In the year that marks the 500th anniversary of the first publication of Thomas Moore’s Utopia, Filmville commemorates the seventh year of UTOPIA – the UK Portuguese Film Festival. For this very special edition — it is said that the number seven is the number of perfection—, the festival presents a selection of seven outstanding films. Seven is odd. Seven is significant. Seven deadly sins to seven virtues. Seven colours in a rainbow. Seven notes in the diatonic scale. Seven letters in the Roman numeral system. Seven days a week. Seven wonders in the ancient world. Seven films to enjoy.
This year, the festival invited special guests to put together the seven titles that they perceived as the most relevant in contemporary Portuguese Cinema and the result is a strikingly imaginative programme. British film critics Kieron Corless
and Jonathan Romney, the writer Hélder Macedo and the painter Paula Rego picked their favourite films that portray an eclectic take on Portuguese culture
and recent history.
All screenings will be accompanied by an introduction or a screentalk. Through the hand of independent filmmaker Manuel Mozos, Sight & Sound film critic Kieron Corless’ choice will give us a true insight into the mind of legendary director of the Portuguese Cinematheque João Bénard da Costa, a figure akin to Henry Langlois that epitomizes boundless cinematic passion. Paula Rego’s and Kieron Corless’ choices provide us with a bird’s eye view on the work of Portuguese women filmmakers, both in documentary and in fiction, in the originality of Joana Pontes’ and Rita Azevedo Gomes’ films. Jonathan Romney’s and Hélder Macedo’s choices, in the shape of award winning films on recent Portuguese colonial history, afford us food for thought. And Hélder Macedo’s curatorial insight helps us bring to London the work of José de Sá Caetano and João César Monteiro, key filmmakers and intelligent and beautiful films that give us an intuition of Portugal’s contemporary cinema, culture and utopias.
The full festival listings can be found at: http://www.utopiafestival.org.uk/