sábado, 27 de maio de 2017

À Beira do Abismo... e João Leitão!


JOÃO LEITÃO, realizador de «Capitão Falcão», «Um Mundo Catita» e «O Grande Monteleone», é o convidado do 11.º episódio desta saga que conjuga mistério e parlapiê com inesquecível categoria. A conversa foi gravada ao vivo no âmbito do Atelier24 - um grande evento cultural que deu a conhecer o trabalho de realizadores, músicos, poetas e actores, num percurso por vários espaços emblemáticos de Lisboa. O inspector Sax volta ao activo, mas não da maneira mais óbvia.


sábado, 13 de maio de 2017

À Beira do Abismo... e Sabrina D. Marques!


O décimo episódio destes Abismos podcásticos sai no dia de todos os milagres. Não há espaço para previsões ou análises do divino, do futebol ou da Eurovisão, mas a convidada desta emissão conversa sobre muitas outras coisas bem interessantes. A Sabrina D. Marques tem um currículo invejável que passa pelo cinema, a literatura e outras artes. Esta entrevista foi gravada na Galeria Germinal, que poderão também ficar a conhecer aqui. E continua a história meio macabra da investigação do Inspector Sax. Disponível no Mixcloud (widget abaixo) e no iTunes!


quinta-feira, 11 de maio de 2017

Adivinha quem vem jantar


Não é a “última coca cola do deserto” ou uma das surpresas do ano, e provavelmente o filme foi vítima de todo o gigantesco hype que rodeou o seu lançamento. Get Out é um conto negro (passe-se a estranha e acidental redundância) de macabros contrastes, que lida com pequeníssimas doses de “horror” e algum suspense para criar uma atmosfera que, por momentos, é muito intrigante. 

Nas melhores sequências do filme, na odisseia horrível em que o protagonista se mete e quando aos poucos vai descobrindo a verdade, nota-se a grande capacidade de Jordan Peele em agarrar o espectador, através de uma montagem que não foi feita em piloto automático, como é costume na maioria dos filmes americanos mais mainstream (e um filme que consegue ter planos com mais de 5 segundos, nos dias que correm, é de louvar). Veja-se por exemplo quando Chris chega a casa dos “sogros”: um plano relativamente “longo”, filmado à distância dessa cena, do ponto de vista do jardineiro. É uma ideia muito simples que serve logo para criar alguma inquietação. 

Mas o que o filme tem de relevante, no que diz respeito ao panorama político dos states em 2017 (e nunca se cansam de referir, em sucessivas linhas de diálogo, que a narrativa se situa num tempo e num espaço muito definidos da vida americana contemporânea), acaba por não compensar a preguiça, que se reflecte num desfecho indecente e rebuscado para a história. Não é que eu ligue muito a isso, grande parte dos filmes que eu adoro não têm um guião que possa servir para estudos em escolas de cinema. Mas Get Out é demasiado flagrante nas suas falhas: leva o espectador para uma direcção, constrói tudo de uma forma decente e, em parte, entusiasmante (e não é que seja especialmente inovador na sua abordagem, mas não chateia com as suas ideias iniciais over the top), para no fim descambar numa coisa qualquer inventada para despachar tudo sem ponta por onde se lhe pegue. Depois de um set-up tão bom, é pena ver que somos compensados por um pay-off tão duvidoso.

quarta-feira, 10 de maio de 2017

Quem te viu e quem te vê


The Pantages Circuit was composed of a string of semi-medieval theatres stretching from Chicago to the Coast and back again. We were on our way from Duluth to Calgary and had a three-hour layover in Winnipeg. We stashed our hand luggage in the depot and all the boys, except me, automatically headed for the nearest pool-room. In recent weeks I hadn’t been too hot with the cue, and decided that I needed a brief sabbatical from the green cloth. I left the boys and the depot (in that order), and walked up the main street. A half-block away from a frowzy-looking theatre I heard roars of laughter. I decided I had better go in and see who could possibly be that funny. On the stage were eight or ten assorted characters in an act called “A Night at the Club.” One of these actors wore a very small moustache and very large shoes, and while a big, buxom soprano was singing one of Schubert’s lieder, he was alternately spitting a fountain of dry cracker crumbs in the air and beaning her with overripe oranges. By the end of the act the stage was a shambles. 

Leaving the theatre, I went back to the depot to meet my brothers. I told them I had just seen a great comic. I described him . . . a slight man with a tiny moustache, a cane, a derby and a large pair of shoes. I then penguin-walked around the depot, imitating him as best I could. By the time I finished raving about his antics my brothers could hardly wait to see him.

The Sullivan-Considine Circuit and the Pantages Circuit ran parallel to the coast, and we finally caught up with him in Vancouver. I had talked him up so much that my brothers were all a little sceptical. Then he appeared, and in less than five minutes they were willing to concede that he was everything I said, and more.

After the show we went backstage and introduced ourselves. We found him in a dingy dressing-room which he was sharing with three other eccentric comics. After the preliminary introductions, we told him how wonderful he was. During the ensuing conversation he told us he was getting fifty dollars a week and, although he had been promised a raise to sixty, it had never come through.

He had already created considerable excitement in the movie industry. In fact, he told us that some movie mogul had offered him five hundred dollars a week to work for him. We congratulated him.

'When do you start?', I asked.

'I’m not going to take it', he answered.

'Why not?' I asked, astonished. 'You’re only getting fifty a week now. Don’t you like money?'

'Of course I do,' he replied (and, boy, did he prove this later in life!). 'But look, boys, I can make good for fifty dollars a week, but no comedian is worth five hundred a week. If I sign up with them and don’t make good, they’ll fire me. Then where will I be? I’ll tell you where I’ll be. Flat on my back!'

He was a strange little man – this Charlie Chaplin. The first time I met him he was wearing what had formerly been a white collar and a black bow tie. I can’t quite explain his appearance, but he looked a little like a pale priest who had been excommunicated, but was reluctant to relinquish his vestments.

(...) I ran into Charlie again while we were playing the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles some years later. He still affected the peculiar collar and tie combination. The only difference was that this time they were spotless. Oh, yes – there was another slight change. He was now the most famous comedian in the whole world.

He came back to see us after the show and invited us all to dinner at his house. There were twelve of us at the table. The plates were solid gold, or close to it, and I think the furniture was made of the same metal. There were six uniformed manservants. This was quite a jump from the first time I saw him in that ten-cent theatre in Winnipeg, spitting crackers and throwing oranges at the soprano. 

Charlie lives in Switzerland now, but it doesn't make any difference where he lives. He's still the greatest comic figure that the movies, or any other medium, ever spawned.

After Chaplin's success, the movie moguls began to realize that there were some pretty good comics in vaudeville and on Broadway. At one time or another most of them were brought out and given a fling at the movies, but most of the great comedians of the stage never were too successful on the screen. We were one of the luckier groups.

Ed Wynn, Bea Lillie, Willie Howard, Bobby Clark, Frank Fay and many, many others were never able to duplicate their tremendous Broadway triumphs. The real big comic movie smashes were Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Howard Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy, most of whom had very little stage success."

In Groucho and Me, de Groucho Marx, 1959, pgs 107-109

(na foto: Groucho Marx e Charles Chaplin, 1972)