The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival screens today the three parts of filmmaker Miguel Gomes’ revision of the Arabian Nights.
Miguel Gomes is one of the most important authors within this new generation in Portuguese cinema. His presence, or that of his works, is a constant theme in the islander festival since it screened in 2009 the love story of two teenagers in Aquele Querido Mes de Agosto, a title that won that edition’s Silver Lady Harimaguada. Two years later Miguel Gomes was granted his second Silver Lady Harimaguada for his piece Tabú, a film that granted him as well the Audience Award. In 2016 the festival screens his brilliant trilogy that shows the Portuguese recession through Scherezade’s tales. Three different films, three episodes addressed diferently and with a single unifying thread.
Gomes (Lisbon, 1972) has never met the easy way. His third film, Tabú (2012), Alfred Bauer and FIPRESCI Awards at the Berlinale, played with the past of the Portuguese colonies in Africa, the present and a wonderful black and white to talk about love and solitude. Incidentally he corroborated himself as one of the most interesting European rising filmmakers. Now he presents a 381-minute work divided in three parts -and thus screened at Cannes, with a day in between screenings-. “The first one is more baroque, with a continuous change of narrator. The second one is more austere… though we don’t like that word in Spain and Portugal, right? Well, it is not Angela Merkel’s austerity. And of course is darker and more tragic, though I keep humor. The protagonist is not a person, but a colective, the Portuguese, and that community is desperate. In the end, the film finishes at a more… out-of-control time”…
…”I realized that, like the book, I needed to divide it in three parts. It wasn’t necessary to tell stories, but to keep its diversity. Since the tone changes, too, it was clear that there were three different films, and that they couldn’t be watched one after the other, because the audience would want a break, so that they could enjoy them better. In the end, it is the same that happens to Sherezade, isn’t it? Every night she tells a story, she doesn’t begin to talk without being quiet. You have to make them wanna see more. Something like in Star Wars.”
Quote in relation to this work’s release at the Directors’ Fortnight of the past Cannes Film Festival. Gregorio Belinchón signs in “El País” a text we would like to share with you.