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Worldviews through the lens of film directors

Contemplative video essays on cinema

Background

November marks a year since we filmed the first episode of C for Coffee, our series of insider conversations between filmmakers about cinema, around a cafe table, at Porto/Post/Doc. This year, we collaborate with the festival again, this time to present the 180 Media Academy, an online programme that gathers non-conformist talents to rethink media formats and subjects. We want to discuss new ways of telling stories that have an impact in society, and how these manifest through formats beyond traditional cinema settings, in different distribution platforms and mediums.

In the month we have got to go until the festival and the academy begin, we will be thinking and speaking about film and cinema, as well as preparing the next few episodes of C for Coffee for release (more on that soon). But before we get there, and to get the conversation started, we are presenting Others Will Love the Things I Loved.

A series of contemplative video essays, Others Will Love The Things I Loved takes its title from a verse in the poem Quando (When) by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, “Outros amarão as coisas que eu amei”. Each episode reflects on the visual and dramaturgical themes of a film director, aiming to inspire others to watch the works of sometimes lesser known artists. The first three episodes are presented below, with words by Bauti Godoy, the director of the series.

Words by Bauti Godoy

EP.1 — The cinema of Mikhaël Hers

I who did not die, who am still living,

still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,

clenching and opening one small hand.

— Naomi Shihab Nye

PUBLIC PARKS AND GRIEF

The poet of grief, Mikhaël Hers searches for consolation in the vastness of the city. Wandering around it, sitting in parks to see the movement of people and certifying it all goes on as it should; life goes on, even after tragedy strikes. Essentially about people left behind in the process of death, Hers creates a world of simple naturalism that contains both pain and beauty, memories and materialism and public and private lives. The bruises may never heal, but as long as we have others we can still find solace amidst the harshness of life. The French film critic Luc Moullet has described him as “the greatest french filmmaker of tomorrow” (‘le plus grand cinéaste français de demain’).

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Mikhaël Hers is a French director and screenwriter. After studying at La Fémis in the production section, from which he graduated in 2004, Hers directed his first medium-length film, Charell, freely adapted from a novel by Patrick Modiano. In 2010, he directed his first feature film, Memory Lane, shown for the first time at the Locarno International Film Festival.

EP.2 — The cinema of Tsai Ming-Liang

LEAKING WALLS, LEAKING FLOORS: A PORTRAIT OF SOCIAL MALAISE

Tsai Ming-Liang conceives films of wide-angle worldviews where everything seems to be at decay. Lives in collapse in a late-capitalism stage where individuals must struggle to inhabit spaces and communicate with each other. Existence as a form of stagnation where contemporary social malaise manifests itself from within the cracks. Alienation, urban angst and the very primal desire of finding some connection while everything is falling apart.

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Tsai Ming-Liang is a Taiwanese director. He graduated from the Drama and Cinema Department of the Chinese Cultural University of Taiwan and worked as a theatrical producer and TV director. Tsai is one of the most celebrated "Second New Wave" film directors of Taiwanese cinema. Since 1992, Ming-Liang has directed eleven feature films and many shorts.

EP.3 — The cinema of Rita Azevedo Gomes

Se tanto me dói que as coisas passem

If it hurts me so much that things pass


É porque cada instante em mim foi vivo

It's because every moment in me was alive


Na busca de um bem definitivo

In search of a definite good


Em que as coisas de Amor se eternizassem.

In which the things of Love were eternalized

— Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen

translated to English by Eva Magro

THE WRITTEN WORD, 

THE SOUND OF A VOICE,

THE WORLD AS A STAGE

Rita Azevedo Gomes believes in words almost as much as she believes in images. It is not coincidental that she made a film, called Correspondências (2016), about the correspondences between two poets. Faith in representation is also one strong characteristic of her cinema; the belief in theatrical dynamics through long-take sequences with dialogues and voice-offs, as if the words spoken added another layer into the image. Azevedo Gomes collaborates with Acácio de Almeida, one of the best cinematographers in the history of cinema.

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Rita Azevedo Gomes is a Portuguese film director and writer. Born in Lisbon in 1952, Rita has a varied background, linked to the visual arts. After her first film “O Som da Terra a Tremer” (1990), Rita wrote and directed several short and feature films internationally recognized in festivals around the world. She currently works at Cinemateca Portuguesa as a programmer where she is also in charge of the exhibitions.

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