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Brave (2012)

“Brave” (2012)

brave grande


red past

When you are a child, you seldom choose the films you watch. In a normal free world environment, a child will probably fall victim to the laws of the moment, to whatever is on. Of course over that there is the influence the educators may have on you, but that will profoundly vary from child to child, and every child will still see and contact the trends of his moment. I was lucky enough, i suppose, to be partly fed by Pixar as i grew up. The Toy Story thing was a part of my upbringing. Later when i started watching films seriously, and specially when i started mapping my living in the space (as an architectural student), i understood the importance of the cinematic stakes that Pixar was playing all along. The space, the movement the camera.

Well, that seems to be suspended, at least for the moment. PIxar is now Disney, and that shows. The themes are aligned with what Disney knows that sells, and that contrives the whole creative process that used to be groundbreaking for each Pixar project.

The space narrative is abandoned, and i can understand that specially in this film, because the space had potential. We had the castle, we had the highlands. Outside and inside, and infinite possibilities. But the framing, the movement of the camera, the quality of the cinematic space, all that is gone, sacrificed so that we can have the repented child trying to mend the wrong she has made to her mother, trying to put the world to the happy end that Disney requires to keep their ticket buyers tuned in, satisfied, and with the sense that they took their children to see a film with a “moral”, with something to think about.

Everything creative seems to have been invested in the main character, the girl, who Is interesting. She lives on her hair, and the scene where she receives the claimants to her hand is remarkable in how much of the character is gone by the covering of her hair. The slipping hank is a wink, i suppose.

That redness, and the expression of the character through it may be the one redeeming feature of this film. But i feel deceived, i feel that a person i used to visit since i was a child is no longer there to give wisdom. Well, let’s hope for better chapters.

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb

4 years

I mark another aniversary of the blog. Last year, for several reasons which i don’t need to mention here, the rythm of publication has been remarkably lower than in previous years. So far, i’ve commented on 305 films (41 last year).

During this year, i gave up, temporarily, to update the spanish version of the blog. Time issues. I hope i can resume publication in 3 languages in some near future.

WordPress statistics, which contemplate only on site visits state:

7Olhares__________53 154 —– 9 916 last year

7Eyes_____________16 894—- 3 933 last year

7Ojos_____________16 432—- 1 954 last year

As always, i appreciate the visits, i appreciate you read.

3 years

I has 3 years, the materialization of this idea that i can learn by writing, that writing about films makes me organize mentally what i actually feel about them. As if i would find each film inside of me as i write about it. I believe that what i’ve been doing will work as a kind of intelectual induction, in which i will learn by acumulating examples, by the intensity and variety of the experiences i get with films. Maybe one day, but not yet, i’ll try to group and generalize somethings that i’ve been understanding and synthethizing, from the films i get to see. For now i’ll keep writing about films, within my possibilities, 1 by 1, as i’ve been doing lucidly since 2007.

So far i’ve commented on 264 films (84 last year). I sincerely would have liked them to be more, but it hasn’t been possible.

Right now, the wordpress statistics (which only contemplate on site visits) state this:

7Olhares:__________43 238 (15 411 last year)

7Eyes:_____________12 961 (6 261 last year)

7Ojos:_____________14 473 (5 877 last year)

Total:_____________70 672 (27 549 last year)

I thank the visits, and i always thank the opinions. I still want to be read, and i have been more and more, even if i write a little bit less. Thank you.

Rodrigo Leão, Coliseu do Porto, November 28th 2009

Those who regularly read what i go on writing here knows that it’s very rare when i write something which is no a direct commentary on films i watch and that when i get out of that formula i’ve been using for the last 2 and a half years, i usually comment on the very life of the blog, editorial anotations of statistics, or small notes to facts i care about. The thing is, just a few hours ago, i watched a concert, leaded by Rodrigo Leão, one of the composers and musicians i care more about, at the present moment. An i decided to write about the concert, because RL’s music is all about cinema. I once wrote, and i underline it now, that despite his previous experiences as a composor for shors/tvshows/documentaries, he still is, up to this moment, the best film composer we Don’t have. Several elements i care about:

1 – mood – generally speaking, music has the capacity to establish (and hold) a certain environment, even if that’s not the intention of who made it. In cinema, the greatest merit a composer may have is to be able to determine that mood: humour, tension, curiosity – that extends to the notion of suspense. Simple to explain, but it’s quite complex to define all the subtleties of what is intented to went through to the audience. Than, there’s the need to hold that mood. This means that the music needs character, and than it needs to explored well enough to hold that character. Now, as far as i can tell, RL starts the conception of every piece of his music with the mood he intends to it. Preceeded or not by the existence of lyrics, it seems to me that the development of the piece follows the idea of that intended mood (or found mood). In a set like the room where i watched the concert, that’s what we get, that’s where we get in, in that specific enviroment, with different tones and shades. We don’t have the visual strength of the images, but we have the music happening in front of us. RL is a master in this environmental definition, and so it would be specially interesting to see him produce consistently to cinema, associated with directors who understand where the music fits in the film.

