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LOCARNO 2018 Signs of Life

Review: Anything and All

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- LOCARNO 2018: Portugal’s Dídio Pestana makes his feature-length debut with a poetic existentialist essay about the struggle between memory and the passage of time

Review: Anything and All

The Signs of Life competition at the Locarno Film Festival has hosted the world premiere of the feature debut by Portugal’s Dídio Pestana. Filmed entirely on Super 8, Anything and All is a poetic essay about love, the passage of time and human solitude, structured like a travel log, in much the same vein as the journals of Jonas Mekas

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Until 2006, the city of Lisbon was the only place that Pestana had known. That year, the Lisbon native moved to Berlin, and so his horizons expanded, as did his way of comprehending and relating to the world. In his new home, he had an existentialist revelation that drove him to compulsively record – always on Super 8 – the fleeting moments of this new stage in his life. As hinted at by the title of the feature, Anything and All is not a compilation of the most important chapters in his life story; rather, this work captures the enshrinement of everyday life or, to quote one of the voiceovers from this exquisite movie, the permanent transience of the day-to-day in every single place he visits.

Anything and All covers the last ten years in its creator’s life. It’s an odyssey through the depths of intimacy, unfolding in ten different countries in Europe and Africa. The film is a sort of cinematic exorcism of all the ghosts of the people and places that jostle to remain in the filmmaker’s memory, striving never to disappear. Anything and All depicts the age-old battle between memory and the passage of time, giving voice to memories that are fully in the throes of death. 

Nevertheless, the only place where memory successfully prevails over time is ensconced in his native Portugal. Pestana has visited the Praia do Guincho, near Lisbon, assiduously ever since his father revealed the secret of this magical landscape to him when he was only small. Between his voyages around the various European capitals, the director returns – either physically or spiritually – with relatives, friends, old flames or collaborators on his film to that idyllic spot, which establishes itself as the movie’s natural core. 

Anything and All was produced by Portuguese outfit Kintop, which is also handling its international sales.

(Translated from Spanish)

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