The 5 films in the programme all deal with the concept of freedom in different but complementary ways. From freedom of speech in Manuel Mozos’s brilliant collage assembled entirely from censored footage, to freedom of sexual orientation in Joaquim Pinto’s award-winning autobiographical documentary, to freedom of creation with Ana Maria Magalhães’ electrifying portrait of urbanist Affonso Eduardo Reidy, to freedom of choice in Alê Abreu’s spellbinding contemporary fairytale, and last but not least to utopian freedom in João Dias’ outstanding piece on one of Europe’s major social and architectural programmes, the SAAL project.
3 of the films will be presented with introductions that will hopefully serve as catalysts for a wider debate.
SAT 6 DEC 2014 ‘ 2.30PM
Reidy – Constructing Utopia (Reidy, A Construção de uma Utopia) + Introduction
Brasil 2009 Dir. Ana Maria Magalhães 77min
The urbanist Afonso Eduardo Reidy is one of the leading figures of Brazilian modernism. Born in Paris and with a career devoted to transforming the landscape of his beloved Rio de Janeiro, Reidy was cat-apulted to the spotlight when he won the first prize at the 1953 International Biennale of São Paulo with the seminal housing project Conjunto Habitacional do Pedregulho. In the following decades, Reidy worked in various important assignments, which have since become Rio de Janeiro landmarks, like the Museum of Modern Art, the Aterro building and the Flamengo Park. Reidy’s work is guided by a strong belief in the liberating and transformative powers of architecture.
SAT 6 DEC 2014 ‘ 4.15PM
Operations SAAL – A Radical Architecture Project (As Operações SAAL) PG* + Introduction
Portugal 2007 Dir. João Dias 90 min
The most complete and compelling documentary about the SAAL (Ambulatory Support Service) move-ment: a groundbreaking experiment in Portuguese architecture and urbanism, which emerged with the fall of the dictatorship in 1974, led by architects such as Álvaro Siza and Souto de Moura. SAAL aimed to tackle the housing needs of underprivileged populations, by involving them, together with intellectuals and artists, in direct participation in architectural planning and production. SAAL was one of the most innovative European projects of its time, helping to modernise long-held perspectives on social housing and opening up the field of play to popular participation. This year, Portugal celebrates 40 years of de-mocracy and of the SAAL movement.
SUN 7 DEC 2014 ‘ 11am
The Boy and The World (O Menino e o Mundo) PG*
Brazil 2013 Dir. Alê Abreu 80 min
This wordless, sensuously original animation follows Cuca, a Brazilian boy, as he ventures from his simple country home into the neon-infused, carnivalesque metropolis in search of his father. Brazilian artist Alê Abreu’s immensely creative work employs everything from mosaics to watercolours, to samba and hip hop rhythms, to tell a story of contrasts between country and city and deprivation and wealth. With hardly a line of dialogue spoken all the way to the surprising and emotional finale, this is a beauti-ful essay on the freedom to dream and the power of reverie, and a real treat for both adults and children. It won the Cristal Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the Youth Award at the São Paulo International Film Festival and the Special Jury Award at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
SUN 7 DEC 2014 2.30PM
The Devil is a Woman – A Few Cuts From the Censorship III (Cinema – Alguns Cortes: Censura III) + Introduction
Portugal 2014 Dir. Manuel Mozos 45 min
Manuel Mozos’ third film on censorship focuses on the Dictatorship’s wilful deletion of all manner of scenes containing a female presence. As can be imagined, the presence of women in shots that could rouse desire or suggest any form of emancipation allowed for a veritable slicing machine, under whose scissors passed not only British and American movies, but also films from the golden age of Italian cin-ema. The Devil is a Woman is also a window into the changing shape of distribution that, up to the 1970s, licensed German and other cinematographies into the same theatres that now serve up only Hollywood and its derivatives – we are left to wonder what happened to european distribution since then. It is not by chance that the Viennale 2012 dedicated the Programme IN Focus to Manuel Mozos. His work is as original as it is audacious and historically relevant.
SUN 7 DEC 2014 ‘ 3.45PM
Now What? Remind Me (E Agora? Lembra-me) PG*
Portugal 2012 Dir. Joaquim Pinto 160 min
‘…is a beautifully unfussy illustration of a productive, supportive and evidently very happy union’
(Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter)
Renowned for his long international career as a sound engineer, with directors such as Werner Schroe-ter, Raoul Ruiz and Manoel de Oliveira, Joaquim Pinto surprised international audiences with his breathtaking new film What Now? Remind Me, a remarkably personal essay on love, suffering and the ephemerality of life. Shot over a year, during which the director repeatedly took time off for treatment of his long-term H.I.V. and Hepatitis C infections, What Now? Remind Me is a mesmerising experiment that counterpoises the discomforts of the flesh with the comforts of filmmaking. A film focused on the personal freedom to strive and to love against all odds. It won the FIPRESCI Prize and Special Jury Prize at the Locarno Film Festival in 2013.
All films in Portuguese with English subtitles
Barbican Cinema (Standard £11.50, Members £9.20, Concessions £10.50, Under 18 £6 exception for The Boy and the World’s screening on Sun 11am, £2 as part of Framed Film Club programme)
Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
+44 (0) 20 7638 8891
ICA (Standard £11, Members £7, Concessions £8)
12 Carlton House Terrace SW1Y 5AH
+44 (0) 20 7766 1452
Press enquiries, please contact Fernanda Franco on +44 (0) 7939 941 831 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on all films www.utopiafestival.org.uk
The festival is funded by Instituto Camões, sponsored by TAP Portugal and kindly supported by the Portuguese Embassy in London.