David Pinheiro Vicente • Director
"It's a wonderful time to be working in film in Portugal, there are amazing people and films"
by Laurence Boyce
- Cineuropa caught up with Portuguese director David Pinheiro Vicente to talk about his short film Where the Summer Goes (Chapters on Youth), screening in EFP’s Future Frames at Karlovy Vary
In his evocation of youth and summer days Where the Summer Goes (Chapters on Youth), David Pinheiro Vicente has created an abstract and painterly piece of work that fits in well with much of contemporary Portuguese short filmmaking. As the film prepared to screen in EFP’s Future Frames as part of Karlovy Vary 2018, Cineuropa caught up with the director to ask about some of the influences behind the film
Cineuropa: Where there any particular memories that inspired you to create Where the Summer Goes?
David Pinheiro Vicente: There were many memories from growing up and my teen years in the Azores, the Portuguese islands where I come from. There is such a different feeling of nature and intimacy there, and I only realized it when I went to Lisbon to study. Young people connect to each other in a group sense, and, in a way, so many things, even sensual experiences, are actually group experiences. So everything you see In some way I took from people I knew and things I saw.
Can you tell us some of your inspirations as a filmmaker? Because, while I can reflect on how the film makes me think of cinema history, the film seems to be inspired by painting, literature and much more.
Yes, many things were inspiring. The film started with an Emily Dickinson poem, about the Bible. She seemed to have a completely different approach to it, and talked about ‘lost boys’ which hit home with my childhood experiences and people I knew growing up. Her connection between religion and teenage years, and sexual awakening was crucial.
Also I’d say classical painting in more of the sense of the gesture in classical painting. And also photography, contemporary photography, that takes on classical painting for ways of showing the human figure and significant, not realistic, gestures that can sum up narrative intention. So Tina Barney, photographer, was super important. And of course Bresson, Lucrecia Martel, Manoel de Oliveira, and so many others.
While it is comparatively measured there is a sense of immediacy and vitality in the film – the visceral nature of the past can still penetrate the fog of remembrance. Was that reflected on the shoot? Was it a quick and easy shoot or the opposite?
It was quick in a way, and long in a way. But that process (it’s almost a process I think) you talk about, remembrance, is almost too internal to think there. I think it was there, in my subconscious decisions. And things seemed slow and measured because we prepared everything with time, everything was marked, everything was studied in a way, and seemed fresh also because when you work with young people like that they are always playing when you are preparing the shot, and suddenly you see this amazing thing and you include it. So both.
What do you think it is about this time that is seeing such great short films being made in Portugal?
It’s a wonderful time to be working in film in Portugal, because there are amazing people and amazing films, but it’s also a rough time because the conditions are not good, and people fight so much to be able to make each film. There is talent and there is perseverance. So I hope for even better times, when more parts of the spectrum are good.
How are you looking forward to Future Frames and Karlovy Vary?
I’m so looking forward to it, to see all the films, and be able to meet new and interesting people working right know! And it’s always a pleasure to have a platform to showcase this film that is very dear to me.
What projects are you working on next?
I’m working on some things. Mainly working on a short film, a personal film from family stories on rural Portugal, and I couldn’t be more excited to do it.
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