The Cinemateca Portuguesa will begin this month the full exhibition of the work of Manoel de Oliveira, with the projection of ‘Non, or Vã Glória de Mandar’, on the 11th anniversary of the director, indicates the schedule.
The show features more than 60 films, including feature lengths and short films, since Oliveira made his debut at age 23, still in the silent film era, with the documentary ‘Douro, Fauna Fluvial’ (1931) and until 2014, when, at the age of 106, a few months before his death, he premiered ‘O Velho do Restelo’.
The title of the integral – ‘The visible and the invisible’ – comes from one of the films of the filmmaker. For the Cinematheque, the expression epitomizes the essence of his work, a cinema “that invites reflection on what he sees and hears, and fills the ellipses of what is not said and not shown, of which, the image can not give to see, must hide. ”
“There are things that are abyssal and the abyss cannot be filmed, it is suggested,” said Manoel de Oliveira, in 1981, in the catalogue of the first retrospective that the Cinemateca dedicated to his work.
This time it starts with the 1990 film, in which Portugal’s history is “seen in the light of its defeats” (Non), and the chronological order is taken immediately on the 12th with the first feature film of fiction, “Aniki Bóbó” (1942), and “Douro, Faina Fluvial”, “masterpiece of avant-garde cinema”, says Cinemateca, which displays the original version, with music by Luís de Freitas Branco, and the montage later, of 1994, in which it uses the ‘Litanies’ of Emmanuel Nunes.
The beginning of the cycle contemplates first documentaries, like White Hulk (1932), ‘Portugal Already Car Cars’ (1938) and’ Famalicão ‘(1940), with Vasco Santana, and continues throughout the month, until arriving at’ Os Canibals’ (1988), leaving for January the most recent work.
The films of the so-called first phase of the director are “fundamental titles that lay the foundations of an ‘Oliveira system’,” writes the Cinematheque, recalling “The Painter and the City” (1956), the first film the color of the filmmaker, Spring ‘(1963) and’ The Hunt ‘(1964).
In the temporal arc that culminates in ‘The Past and the Present’ (1971), there are long periods of waiting, with some works postponed for decades, recalls the Cinema Museum. This is the case of the 1952 project, completed in 2010, in ‘The Strange Case of Angelica’. In the first 40 years, between short films and feature films, there are less than 20 titles shot, while in the next 40 years, almost 50 are produced.
“‘The Past and Present’ begins the second phase of Oliveira’s work and its growing critical recognition (not without controversy known), which continues with ‘Benilde, or the virgin mother’ (1974), ‘Amor de perdição (1978) and ‘Francisca’ (1981), the so-called ‘tetralogy of frustrated loves’, and which translates the relationship between cinema, literature and the theater, in particular with Agustina Bessa-Luis, José Reggio, Camilo Castelo Branco, Eça de Queirós, António Patrício or Raul Brandão.
The ‘Convento’ (1995), ‘Inquietude’ (1998) and ‘The Letter’ (1999), ‘Word and Utopia’ (2000) , ‘The Fifth Empire’ (2004), ‘Belle Toujours’ (2006), ‘Singularities of a Blonde Girl’ (2009) and ‘Gebo and the Shadow’ (2012).
But there is also Paul Claudel (‘The Satin Shoe’, 1985), and references to Dostoevsky and Nietzsche (‘The Divine Comedy’, 1991), Ionesco or Joyce (‘I Go Home’, 2001).
They also affirm “the actors of Oliveira”, in the construction of the “essential mystery” of the characters: Luís Miguel Cintra, Diogo Dória and Leonor Silveira, Bulle Ogier and Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich, Michel Piccoli and Michael Lonsdale, Jeanne Moreau, Claudia Cardinale or Marcello Mastroianni, who has in the “Journey to the Principle of the World” (1997), and in the role of Oliveira, the ultimate performance in the cinema.
In this exhibition, from the production of Oliveira, according to the Cinemateca, only the short film of 1938 ‘Miramar, Praia das Rosas’ is left out, because its whereabouts are unknown.
From ‘The Cannibals’ (1988) and ‘The Day of Despair’ (1992) will be used new copies, 35mm. The documentary ‘O Pão’ will be presented in the long version (1959), in a copy recently restored by the Cinematheque archive.
The retrospective also includes films in which Oliveira participated, such as ‘The Song of Lisbon’ (1933), by Cottinelli Telmo.
“This program is the first true ‘integral’ Manoel de Oliveira in the Cinemateca,” although it is also the fourth retrospective dedicated to the filmmaker, warns the Museum of Cinema, “after three others necessarily incomplete (1981, 1988 and 2008), given that Oliveira did not stop filming “.
In 2019, an “allusive edition” will be published.