Tribute to Paulo Rocha



Country: Portugal
Year: 1993
Duration: 52'

"I had got to know the Maizum Theatre through Manuel João Gomes, I had seen a show at the recreational centre where they performed, a crazy collage of texts by Fialho, with the dead victims of liberalism coming out of their tombs in the area of the Rua dos Poços dos Negros, among transvestites and genuine blacks strolling through the winding alleyways of old Lisbon. Silvina Pereira seemed to me a sort of Beatriz Costa of our times, by which I mean she was a working-class girl from Barreiro ruined by her University degree, her head stuffed with theories, but like one possessed and terribly energetic. With retrospect I can see I was wrong, but when she came to ask me to help her with a play on Wenceslau de Moraes I did all I could to discourage her. For six months she kept on and on at me, and since she couldn't get any money for the show I was silently praying that my Wenceslau wouldn't be sullied by female hands. Then one day out of the blue the Comissão dos Descobrimentos offered their support, and João Soares said she could have the María Matos, an impossible theatre, with an even more impossible deadline. Silvina set about improvising the text, direction, set, all completely uncontrolled, and I got more and more uneasy. At the première of her little miracle there were three, repeat three, Moraes, all very strange, as was the Ko-Haru - I didn't agree with any of it, but they had a life of their own and there was something about them that I liked, though I couldn't put my finger on it. There wasn't time to film it and there was no money anyway, but I knew a young company of former students of mine, Rosa Filmes [...]. We filmed with a single telecamera by day and in the evening, live, during the show, using an odd mixture of techniques, more cinema than television, mixing crude reportage with very elaborate plans-séquences, and the result was like nothing you can usually see on video.. (Paulo Rocha, from the catalogue of "2as jornadas de arte contemporanea", Porto 1993)


& Credits

Director: Paulo Rocha
Collages di testi di: Wenceslau de Moraes.
Messa in scena e drammaturgia a teatro: Silvina Pereira.
Fotografia e montaggio: Luís Correia.
Sound: L. Buchinho.
Music: Rui Luís Pereira (Dudas).
Cast: Silvina Pereira, Júlio Martin, Isabel Fernandes, Alvaro Faria, Angela Pinto, Bruno Couchat.
Production company: Teatro Maizum e Rosa Filmes, con l'appoggio della Comissão Nacional para as Comemoraçoes dos Descobrimentos.