Los Angeles premiere of an omnibus film with segments directed by Pedro Costa, Manoel de Oliveira, Aki Kaurismaki, and Victor Erice.
A film by Aki Kaurismäki, Pedro Costa, Victor Erice, and Manoel de Oliveira
(2012, 97 minutes, digital)
With contributions from four master filmmakers – Aki Kaurismäki, Pedro Costa,Victor Erice and Manoel de Oliveira –Centro Historico is a remarkable omnibus film using the historic city of Guimarгes in Northern Portugal, the European CulturalCapital of 2012, as inspiration.
Aki Kaurismäki, the Finnish filmmaker behind the drolly melancholic The Match Factory Girl, directs the silent film Tavern Man, which portrays a day-in-the-life of a man who works at a bar in a historic district of the city. Inside, time seems to have stopped; outside, the city is a rush of the new and the modern.
Pedro Costa, whose film Ne Change Rien made many of our Top Ten lists two years ago, delivers a surrealist film called Sweet Exorcist, which probes the revolutionary events of 1974. Exorcist's protagonist is the memorable Ventura, a character who appeared in Costa's masterpiece Colossal Youth. As a participant in a coup d'etat by young commissioned officers, Ventura loses his way the woods, and is admitted into a mental hospital where he has conversations with "ghosts" of the past in the hospital's elevator.
In Victor Erice's Broken Windows, former workers visit the site of a vacant factory, Rio Vizela, that closed after more than a century of production (it was one time an important part of the European textile industry) and share memories, including one focused on a photograph of the factory’s dining hall that stops everyone in their tracks.
Manoel de Oliveira's Conquered Conqueror, finally, is a humorous short shot at the town of Guimarгes’ fortress, with a group of tourists marching toward an imposing bronze statue of Afonso the 1st.
“Sweet Exorcism,” written and directed by Pedro Costa; director of photography, Mr. Costa and Leonardo Simões; “O Conquistador Conquistado,” written and directed by Manoel de Oliveira; edited by Valérie Loiseleux; “Vidros Partidos,” written and directed by Victor Erice; director of photography, Valentín Álvarez; “Tavern Man,” written, directed and edited by Aki Kaurismaki; director of photography, Timo Salminen. Music by Pedro Santos; produced by Rodrigo Areias. In English and Portuguese, with English subtitles. Distributed by Cinema Guild.
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