Country: Portugal
Year: 1971
Duration: 20'

"Pousada das chagas was a heaven-sent suggestion. The Gulbenkian Foundation had set up a museum of Sacred Art in Obidos, and they wanted a documentary about the museum. This was in 1970, and after Mudar de vida in 1966 I'd stopped believing in the classic 'narrative' cinema. Seixas Santos had been ferociously critical of Mudar: he was an absolutely radical, strict, Leninist father, and like all the rest of my generation I believed in him, so I was shattered by his criticism. The unforeseen result was that I turned to the avant-garde. A ilha dos amores was driving me to distraction, it was taking forever and I was having to sweat blood over every least little thing. My head was full of Japanese theatre: Nô, Kabuki, that sort of thing. I was reading Pounds Cantos - a multilingual poem - and listening to Stockhausen and his collages. It was a rush job, there was no time to think. I stuffed my pockets with bits of paper: quotes from Rimbaud, Légende, Dorée, Camões, Lao Tze, etc., and went to Obidos to film with a couple of twenty-year-olds, Luís Miguel Cintra and Jorge Silva Melo, people whose talent was almost insolent. They did a bit of everything, they did everything well and they did everything quickly... What emerged was a kind of modernist miracle play, a collage of voices, texts, objects, spaces, bodies, pulsations; burning, suffering bodies, bodies that radiated energy: an obsession that haunts me, the Ko Haru scenes in A ilha dos amores, Antónia's hysteria in O desejado. From Pousada on, collage dominates my work - collage, plan-séquence; rejection of psychology, of the subjective shot, the reserve shot, the close-up. I went back to theatrical scenes, shooting from the front, the mirror. The form of A ilha dos amores comes from Pousada. As far as I know, Pousada precedes Syberberg, Schroeter, Carmelo Bene." (Paulo Rocha, file in the Cinemateca Portuguesa, 1988).


& Credits

Director and plot: Paulo Rocha.
Testi letterari: Flos Sanctorum, Camões, Fernando Pessoa, Federico Garcia Lorca, Rimbaud, Mário Cesariny de Vasconcelos, Lao Tzu, Tao Chien, Mumon.
Director of photography: Acácio de Almeida.
Scenografia e costumi: Jorge Silva Melo, Luís Miguel Cintra.
Editor: Paulo Rocha, Noémia Delgado.
Music: Jorge Peixinho.
Director assistant: Jorge Silva Melo.
Production company: Fondazione Calouste Gulbenkian.
Cast: Luís Miguel Cintra, Clara Joana.
Prima proiezione pubblica: Fondazione Gulbenkian, Lisbona, 25 febbraio 1971.