domingo, 29 de abril de 2012

Sobre Tabu

(...)  All films contain within themselves traces of their production. In accepting his two prizes in Berlin, Gomes gave similar speeches hailing the independent craftsman of Portuguese cinema (like DP Rui Poças, here doing amazing work), as well as directors like Monteiro, Oliveira, and Costa—creators of a cinema of letters—and speaking out against the current government, who have slashed not only film funding, but erased the Ministry of Culture entirely. With the country’s transformation back into a Third World state, Portuguese cinema is in the process of being colonized as well: while Murnau, after travelling to Polynesia and immersing himself in the local culture, ended up ditching his Hollywood backers and funding his Tabu himself, Gomes required an international co-production to undertake his African safari. But like the explorer who turns into the “sad and melancholic crocodile” in the prologue (narrated by Gomes himself), the director is an adventurer, and there are lands of cinema that remain uncharted even after we’ve visited them; it’s a question of cinematic memory. If Tabu is a “critic’s film,” its references are not destinations but points of embarkation to a place where incantations, ghosts, and a white-suited band out in Africa playing “Be My Baby” in Portuguese evoke a past we don’t even know we know; as Aurora says, “The memory of the world is eternal and no one can escape from it.” The film’s formal play is itself taboo for a neoliberal European co-production, and that crocodile, representing time and memory, is also Portugal itself.
Mark Peranson, for Cinemascope

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