A new film law is about to be enacted which has provoked controversy and debate amongst Portuguese producers in relation to the main focus of Portuguese film production. Should it be films aimed at the international circuit? Or films targeted primarily at the domestic box office? Or a middle way between the two?
One of the main bones of contention is the process for selecting juries, which until now has been carried out by the Portuguese Film Institute (Ica). The new law proposes it should be made by the Specialized Section for Film and Audiovisual (Seca) of the National Council of Culture.
This issue has divided the country’s film associations. In the lead-up to the 2017 Berlinale, »
- Martin Dale
2 items from 2017
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