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The Musical Imagination of Miguel Gomes

In recent years Portugal has reemerged as an exciting new destination on the ever-shifting and always unpredictable map of world cinema, an important center for some of the most innovative currents in contemporary filmmaking. Relatively new to the scene is Miguel Gomes (b. 1972), who has joined Pedro Costa and Joao Pedro Rodigues as an artist similarly committed to exploring and expanding the deep-rooted tradition of Portuguese radical cinema defined earlier by Paulo Rocha, Joao Cesar Monteiro and the still incredibly active and inspirational Manoel de Oliveira, whose marvelous new film Eccentricities of a Blond Haired Girl will receive its Boston premiere at the HFA in July. Gomes began first as a film critic before directing a series of refreshingly eccentric short films that revealed his innate talents as a sensual visual stylist interested in an intensely image based narrative in which music plays an equal role to dialogue. Gomes’ early “musical comedies” offer important keys to his feature films by revealing the important inspiration of both musical cinema and the silent film to his uniquely playful and imaginative approach to narrative. The unique energy and puckish charm of Gomes’ little known debut, the Alice in Wonderland-meets-Jacque Rivette narrative puzzle, The Face That You Deserve, took the ludic tendencies of his cinema to a furthest extreme. The festival favorite My Beloved Month of August turned a new and important direction by responding to the “post-documentary” mode of innovative and unclassifiable non-fiction cinema championed by Costa and defined earlier by pioneering works such as Oliveira’s Rite of Spring (1963).

Current and upcoming programs