Edgar Pêra

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Edgar Pêra
Edgarperabyrudyrucker1200.jpg
Edgar Pêra, 4 April 2011, photo by Rudy Rucker
Born (1960-11-19) 19 November 1960 (age 53)
Lisbon, Portugal
Nationality Portuguese
Occupation Film director

Edgar Henrique Clemente Pêra (born 19 November 1960) is a Portuguese filmmaker. He writes occasionally fiction and essays and is also a graphic comics artist.[1][2] Edgar Pêra studied Psychology, but switched to Film at the Portuguese National Conservatory, presently Lisbon Theatre and Film School (Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema).[3] Aka Mr. Ego, Man-Kamera (image), Artur Cyanetto (sound).[4] Edgar Pêra has auto-financed and produced many his own movies, or directed "auteur films" for cultural institutions. " If there has been in Portugal a filmmaker who has continuously filmed (apart from the well-known case, in the opposite direction, of Manoel de Oliveira), he is Edgar Pêra, as a consequence of his availability and insistence on doing so regardless of the perennial problems of juries and public subsidies. But it is also a consequence of his adaptation to light technologies, he and his camera, constituting symbiotically an "Ego" that is really making its own film-diaries". (Augusto M. Seabra)[5][6] Pêra started as a screenwriter but in 1985 bought a camera, inspired by Dziga Vertov, and never stopped shooting on a dially basis. "Pêra has a penchant for odd, eccentric, obscure and sometimes twisted humor. His unique touches include an arthouse, avant-garde approach somehow combining retro and avant-garde modernities.” (Zev Toledano)[7]

Considered “the most persistently individualistic Portuguese filmmaker”.[8] Edgar Pêra has done more than one hundred films for cinema, TV, theatre dance, cine-concerts, galleries, internet and other media. The first phase of Edgar Pêra’s work started in 1984, shooting Portuguese rock bands in a neuro-punk style. Pêra’s first film was shot in 1988 in the Ruins of Chiado, a neighborhood in the center of Lisbon that suffered a major fire that year. In 1990 Reproduta Interdita was shown at the Portuguese Horror Film Festival, Fantasporto.[9] In 1991 he directs A Cidade de Cassiano /The City of Cassiano, a film about the Portuguese modernist architect Cassiano Branco (Grand Prix Festival Films D'Architecture Bordeaux). After this consensual film, Pêra goes into another direction, making more radical movies.

After O trabalho Liberta/Arbeitch Macht Frei? an SWK4 - The Parallel Universes of Almada Negreiros, he directs his first "cine-cosmopolitan" (and very controversial) feature in 1994, Manual de Evasão LX 94/Manual of Evasion (for Lisbon 1994 Capital of Culture), articulating an aesthetic legacy of soviet construtivist silent films, with what the filmmaker called "a neuro-punk way of creating and capturing instantaneous reality". Many years after its release Zev Toledano wrote that Manual of Evasion is a "Portuguese thought-provoking experimental movie with a great potential for cult status." Pêra invited three major counterculture American writers: Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson and Rudy Rucker and asked them about the nature of time. Manual of Evasion LX94 was received in Portugal with very strong criticism, both for and against the movie.

In 1996 he founded, with the elementaristic writer Manuel Rodrigues, Akademia Luzoh-Galaktica, a trans-media working space. During that time he produces and directs several films made with students and takes four years to edit his feature, A Janela (Maryalva Mix)/The Window (Don Juan Mix), premiered at the Locarno Festival in 2001.

