"Wry and perfectly poised between the silly and the serious (and sometimes shocking), Rodrigues’ “unholy three” (to quote the title of his Carte Blanche selection for this programme) reveals the filmmaker’s willingness to veer into dangerous territory by challenging not only moral and ethical boundaries, but those of taste. The films’ ritualistic push and pull between seduction and repulsion speaks to the unspeakable in matters of desire, but also to those of artistic creation, in which wild contradictions of style can be a risky affair. Rodrigues’ paradoxical vision, in which cruelty is ultimately confronted by hope, is made manifest by his feverish, uninhibited imagination. Even the depths of abjection offer a sideways slit for transcendence, best expressed by the dying Tonia’s incurable romanticism and her/his brave, dignified acceptance. In Rodrigues’ extreme studies of lust, longing and loneliness, death looms, but so does the everlasting. As a rival softly but matter-of-factly says to Tonia as she lies weakened on her deathbed: “We’re all here in passing. This is not the end.”*Pedro Rodrigues and his longtime collaborator João Rui Guerra da Mata will be in attendance to discuss their work.
Monday, June 13, 2011
João Pedro Rodrigues in Toronto
The Portuguese filmmaker João Pedro Rodrigues is getting a New Auteurs* treatment June 23rd to the 28th at the TIFF Cinematheque and his newest feature To Die Like a Man, which made Cahiers Top Ten of 2010, will be getting a three night run. Here is Andréa Picard, the Free Screen programmer, from her essay on the mini-retrospecitve: