Contemporary portuguese cinema listening to the margins of the city

Abstract: After a (too long) period of a bad reputation for sound in Portuguese cinema, more due to the lack of interest of the authors (and not only in Portugal) in the sound aspect of the films than to technical deficiencies (which, patently, also existed) and after a qualitative revolution in the sound of national cinema (which occurred in the 80’s and was due to an unavoidable duo: Joaquim Pinto and Vasco Pimentel), there began to exist more dedicated attention to the sound dimension of films, especially on the part of directors with a more acute ear. Thus, in the last two decades, we have had the opportunity to observe a determining contribution of sound technicians (and creatives) in the construction of diegetic spaces, temporalities and narrative, of rhythmic, plastic, expressive and intensive qualities that produce, together with the images, richer meanings in the films. A number of Portuguese directors (Pedro Costa, Teresa Villaverde, João Pedro Rodrigues, Miguel Gomes, João Salaviza) have also shown, at least since the 1990s (but we could see antecedents in Novo Cinema), a particular interest in themes related to social and urban marginality that often led them to film peripheral, border or interstitial zones of the city. Book chapter available here.





Nuno Fonseca