From then there’s change in Pêra’s work, inflecting towards a more emotional cinema, but keeping the emphasis in trans-realist aesthetics and eccentric humor. In 2006 Edgar Pêra has a retrospective at the Indie Lisboa winning awards in every category of the festival for Movimentos Perpétuos/Perpetual Movements,[10] a cine-tribute to legendary Portuguese guitar composer and player Carlos Paredes. In Paris he wins the Pasolini Award for his career, along with Alejandro Jodorowsky and Fernando Arrabal. Critic and programmer Olaf Möller wrote that'"Pêra is too different from everything which we regard as ‘correct’, ‘valid’ within the culture of film, ‘realistic’ in a cinematic, socio-political way. Put more precisely: Edgar Pêra is different from everything that we know about Portugal” [11][12]

O Barão/The Baron, an adaptation of Branquinho da Fonseca's short story, premiered in 2011 at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.[13] * Sight and Sound Critic Jonathan Romney wrote that "Its atmosphere and style are foremost in a melange which variously echoes Welles, James Whale, Cocteau, Hammer and (inevitably) Edward D. Wood Jr".[14]

Over the past five years Pêra has been assembling his personal archives and made documentaries about Madredeus and other artists.

In 2011 he started to work intensively in the 3D format. His most controversial film yet, Cinesapiens is a segment of 3x3D, an anthology 3D feature with 2 other films by Jean-Luc Godard and Peter Greenaway, premiered at the closing night of La Semaine de la Critique of the Cannes Film festival.[15]

His last 3D films are Stillness (premiered at the Oberhausen Film Festival), and Lisbon Revisited, with words by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Stillness is also a polemical movie: it was considered "astonishingly offensive" (Filmmaker Magazine).[16]

Filmography[edit]

Features[edit]

  • Vida e Obra de Cassiano Branco/Life & Work of Cassiano Branco (documentary) (1991)
  • Manual de Evasão LX94/Manual Of Evasion LX94 (1994)
  • A Janela (Maryalva Mix)/The Window (Maryalva Mix) (2001)
  • Oito, oito/Eight Eight (originally for TV feature) (2001)
  • O Homem-Teatro/The Man-Theatre (2001)
  • Movimentos Perpétuos: Cine-Tributo a Carlos Paredes/Perpetual Movements:Cine-Tribute to Carlos Paredes (2006)
  • Rio Turvo/Muddy River (2007)
  • Punk Is Not Daddy (documentary) (2012)
  • O Barão/The Baron (2011)
  • Visões de Madredeus/Vision of Madredeus(documentary) (2012)
  • Cinesapiens segment from 3x3D (together with Jean-Luc Godard and Peter Greenaway) (2013)
  • Lisbon Revisited(2014)

Short Films[edit]

  • Reproduta Interdita (1990)
  • A Cidade de Cassiano/The City of Cassiano (1991)
  • Achbeit Macht Frei?/O Trabalho Liberta?/Work Liberates? (documentary) (1993)
  • SWK4 (1993)
  • Os Túneis da Realidade (Who Is The Master Who Makes The Grass Green?) (1996)
  • 25 de Abril Aventura para a Demokracya (documentary) (2000)
  • Guitarra (com gente lá dentro)/Guitar (With People Inside) (2003)
  • És a Nossa Fé/Our Faith (documentary) (2004)
  • Stadium (Phantas-Mix) (2005)
  • Impending Doom (2006)
  • Arquitectura de Peso/Heavy Architecture (2007)
  • Crime Abismo Azul Remorso Físico (2009)
  • Avant La Corrida (2009)
  • One Way Or another (Reflections of a Psycho-Killer) (2012)
  • Stillness (2014)

Proto-Films[edit]

  • A Konspyração dos 1000 Tympanus/The 1000 Eardrums Konspiracy (1996)
  • O Mundo Desbotado/Fading World (1995)
  • Guerra ou Paz?/War or Peace? (1992)
  • Matadouro/Slaughterhouse (1991)
  • Champô Chaimite (2002)
  • Os Homens-toupeira/The Mole-man Saga (feature, 2003)
  • Horror no Bairro Vermelho (Prólogo Documental)/Horror in the Red District (Documentary Prologue) (2011)


Films with students[edit]

  • O Dia do Músiko de Eric Satie (1996)
  • As Dezaventuras do homem-Kâmara Epizohdyus 113 &115 (1998)

