During his visit to the Harvard Film Archive, João Moreira Salles will present and discuss two of his finest films, each an insightful and introspective remembrance of things past that explores documentary cinema as an inherently personal mode of filmmaking, inherently shaped by its maker with an intimacy and immediacy all too often occulted. Santiago and In the Intense Now offer profoundly cinematic history lessons that show film to be both a window—looking out with perspicacity over the world, and over the past—and a mirror that reflects its maker and the spectator, revealing the limits of their vision.
Special thanks: Paola Ibarra Deschamps—David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard; Mariano Siskind—Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard.
In the Intense Now (No Intenso Agora)
Salles’ remarkable essay film looks back, wistfully but also probingly, at the convulsive forces “in the air” during the 1960s which were able, seemingly, to ignite revolutions of different force and magnitude around the globe. Combining a wide range of newsreel, television and home movie footage, In the Intense Now assembles a composite vision of cataclysmic events in Paris, Prague, China and Brazil while locating melancholy parallels in the fleeting ebullience and ultimate failure shared by the different youth-led movements and brutal rebuttals that they inspired. Salles discovers in archival footage a means to capture the elusive feeling, the emotion, of a fleeting moment, felt perhaps most deeply in his use of Super-8 footage shot by his mother in Beijing in 1966, “naïve” images that predictively reveal the larger counter-revolution in motion and dispel the romanticized visual clichés automatically used to evoke May ’68 as a cultural and historical milestone.
Directed by João Moreira Salles
Brazil 2018, DCP, b/w & color, 127 min. Portuguese with English subtitles
$12 — Special Event Tickets. Tickets for are available 45 minutes before showtime at the cinematheque on the lower level of the Carpenter Center. Cash or check only. No late seating.