Based on António Lobo Antunes's novel, a collection of letters written by a young soldier, doctor and a aspirant writer, to his wife while he was serving in Angola between 1971 and 1973, ... See full summary »
Himself - Paula Rego's Husband:
Paula, I'm uncomfortable now all the time. Most of me is gone already. It only remains for me to dispose of the other little bit while I still can. I don't want to know what the bitter end is. This will be a lonely moment, I imagine. Sell my things slowly and wisely. I know you will paint even better. Trust yourself and you will be your own best friend. As well as sadness, you may also feel relief. Don't feel badly about that. Enjoy life, it's all there is. The kids are great. All my love, Vic.
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To make a biographical study of your own mother is a challenge to any documentary maker; it is even more formidable when your mother is a famous artist. Yet Nick Willing's portrait of Paula Rego succeeds beautifully as this film recounts the unlikely story of Rego's career. From her bourgeois background in Salazar's Portugal, she arrives at the Slade School of Art in the randy 1950s, where her future husband Victor Willing greets her at a party with the command, "Take down your knickers." A tumultuous marriage to Willing and three children never impede Rego's exploration of her own imagery, memories and fantasies. A life split between Portugal and London culminates in critical acclaim for Rego's paintings, patronage from Charles Saatchi and stellar price tags attached to her work by the Marlborough Gallery. Rego's compelling imagery and her unflinching honesty make the film a visual and psychological treasure trove.
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