A "paragone" was a term popularized by Da Vinci when he compared his own art, painting, to that of those French poets which had anteriorly denigrated his own. In this film Oliveira does something very similar; he asks the viewer to compare art forms, into which his city gracefully fills. Canvas, still photograph, art from moving a camera across a landscape; O Porto is shown here in its splendor. What is hardly surprising is that both Oliveira and the painter both know what is beautiful; they have an eye. When one has laid by whatever beauty for a substantial amount of time, it starts to lose its zing; foreground is blurred. This is why artists like Oliveira and others are needed more and more; to remind us that what is in our cities can be beautiful when taken out of a context replete with stress or noise and put through a camera or canvas. One could almost say that by showing the watercolored city that the painter needs for his art, Oliveira confidently juxtaposes both art forms (and who knows if he felt that his "representation" was superior, or whether it was a question or not, or whether he is helping the painter or showing that there is hardly any difference between art forms). The mixture of all three, however, objectively frame the city as it is and can be; as such, music, moving picture, and painting combine to make a very enjoyable short film.
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