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Manoel de Oliveira: Talking Pictures

Wednesday, August 27, 2008
7:30 p.m. Short Films by Manoel de Oliveira
Manoel de Oliveira (Portugal, 1931–64)

Ranging from the silent era to the radical sixties, this program of short films encapsulates Oliveira’s early work as a director. The world’s only currently working filmmaker who began in the silent era, Oliveira started his career with Douro, Working River, a stunning documentary cine-poem on life and work along the Douro, inspired by the great city-symphony films of the period. The expressionistic The Painter and the City looks at Oliveira’s native Porto through the work and eyes of its great painter, António Cruz. Opening with lyrical shots of wheat fields, Bread is a Joris Ivens–like portrait of bread production, from factory work to international deal-making to consumers, and finally back to the fields, with Oliveira’s associative editing achieving a striking merger of polemics and poetry.

Douro, Working River (Douro, faina fluvial) (1931, 21 mins, Silent, B&W). The Painter and the City (O pintor e a cicade) (1956, 28 mins, Color). Bread (O pão) (1964, 29 mins, B&W)

• (Total running time: 78 mins, In Portuguese with English subtitles, 35mm, From Cinemateca Portuguesa)