Thursday, 19 October 2017

The latest films I have watched ...

The three films I have watched lately have led me into different worlds and realities from the ones we are used to in the West, but more than that made me ponder on complex issues such as family loyalty, self-sacrifice, self preservation, loss and the realization that very often life does clearly not align with one's idealized expectations.
Despite the harsh reality conveyed there's an immense beauty in the way each of these films approaches the main issue, whether it is in an Hasidic Orthodox Jewish family in Israel, a Nomadic tribe in Iran or across the borders  from Iran into Afghanistan. 

They are all slow-paced, delicately well acted and mostly "woven through" layers of  expressions, small moves, gestures and silences. If on one hand every main character in each of these films is a "prisoner" of a visible or invisible veil, I as a viewer became "hooked" onto what good filmography is (should be) by the time I finish watching them ... 

Each of these films deserves (needs) to be watched more than once because of the importance behind every word which has been said and  the hundred ones omitted. The wide cultural  and socio-political digressions conveyed by these alternative films, from the hardships women face under the Taliban regime to the Iranian tribal hand knotted rug ("Gabbeh"), whose weaving tells a story and the mysteries of Purin celebrations or Shabbat meals, have made me want to further immerse myself into getting to know more about these worlds. 


Strolling around Faro ...

My tight working schedule at the airport didn't allow me much time to freely stroll around Faro but in the evening. Despite being tired I made an effort to move about within a fairly limited city perimeter rather than throw myself onto the hotel bed and anticipate my sleeping hours.
These city "ventures" took me to the Church of VenerĂ¡vel Ordem Terceira de Nossa Senhora do Carmo area, where both the Third Order church and the one close to it were closed, as well as the marina to watch a beautiful sun set over the bay. 

I finally managed to visit the interior of the 18th century Venerable Third Order of Our Lady of Carmo the followind day, despite having had just twenty minutes to stroll around its premises before it closed. I must say I was rather impressed  by the altarpiece carving of the main chapel and the surounding chapels showcasing examples of the most significant art pertaining to the "Joanine" period in the Algarve. I still had time to look at the Chapel of the bones, whose walls are said to have been covered with bones collected from the adjoining cemetery. 

The last day saw me exploring another area, where the churches and chapels I came across were (as it would be expected) closed.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Artistic creativity ...

Some street Art never ceases to impress me. If I am to be honest, not all graffitis touch me but I keep on coming across some real creative ones, which I can't help being drawn to. Amongst those, the stern looking African man, whose eyes seemed to follow me as I walked away from his representation must have been the most powerful one I have recently seen, though many of the others impressed me for different reasons altogether, such as the colour tones or even the way they took over the once colourless space.

May artistic creativity keep on pouring out to feed the drough of our daily existence ...


Thursday, 28 September 2017

The latest film I have watched ...

Omar has touched me profoundly. As according to a Huttington Post critic it is " a master-piece, multi layered, touching and wonderfully complex". It is in fact much more than a Palestinian drama and  an incredible love story under harsh circumstances. It touches a lot of issues from betrayal to honour and in my most humble opinion deserves to be watched more than once, so as to be thoroughly savoured. I can't help mentioning that the actors' performances are second to none despite the fact that most of them are fairly unknown actors, apart from maybe Waleed Zuaiter.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

On Paula Rego's documentary film and the temporary exhibition at Colombo shopping mall ...

I have recently watched a documentary film Paula Rego - secrets and stories on the well known Portuguese born artist prior to having as if by accident come across a temporary exhibition named The fantastic world of Paula Rego in a shopping mall in Lisbon.
The characters exposed on many of her paintings and the bluntness with which she has their acts projected out of the canvas and paper representations have always impacted me and though I do not consider them among some of my favourite paintings I must admit they often stay in my mind over long periods of time, as I try to further explore (to no avail) the potential meanings of the details.  
The documentary film directed by her son is a unique insight into her life and her work. I must once more confess I was at times shocked by her intimate approach to a number of subjects brought about in it, though in reality I shouldn't have expected her to be any different from the naked bluntness she uses in many of her sketches, etchings and paintings. 

The exhibition was divided in four subject matters. Some of the etchings on display were particularly interesting.

The blue fairy whispers to Pinocchio - From the 1995 Walt Disney cinema series.

From the traditional folk/fairy tales written by Giovanni Francesco Straparola - 2006  the Prince Pig series.

Tiger Lily on the marooner's rock (left) - Captain Hook and the lost boy (right) - 1992 Peter Pan series. 

Mermaid drowning Wendy (left). Wendy sewing on Peter's shadow (right)- 1992 Peter Pan series.