‘A free trip’ for more than a century of Portuguese cinema, from 1896 to the present, is what the Cinemateca Portuguesa proposes on Friday in a four-hour session to celebrate its 70th anniversary.
“In a context of reflection on the Portuguese heritage, what we want once again is to draw attention to the invaluable value of this visual memory and to the importance of taking it into account in debates about the future”, says the Cinemateca in a note press.
Free admission, the session will take place between 18:00 and 22:00, without interruption, showing “films or excerpts from films of all eras, genres or categories, which are succeeding in a non-hierarchical way.”
The tribute session to the cinema made in Portugal has as its title a question: ‘What will we do with this sword?’, Which refers to the documentary ‘What shall I do with this sword?’ By João César Monteiro, made in 1975, about Portugal.
“Behind the alignment of this special session [is] the idea of a free, non-systematic and non-chronological journey, based on intuition and a living relationship with the history of the country.”
The Cinemateca Portuguesa is celebrating its 70th anniversary, with a series of initiatives that will last until 2019, drawing attention to its first mission: the safeguarding and dissemination of film heritage.
In addition to specific cycles and debates, the broad program of the celebration of the 70s will also include a progressive process of classifying some Portuguese cinema films as national treasures, as Cinemateca director José Manuel Costa said last September.
“The classification has a symbolic impact and a practical impact and implies an increased State responsibility,” he said, stressing that it is an “absolutely precious and invaluable testimony to the history and experience of the twentieth century.”
This is the first time that the Cinematheque celebrates the date of its foundation, as an entity thought to create a film and documentary collection and preserve it. So far, the official opening of the Cinemateca to the public was usually marked, with cinema sessions beginning on September 29, 1958.
The celebration takes place at a time when the Cinematheque seeks an organic solution that allows it to overcome the administrative and financial constraints that, in the director’s view, have affected the functioning of the organization, as a motor of preservation of the film heritage.
“We are struggling for survival when we should be responding to new challenges and an overall dynamic that is evolving very quickly. Cinematecas are changing, the digital context has changed a lot, the whole work landscape is quite different. …) and we are not able to use our own potential, “he lamented in the same interview.