Local titles assault screens in last quarter of 2007
by Vitor Pinto
The year has been marked by relatively few local titles on the big screen, with the box office results of Portuguese productions suffering the inevitable consequences. The figures are pale indeed compared to the two previous years, when films like The Crime of Father Amaro [+see also:
film profile] and O Filme da Treta disgusted critics but managed to attract larger audiences.
With €121,331 grossed, O Mistério da Estrada de Sintra, directed by Jorge Paixão da Costa and produced by FilmesFundo, is so far the most successful local production released in 2007. Luís Galvão Telles's Dot.com [+see also:
film profile] (news) takes second position with €95,806, followed by Jorge Queiroga's Atrás das Nuvens (€37,261). The three films were released by Lusomundo.
Expectations are now focused on those films opening in the last quarter of the year, which comprise quite a surprising mix of auteur titles and potential box office hits.
On September 20, independent distributor Atalanta will release Locarno entry O Capacete Dourado by Jorge Cramez, right before the October release of the new film by US writer-director Paul Auster, The Inner Life of Martin Frost (news). Luís Filipe Rocha's The Other Side [+see also:
film profile], recently awarded in Montreal (news), completes Atalanta's line-up of local productions.
The three titles were produced – or co-produced, in the case of Auster's film – by Paulo Branco's Lisbon-based Clap Filmes.
On October 4, Carlos Saura's lyrical reflection on the national song hits screens (see news). Praised last Friday at its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, Fados [+see also:
film profile] is expected to attract a mass of curious audiences and fans of the musical style, both locally and internationally as Latido Film has successfully sold it to over 20 territories (news).
However, the most anticipated title of the last quarter of 2007 is João Botelho's Corrupção [+see also:
film profile] (news). Principal photography ends this week after seven weeks of intense work and controversy, with the local media speculating on alleged death threats to the cast and pressures felt by both Botelho and his producer Alexandre Valente from Utopia Filmes (interview).
Sex, corruption and scandal are expected to turn this highly anticipated film noir into the top admissions draw of the year and leading actress Margarida Vila-Nova stands out a serious candidate for the Berlinale’s Shooting Stars 2008.
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