São Jorge: New “Horizons” for Marco Martins
by Vitor Pinto
- The Portuguese director is heading back to the Lido with the story of an unemployed boxer who takes a job in an agency specialising in tough debt collection; Nuno Lopes plays the lead
São Jorge [+see also:
Q&A: Marco Martins
film profile], the new feature by Portuguese director Marco Martins, has been selected to compete in the Horizons section of the upcoming Venice Film Festival, which will hold its 73rd edition between 31 August and 10 September. This will be the only Portuguese production heading to the Lido this year.
São Jorge marks the return of Martins to the festival, which previously showed his short Um Ano Mais Longo, co-written by Italian scriptwriter Tonino Guerra, back in 2016. This time, he will unveil a story blending fiction and documentary, starring both professional and amateur actors, and described in the press release of production outfit Filmes do Tejo as a “close examination of the years of the troika intervention in Portugal and the financial crisis”.
The result of a long research process, the script for São Jorge was written by Tokyo-based Portuguese novelist Ricardo Adolfo and the director himself. It focuses on the life of Jorge, a long-term unemployed boxer who ends up taking a job in an agency specialising in a tough brand of debt collection.
Actor Nuno Lopes – recently seen in An Outpost of Progress [+see also:
film profile] – plays the lead role, teaming up with Martins once again, 11 years after the director’s critically acclaimed debut, Alice [+see also:
interview: Marco Martins
interview: Nuno Lopes
film profile]. Alongside Lopes are Beatriz Batarda, Mariana Nunes and Gonçalo Waddington, as well as a troupe of non-professional actors.
São Jorge is Martins’ first feature-length film since 2009’s How to Draw a Perfect Circle. Since then, the director has been involved in theatre projects and directed the documentary Traces of a Diary. Local theatrical distribution is scheduled for November.