Spearheading Portuguese cinema avant-garde filmmaker Paulo Rocha died at the age of 77 of complications from a stroke . Influenced by the French new wave? Comfortable and Italian neo-realism, it leaves a work unique among stylization and naturalism, realism and baroque.
Born in Porto in 1935, his hometown inspires daydreams transpose it later on the big screen. Introverted child, he observes scenes of street life. They feed on the stories he began writing at the age of eight years. The desire for home cinema is intimately linked to Porto, its people, its stairs, the incomparable light, the Douro River and its mysteries.
Paulo Rocha, in his youth, seen all the films of John Ford, but he owes his first aesthetic shock to the Gates of Hell, a Japanese film Teinosuke Kinugasa. Its visual power, sensuality and vibrant colors have a great influence. Student at the Faculty of Law of Lisbon, he attended a film club, which led him to abandon his studies, to Idhec in Paris.
His taste for Japanese cinema matures during this period, with the discovery of the work of Kenji Mizoguchi, model. He also met many Japanese filmmakers during retrospectives in Paris. Fascinated by the culture of the empire of the rising sun, Paulo Rocha learning Japanese, which allows him to serving as a cultural attach?? in Tokyo from 1975 to 1983.
As part of the “Cinema of Our Time” series, in 1995 he made a portrait of Shohei Imamura, which follows the one on Manoel De Oliveira,Best Meat Grinder his compatriot and mentor. The unique style of Paulo Rocha, both sophisticated and naturalist, is the fruit of his acculturation. Most Japanese Portuguese filmmakers also requires the kabuki theatrical genre exuberant and avant-garde, like Rocha, traveler filmmaker registered walk-in orientalist tradition.
The Green Years, a treaty of modernity
Admirer of two films of Jean Renoir, The River and The Golden Carriage, who finish to convince to make films, he became an assistant director on The Elusive Corporal in 1962. In 1963, Manoel De Oliveira it second on his documentary The Mystery of the spring, before launching the same year, to turn in the achievement. This year will be The Green, iconic film and Cinema Novo veritable treatise on modernity.
Rocha expressed from that first film where the spirit of the sixties, his taste for the bonding between different types and materials. It pushes the conventions of melodrama, introduced a literary distancing the heart of the story. Change with life in 1965, it deals with the exile and return to the country, one of his favorite motifs. Condemned by the Salazar dictatorship, this avant-garde cinema is the cost of censorship.
The Golden River, a tribute to Douro
After bracketing of his film career, related to its activities as director of the center of Portuguese cinema from 1973 to 1974 and his departure for Japan, it reinvests the myths with great Portuguese Island of love (1982). The Mountains of the Moon (1987) allows him to revisit the Tale of Genji, a classic of Japanese literature. His cinema is then more political and less melodramatic.
In 2000, Melvil Poupaud turns in his film, The Root of the heart whose backdrop Lisbon prey to a violent moral crisis. Rocha still makes Vanitas (2004) and Olhos Vermelhos (2011), which will be his last film. But mostly we hold our head-d’oeuvre, The Golden River (1998), a tribute to his childhood Douro Paulo Rocha defines itself as “a violent and magical space, natural scene of passion and Remember “. The film takes a dreamer bridge between Douro river activity Manoel De Oliveira, The River and the recent Renoir Taboo Miguel Gomes with his naturalism, imbued with dreamlike.
The legacy of Paulo Rocha appreciates, in the light of this modernist contamination among the younger generation of Portuguese filmmakers. In addition to Miguel Gomes, legatees are in Joao Pedro Rodrigues (To Die Like a Man) who followed his film class and was an assistant on his films. Paulo Rocha was able to pass them the taste of the experiment, which broke out in wild and postage works.