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The Return of João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata

Portuguese filmmakers and Harvard Film Archive favorites João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata are an irrepressible and quietly influential power couple of world cinema. Life partners and frequent co-directors, their polymath talents have together invented an unclassifiable body of resolutely contemporary films that provocatively dance between fiction and nonfiction while also meditating subtly on film history. Their latest collaboration, Onde Fica Esta Rua? O Sem Antes Nem Delois / Where Is the Street? or With No Before and After intertwines avant-garde, autobiographical and meta-cinematic threads that have defined their work together while also reflecting ruminatively upon a film that shaped their lives and the path of postwar Portuguese cinema, Os Verdes Anos / The Green Years (1963), by Rodrigues’ film school teacher and beloved mentor Paulo Rocha. Building on their evocative first feature collaboration, the dizzying neo-noir city symphony The Last Time I Saw Macao (2012), their latest film explores pandemic Lisbon as a haunted city shaped and inhabited by intimately personal yet shared cinematic memories, recollections of films shot on the streets, and of the streets seen and fleetingly, lovingly inhabited on the silver screen.

Together with Onde Fica Esta Rua?, we also present Rodrigues’ new film Will-o’-the-Wisp, a deliciously exuberant, irreverent and comic musical that finds a young Portuguese prince joining the national fire force to fulfill his noblesse oblige while discovering his sexuality and learning a thing or two about art history.

With open arms, the Harvard Film Archive welcomes back João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata for a special screening and conversations about their newest work. – Haden Guest

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