Portugal has an incredibly rich film culture – you only have to think of Manoel de Oliveira, Paulo Rocha, João César Monteiro, Pedro Costa, João Pedro Rodrigues and Miguel Gomes. Yet another name is equally deserving of inclusion on this list: António Reis (1927–1991), who was an important colleague, teacher and mentor for all the above and had a huge influence on the development of Portuguese cinema following the Carnation Revolution as well as on the young generation of filmmakers that followed. Revered in his homeland, yet almost unknown outside of Portugal, the films of António Reis (1927-1991) were made in the 70s and 80s in collaboration with his wife Margarida Cordeiro (*1939) and are regarded as milestones in both Portuguese and international film history. We are very happy to be able to present the four works by António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro in restored prints, works unusual in both form and content that have unjustly faded into comparative obscurity. We are also showing a film by Manoel de Oliveira that Reis assisted on. Vítor Gonçalves, a filmmaker and professor at the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema in Lisbon, where he himself studied under António Reis, will be our guest at the opening weekend 1-2 November and give an introduction to the oeuvre of Reis/Cordeiro.
In France, she's a star. Yet here in Germany, only very few people know Isild Le Besco (*1982). This is despite the fact that she's not just one of the most sought after young actors in contemporary French cinema, she's also one of its most radical filmmakers. None of her own films and very few of those in which she’s acted have received a regular cinema release in Germany, despite their having being shown at the Cannes, Venice, and Locarno festivals. Arsenal is now dedicating a program to the multi-talented Isild Le Besco. From Oktober 18 - 31 we are showing her three feature-length films alongside a selection of her works as an actor. We are very happy that the filmmaker, actress and screenwriter will be our guest at the opening.
arsenal distribution is releasing another film from this year's Forum programme: CASTANHA by Davi Pretto. The film tells of 52-year-old actor and transvestite João who has his best years behind him. He’s ill, has lost both lovers and companions along the way and appears weary, even if none of this stops him from living the way he always has. João shares two rooms with his mother in a lower middle-class housing complex closed off to the outside; at night he performs in small theatres and gay bars.
The film makes just as much time for solitary moments in shabby backstage areas as it does for João’s performances and his unforgettable face, exploring a milieu at once tender, brutal and cruel with precision, its fleeting glamour only skin-deep. Its complex layers of documentary observation, staged sequences and fictional elements coalesce into a story of life and death: while João imagines himself as having one foot in the grave and is haunted by the ghosts of his past, he doggedly continues to celebrate life. ‘I think I might go to hell. Hell is a rave. An eternal rave.’
Just before its official release on November 6, the film can be seen as part of the Première Brasil film festival in the House of World Cultures in Berlin on October 30 and November 5.
*Die Zeit vergeht wie ein brüllender LöweTime Passes Like a Roaring Lion Philipp Hartmann Germany 2013
DCP OV/EnS 80 min
À tout de suite Right Now
Benoît Jacquot France 2004
35 mm OV/EnS 95 min