Anthology Film Archives

NEW TALES FROM PORTUGUESE CINEMA

June 24 – June 30

With the growth of streaming platforms, film industries around the world have been focusing on mainstream content for home-based audiences rather than investing in risk-taking theatrical experiences. It certainly hasn’t been the case – so far – of Portuguese cinema, whose internationally celebrated films have been lauded for their independence, bravura, and aesthetic diversity, often ignoring differences between fiction, documentary, and essay, and preferring groundbreaking works that make us rethink what films are, what they are for, or who they are for.

In “New Tales from Portuguese Cinema”, genres and rules are therefore ignored to bring an artistically, socially, and politically engaged reflection of the 21st century – not just one country but a mirror of intertwined global experiences. New filmmakers such as Leonor Teles, Tomás Paula Marques, David Pinheiro Vicente, Catarina Vasconcelos, and Aya Koretzky, among others, use cinema to question and complete their intimate, social, and political identities through the otherworldly possibilities of film language, finding a place there to consider life’s constrictions, surpass them, and give new meanings to our existence through the experience of making a film.

Despite continuing efforts by festivals and film institutions to showcase Portuguese cinema (Anthology, BAM, the New York Film Festival, and New Directors/New Films have played an active role in this), most of 21st-century Portuguese cinema is yet to be discovered in the U.S. “New Tales from Portuguese Cinema” thus brings a selection of New York premieres from the past ten years to show not a mere continuation of Portuguese cinema’s most recognizable traits but an ever-evolving experience that brings new definitions for our bodies, our individual gazes, and the collective spaces we share with other people.

After the inspiring work of 20th-century masters like Manoel de Oliveira, Paulo Rocha, and João César Monteiro, and by filmmakers such as Pedro Costa, João Pedro Rodrigues, and Miguel Gomes, who ushered in a new era of international recognition for Portuguese films, a small-scale industry of independent storytellers is now thriving. These artists are distinguished by their unbreakable commitment to using the screen as a means to express their individual freedom, to reflect their racial and gender identities, and to develop narrative experiments that comment on and expand our reality – in Portugal, the U.S., or that beautiful, imaginary country called cinema.

“New Tales from Portuguese Cinema” is co-presented by FLAD – Luso-American Development Foundation and Anthology Film Archives, and has been guest-programmed by Francisco Valente.

Upcoming Screenings

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