Houve uma vez dois Verões (2002)

“Houve uma vez dois Verões” (2002) (Two summers)

IMDb

self-explaining world

I really care about Jorge Furtado’s work. He is one of the most intelligent cinematic minds working today worldwide. At the same time he is probably one the most not underrated but unknown creators. And there’s something specially interesting about him. In 1989 he directed a most celebrated short film, “Ilha das Flores”. That worked as a true manifest for his (and others) cinema. It’s concentrated intentions. I love those works, when directors indicate a path, to be explored by them or others (Hitchcock did it with, in my opinion, 3 different projects, Rope, Vertigo and North by Northwest). Furtado did it with Ilha das Flores. And influenced a generation of filmmakers from Porto Alegre, Brazil. This is not the most wide known branch of Brazilian cinema (that would be the one Salles was able to publicize). But for me it’s really worth attention.

Here we have the first long form in Furtado’s career. And its weaknesses may come from there. His films (shorts and long) hold inside a different world. In that world we have simultaneously:

a)something that happens;

b)the explanation in detail of what is happening (and linking it to as much elements from outside that world as possible);

c)a sense of irony and self-criticism (consequently self-awareness) on that same world happening in front of us;

So this is built with self-reference, and always with intelligence. Where i think this particular project has lots of weaknesses is in the fact that the syllogistic thinking is not as clever and meaningful here as it was in say Ilha das Flores. There everything was in its perfect place, all the syllogisms were perfectly justified, sooner or later, and it fitted. Obviously the short form helps this coherent development. Also theme was quite meaningful in “ilha…”. Anyway, this is the world of Furtado, and even though this isn’t his strongest work (or even the strongest long film) it is still worth watching, despite the horribly lame acting and some poor aspects of production.

Nevertheless, if you can, reach “Ilha das Flores” to understand Furtado before anything else, and when you end up viewing all his movies, go back to ilha das flores. Oh and check Resnais’s “Mon oncle d’Amérique” which shows where the linked thoughts started in film writing, at least in this specific form. The work of the french is not as fluid or ironic as Furtado’s but he master the long form better than Furtado does here.

My evaluation: 3/5, it’s still worth watching.

This comment on IMDb

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