Assisted suicides on screen
by Vitor Pinto
Emerging local talent is in the spotlight this week with the opening of Artur Serra Araújo's feature debut Suicídeo Encomendado [+see also:
film profile]. The film hits 14 screens today throughout the country, distributed by FBF Filmes, the Matosinhos based company that produced the film and is also handing international sales.
Some controversy is always good for the business and producer Francisco Bravo Ferreira, who previously backed Serra Araújo's short film Frio, is quite aware of it. Suidídeo Encomendado first stirred up a buzz due to its pre-launching website campaign, which presented the company for assisted suicides from the film as if were real.
Beyond controversies, proper recognition came when the film was selected at the latest Fantasporto edition, where it ended up receiving the Special Jury Prize (see news).
The film stars João Fino as Tinoco, an anti-hero who has often contemplated putting an end to his life. One day his phone rings. A company of assisting suicides proposes its services and he becomes interested. "I tried to create a cold and cruel world where Tinoco could live lost and out of touch with a reality that frightens him. I also felt a growing need to create a distance between Tinoco's psychological profile and those of the remaining characters, thus assuring the audience felt a closeness towards the character", stated Serra Araújo
The film, which combines a dark atmosphere with comic tones, also stars José Wallenstein as Dr. Death, Neuza Teixeira and Eloy Monteiro.
Moreover, Atalanta is releasing Jean-Claude Brisseau's Exterminating Angels [+see also:
film profile], a French title produced by TS Productions that was shown in the Directors' Fortnight at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and Lusomundo is distributing the Chinese/Italian co-production Little Red Flowers by Zhang Yuan.
The three European titles are coming out alongside US productions The Painted Veil (Vitória Filme), Norbit (Lusomundo), The Fountain (Castello Lopes) and Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (Lusomundo).
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