Centro Histórico by Kaurismäki, Costa, Erice and de Oliveira will open the CinemaXXI section
by Vittoria Scarpa
20/09/2012 - The collective film Centro Histórico directed by Aki Kaurismäki, Pedro Costa, Victor Erice and Manoel de Oliveira will have its worldwide premiere during the new CinemaXXI section of the International Rome Film Festival (running this year from November 9-17, under the new direction of Marco Müller). The section was set up to take a special interest in emerging global trends and languages in cinema. Leading the CinemaXXI jury will be Scotsman Douglas Gordon, one of the most important visual artists of his generation, whose pieces have been exhibited at MoMA in New York and Tate in London.
Made within the context of the Guimarães 2012 European capital of culture, Centro Histórico is a film featuring four distinct voices. Its first part, entitled “O Tasqueiro”, was written and directed by Finish Aki Kaurismäki (Miracle in Le Havre [trailer, film focus]). It depicts a day in the life of a lonely barista in the historical center of Guimarães. The second segment “Lamento da Vida Jovem”, is an effort by Portuguese Pedro Costa to bring Cape Verdean figure Ventura back to life from the director’s older film Juventude em Marcha [trailer]. This time, Ventura finds himself in the surrealist space of a lift, which becomes a place to confront memory.
Spaniard Victor Erice (The Quince Tree Sun, critics award in Cannes) made a segment called “Vidros Partidos”. His contribution shows the life of locals who used to work in a textile factory in Rio Vizela - one of the greatest textile hubs in Europe, closed in 2002. Erice gathered testimonials from people who used to work there. Finally, Manoel de Oliveira was given the responsibility to be in charge of the last piece of work with “O Conquistador, Conquistado”. The over one hundred year-old Portuguese director highlights the irony of a new conquest - that of the historical center of Guimarães - thanks to a group of tourists.