Kino-Diaries[edit]

  • Busan 3D Kino-Diary (2013)
  • My Father´s Hometown/Viagem com o meu pai a Coimbra (2011)
  • Planeland 4 (2004)
  • Keep Moooving 1 (2004)
  • Krashlanding in Lisbon-98 (Also it's about time) (1998)
  • Cacilhas-Cascais (Hip Hop Agit-Train) (1996)
  • Cabo Espichel (1986)

Video Installations[edit]

  • Trans-LX (1990)
  • O Movimento da Pedra (1990)
  • Videokorporis (1992)
  • Não Há Flores! (1992)
  • 666-O Triunfo do Azeite (video-performance) (1994)
  • Incêndio no Museu Kabazov (1995)
  • Satie live-mix (cine-performance) (1996)
  • FashionViktimz (1996)
  • Bica Amor & Fakadas (video and super 8 installation) (1997)
  • Konsciêncya (1998)
  • Kantos Enokyanus (1998)
  • Cinekomix Marvels (1999)
  • Eskynas Agudas (1999)
  • A Porta (2000)
  • The Master Person Tapes/Os Filmes do Desassossego de Mestre Pessoa (2002)
  • Fiquem Qom a Qultura, eu fiko kom o Brazzil (2002)
  • Keep Mooving 2 (2005)

Cine-Concerts[edit]

  • Lima & Louro – Filmes de Lisboa Music by André Louro and João Lima (2010)
  • Kino-Diaries music by Micro Audiowaves and LIP (2006)
  • Koktail Filmzz music by João Lima (2005)
  • Kino-Diaries with music by Novolari (2005)
  • Granular Improvising with Microaudiowaves and LIP (2005)
  • ABRIL-BRAZZIL with music by João Madeira (2005)
  • SUDWESTERN music Dead Combo with performances by actors-singers (2004)
  • NAKED MIND PROJEKT Live music by Vítor Rua (2002-2004)
  • Straxt! films for the concert of Lydia Lunch (2004)
  • Kino-Super8 live music by Francisco Rebelo (2000)
  • As Alucinações Estão Aí! Live music by Nuno Rebelo and Jean-Marc Montera (1995)
  • Eles Sempre Aí Estiveram (1995)
  • Vizões Equações Radiações! Music by Nuno Rebelo and Marco Franco (1995)
  • Cine-Fado Intervention and music by Manuel João Vieira (1993)
  • Ultimatum Futurista live music by Nuno Rebelo (1993)
  • Cinerock with live music by Tiago Lopes (1990)

Music vídeos[edit]

  • Madredeus at IFP (1989)
  • Korações de Atum Mini musical movie Lello Minsk and Shegundo Galarza (2000)
  • U ke Faz Falta? film commemorating the 25 of April revolution music selected by Miguel esteves Cardoso (1995)
  • Zombietown23 Texts of Terence Mckenna Aleister Crowley and Fernando Pessoa. Commissioned by Expo 98 (1998)
  • videoclips for GNR, Rádio Macau, Madredeus, Resistência, Capitão Fantasma, LX90, Rão Kiao, Black Company, Djamal, Terrakota, The Legendary Tigerman, Bullet, No Data, DJ Vibe/Ithaka.

Criticism and Praise[edit]

  • "The montage is as relentless as the guitarist’s finger-work, the footage as compelling as the music is poignant.”, The Barbican (a multi-art organization) on Perpetual Movements[17]
  • "Cartoonishly weird comedy", Zev Toledano on The Window (Don Juan Mix)[18]

"the find here is lesser known Portuguese director Pêra’s weird and wacky whirlwind of a film; a sharply astute indictment of mainstream cinema and culture."(Arun Sharma about Cinesapiens and 3X3D) [19]

"Cinesapiens, keeps audiences guessing right to the final frame, ending with a surreal and haunting scene experience." [20] Cinesapiens: "pure visual chaos"[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Bibliography[edit]