2 – class – there is a certain idea of perenity, even eternity, that passes through certain art. It seems to me that what is classic is what is built according to a certain set of rules which we know will work, in any context, time or kind of art. We can appeal to them, because its use gives us the freedom to freely explore practicaly everything we want. It’s an interesting paradox, the aplication of classic rules gives us freedom, as much as the intention to break them forces us to create a similar number of rules, so the work won’t fall apart. Nothing requires as many rules as irregularity. In any case, RL is someone who, being highly experimental in his exploration of moods, looks for classic constructions, in shape, and harmony. At the same time, it seems to me that he is fundamentally an intuitive composer, and therefore original, and this means he does what he feels to be needed, not what has been tested and proved right. So, after all, class is necessarily timeless and inovative. Paradox?

3 – comunity – eventually, in cinema or in concert, music may, and many times is, a factor of aggregation. In this concert i watched (actually my first RL), what he does is establish a mood, and invite us to participate. There’s the joy of the comunion of certain values which, though not explained, are understood by everybody. It’s not as strong and spontaneous as say, participate in the demolition of the Berlin wall. It’s an induced sensation, at the end of the concert we’ll all be as friendly or hateful as we were before (or maybe not), but all art is manipulation. And cinema, like Rodrigo Leão’s music, gives us the sensation that we are part of a group, that of the people who share the pleasure of listening, and seduces to see the images that motivate the music. We need all the films that were Not soundtracked by him.

2 years

It’s been 2 years since i started the idea of this blog. A year ago i remarked the fact that i never believed i could make this last as long as i had than, specially doing it in 3 languages as i proposed. I’ve been managing to do that, and it makes me happy.

So far i’ve commented on 180 films (99 in the last year). It’s not the number of films that establishes any kind of quality of the comments themselves, but i pleases me aswell that i was able to raise the number, this second year.

Above all, i’ve been using, as i always said, the pretext of commenting films to learn about them, to learn about cinema and, as a consequence, to learn about myself. It is an adventure to be able to really explor films, with no fear, like the majority of people who watch them has. It is an adventure to get in a film, either good or bad, it’s always an experiment in which we find what we take with us, what we are. There are films that change my life when i watch them, and those are the ones i search, even when i don’t find them.

The statistics in wordpress (which unfortunately only show “on site” visits) count at this moment:

7Olhares:___ 27 827 visitas (14 290 this year)

7Eyes: ________6 700 visitas ( 3 989 this year)

7Ojos: _________8 596 visitas ( 4 422 this year)

_________43 123 visitas (22 701 this year)

To be visited gives me strenght to go on, in 3 languages. I always appreciate suggestions, on site, by email, as i have already received. Above all, i believe in the possibility that internet gives to get to know opinions, knowledge, people.

for the films, Manoel de Oliveira


Regular readers of this blog know that i write almost always directly about films. With the exception of half a dozen entries on several themes, all the rest are commentary on films i watch. Today is one of those exceptions. The exception is that a director still working completes 100 years. The vast majority of the portuguese share 2 characteristics: -they all know the man, Manoel de Oliveira and know that today is his 100th aniversary; -few of them ever saw a film by him and those who saw them, usually don’t “like” them;

Nevertheless, i think that if it is curious that someone lives to direct a film at the age of 100, the Work in question is more than just curious. I matters, to me, and in some moments, it has a presence in my dreams. Since i began this blog, i commented on 1 Oliveira’s film, his Cristóvão Colombo – O Enigma but the truth is, the very first time i ever wrote about cinema, it was commenting one of his films. In August 18th 2002, i wrote a commentary on “Viagem ao princípio do Mundo”, a film that changed my way to watch films and therefore my dreams. Today, when i read what i wrote, when i was 18 and had a growing urge for films, i don’t keep the naive and unconscious observations i made, but i subscribe the passion for that film, which i now extend to the rest of this man’s work. So i leave you that rough comentary:

Portuguese fado plus deep philosophy

I must say that this film, made by the most prestigious portuguese director (Manoel de Oliveira), is a great reflexion about Portugal’s more typical feelings and about life in general. It has in it the symbols of many things like the hard work shown by Pedro Macau, the statue. It is also a way to show the beautiful landscape (at least a sample of it) that my country has… It is important to notice the past of Afonso, the son of a portuguese emigrant in France, which is very common in Portugal (there are about 750 000 portuguese emigrants in France) and the recent portuguese history told by the country old woman. It’s a grace to watch to this touching movie. In it Marcello Mastroianni says Goodbye to cinema… and to life. He did the best way, I must say. This peace of art proves at least two things… Poetry can be written through images, and the portuguese people have poetry on its spirit; Oliveira with his now 93 years old proved it… Behold a master piece!…

This comment on IMDb

What goes around comes around (2008)

“What goes around comes around” (2008 )

This is not a normal entry. I’m not commenting on a film i have seen, i’m showing a film i have done, in group. Last April (7-18th) there was a workshop in FAUP (Oporto school of architecture) a workshop dedicated to explore the links between cinema and architecture, and to do that in an international context and explore, in practical terms, that relation, meaning this: create films.

In the end of the 3 tries i got to work on, this was the one that satisfied me the most, and the only one i think may be interesting to show here. In the production of this film, there were 6 people involved directly. The credits are on the film, but the low quality of this version doesn’t allow you to read them. My participation was in the fields of cinematography (camera work, above all) and the creation/execution of the soundtrack. I’ll try to update this post with the other credits. Meanwhile, should anyone want to know more, please ask, a mail would be better.

What goes around, comes around:

Your opinion: X