The cultural scene in Portugal has developed in large part around the initiative of cultural associations installed in old buildings, community spaces that function not only as art workshops, but also as places of meeting, exhibitions, concerts, performances and workshops. 211 Avenue is an experimental short film that denounces the transformation of one of these cultural centers into a luxury condominium. While the retrofit work happens, the film silently narrates the memories and experiences of a generation of Lisbon artists left on the walls of the rooms of Building 211 of Avenida da Liberdade.

Lisbon is also the character of the short experimental Civitas, and the users of the city are its supporters. Local inhabitants and tourists use public spaces such as squares, museums, parks, metro stations and the banks of the Tagus. There is no narrative in the film, just the sequence of images and sounds of the city evoking the urban atmosphere and the feel of the city.

The character of The Divine Way launches, during the 15 minutes of the film, in an incessant movement of descent of stairs of diverse buildings in a hypnotic sequence. In addition to the fall-to-hell metaphor inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, these images can also be read as a phenomenological reflection on the memory and the story (s) recorded in the styles of architecture.

Style is a key question to also address Reconstructed City. The film focuses on the scenographic trend of postmodern architecture in the reconstruction of historic buildings bombarded during World War II in the cities of Germany. It is a film about the transformation of the old into new and about the patrimonial value that is lost to revitalize “theatrically” the historical architecture. In Benjaminian terms, what is lost with these historicist copies is not only the authenticity of buildings, but the very material aura of architecture.

There is a consonance between the Human Nature theme of the 2019 Architectures and the movie Life On The Mississippi. The director of the fiction is interested in interpreting the appropriation and reconfiguration of natural landscapes by the human being, like the Mississippi River, the third largest in the world. It uses scaled-down models of boats, virtual navigation simulators, and river models to understand its geology, tides, its bed and its banks. The film follows the St. Louis River route to New Orleans, the same one narrated by Mark Twain in the book Life On The Mississippi, to tell the life and history of the riverside cities of the states of Missouri, Mississippi and Louisiana.

 

211 Avenue  

Francisca Manuel
Portugal, 2018, 7′
Experimental Competition

 

The Divine Way  

Ilaria Di Carlo
Germany, 2018, 15’
Fiction competition
Portuguese Premiere

 

Reconstructed City  

Jörn Staeger
Germany, 2017, 14’
Experimental Competition
Portuguese Premiere

 

Civitas

André Sarmento
Portugal, 2018, 12’
Experimental Competition

 

 

Life On The Mississippi

Bill Brown
USA, 2018, 28’
Documentary Competition
Portuguese Premiere