To mark the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 uprising, inside the framework of the Intervals programme, which shines a light on feature-length films by contemporary auteurs, No intenso agora (In the Intense Now, 2017), the latest film by João Moreira Salles (Rio de Janeiro, 1962), will be screened. Moreira Salles, regarded as one of the foremost exponents of documentary film-making, creates unique insight which at once marries personal experience with a reflection of history looking back from the present and explores the way in which images and their memory shape our identity.
As a child, the film-maker was living in France in May 1968 and No intenso agora, which speaks of the fleeting nature of highly intense moments, comes from the need to recover the memory of a period which changed the twentieth century, a period he does not recall.
After coming across amateur film footage shot in China in 1966 during the first and most radical stage of the Cultural Revolution, Moreira Sales has put together this documentary solely using archives from that time, with images of China alongside France, Czechoslovakia and, to a lesser extent, Brazil. In keeping with film-essay tradition, the combination of these archive images enables him to explore what happened to the people who took part and how they carried on after the desire for transformation dimmed. Not only does he reveal the state of mind of those who appear in the film – joy, delight, fear, disappointment, dismay – he also sheds light on the relationship between the fixation with a document and its historical context.
João Moreira Salles is a producer, film-maker, lecturer, editor and president of the Instituto Moreira Salles in Brazil.
Regarded as one of the foremost exponents of contemporary documentary film-making, he began his career in 1985 as a screenwriter for a TV documentary series, before founding, with his brother Walter Salles, the company VideoFilmes in the late eighties with the same original aim of producing documentaries for television. Nevertheless, the company would go on to produce major films in the so-called renaissance of Brazilian film, for instance Central do Brasil
(Central Station, 1998), Cidade de Deus
(City of God, 2002), and Madame Sata
(2002), in addition to other films by the acclaimed director Eduardo Coutinho, who was the subject of an extensive retrospective in 2013 held in the Museo Reina Sofía.
Moreover, Moreira Salles has directed Futebol (1998), with Arthur Fontes; Jorge Amado (1994); Noticias de uma guerra particular (News from a Personal War, 1999), with Kátia Lund, on the state of inner-city violence in Rio de Janeiro; Nelson Freire (2003), his first feature film for cinema about the internationally renowned Brazilian pianist; Entreatos (Intermissions, 2004), on Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s presidential campaign in 2002; and Santiago (Uma reflexão sobre o material bruto) [A Reflection on Raw Footage, 2007], winner of the Best Documentary award at the Cinéma Du Réel Festival in Paris, and at the Miami and Alba (Italy) film festivals. It was also voted Best Documentary of the Year by the Brazilian Film Academy and belongs to the Museo Reina Sofía Collection.
In 2006 he founded the literary journalism magazine Piauí, and has also lectured at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and at Princeton University.
Sabatini Building, Auditorium – 7pm
João Moreira Salles
No intenso agora (In the Intense Now), 2017
Brazil, digital archive, colour, original version with Spanish subtitles, 127’
Thursday, 31 May
Saturday, 2 June