Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I Am the Spirit of Constant Denial
Edgar Pêra makes the grass green
by Olaf Moller
“How is it, that an outstanding…” – in this case young-“… film maker is barely known outside his own country?” To this question, there is generally only ever a single answer, which is: “Out of place. Too different.” Too different from what? Of Edgar Pêra you could certainly say ´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 its different from everything that we know about Portugal; his cinema has – at a first glance – absolutely nothing in common with Portuguese modernity (de Oliveira, Rocha, Botelho, Costa… are they really as similar as people make out? We would much sooner think them similar, however, than have them be it…). He has nothing at all to do with that Portuguese cinema which people don´t generally wish to know, and absolutely nothing at all to do with the key themes from the Dominant Discourse of international Cinema. On the one hand, yes. But on the other, it is all there somewhere in the Great Luso-Galactic Whole – perhaps Pêra is really the true successor of Portuguese modernity, the master of necessarily different tools, and its salvation from being mused to death. If you look at how agitated so many people became at the last adventurous works of Masters Botelho and Rocha, you can understand that this sorry process is already well and truly under way – and perhaps Pêra´s films have just reached that point which all the rest will have to reach, if they are willing to go that way.
Freedom, according to Pêra, is a decision. Not a concept; it is something which people, whether it be in film, as a human being, with subject matter, must constantly tackle in new ways; something which they must constantly make a decision about. And is constructive, absolute denial not perhaps the most sophisticated form of this discourse? Contrary ideas must be shown the deepest respect wherever possible; we should be able to think and feel simultaneously on several levels at all times!
Most people probably first heard of Edgar Pêra for the first time after his feature length debut “A Janela (Maryalva Mix)”, completed in the year of the tangible fictions of the Luso-Galactic world: 2001 also saw the appearance on Portuguese TV of Pêra´s only other work that might be pigeon-holed as a feature film, in the customary sense of the word: “Oito Oito”, his most conventional work and therefore the most misleading. Here you have one of those films which at first you think you can shrug off without a care, until you turn away and it jumps on you from behind, after you failed to notice what was in the background thanks to the clamorous foreground… 2001: in that very first year of the crypto-Luso-Galactic millennium, Pêra appeared at the height of his power on the international stage, with a masterpiece of traditional, national cinema in which the whole of his output to date was concentrated in all of its contrary rage; “ A Janela (Maryalva Mix)”, put simply, is in one fell swoop more than any other work of Pêra´s was (although in 1998 he had already come so close to this maximum intensity of his with “As Desaventuras du Homem-Kamara / Epizohdyus 111-113 e 115”). That is no easy thing to say, for this was also the time of Pêra´s first pseudo-autobiographical work “Mr. Ego´s Vizions”, completed around the time of “A Janela (Maryalva Mix)” and “Oito Oito”. But when was anything ever really completed with Pêra? Somehow we are still waiting for the Remix of Remixes of “Oito Oito”…. Is perhaps each one of his works some kind of protomix, if only of his next work, which is then created fresh from completely new material? But yet, because that first film (or rather, that first video) still exists, its spirit lingers on within the next… But enough of these digressions – and back to the topic of “Mr. Ego´s Vizions”, that dreamy digression into the Self, consisting chiefly of fragments from various works from the previous decade, the first of the Luso-galactic breakthrough. It begins (somehow almost naturally) with a film which was released before its designated debut, “A Cidade de Cassiano” (1991); “Reproduta Interdita” (1988-90), in which, even before this ´undocumented experiment in Surrealism and Trash and C-Film and Comix, you can find material from various sources, experimentation with image and sound, digressions into asynchronous poetry… And naturally, “Mr.Ego´s Vizions” doesn´t even end, it just stops…
It is no easy task to say something definitive about Pêra´s work; there will always be some exception. In his wisdom, Pêra has already make quite sure of that. In fact, you cannot even say that Pêra´s film career began with his first film, whichever one that may be, since in his subconscious and through his dreams, various films have wormed their way, films whose meta-remixes are those films of his which have ended up on celluloid, amongst others. (This constant relating of everything to yourself is great fun after a while!)
Therefore it is quite understandable that `we´ only became aware of Pêra after his first production with a ´realistic´ remit, namely “A Janela (Maryalva mix)”, which Paulo Branco funded, giving the film a bit of a push to get it going – although it was never really enough. It was just too different from anything which had ever been unleashed on the world under the seal of Madragao. Even behind his next, somewhat better-known work, a big name with a certain financial clout is to be found: Contracosta, who have been producing Pedro Costa, produced “O Homem-Teatro”, another prophecy from the first year of the Luso-Galactic millennium, a prophecy which was however only revealed later on (according to Pêra, “O Homem-Teatro” is incidentally nothing less than a “meteoric film impact”). After both these brushes with capital and the Dominant Discourse – to which we should add another Madragao production, “És a nossa Fé” (2004) – Pêra retreated back into his Luso-galactic heteronymity.
There was already a blip on the Pêra radar in the short film history previous to “A Janela (Maryalva Mix)”; the pointedly titled “O Trabalho Liberta?” (1993) could be sure of controversy at the time of a outpouring of art. (Art is that well-known channel for his sense of culture, where even those editors who don´t know who Robert Bresson is work – something which should not be forgotten!).
Various facts about Pêra can be seen as ´realistic´ because they are based on one fact or another about him, and can therefore be equated with ´realism´.
Edgar Pêra was born on 19/11/1960 in Lisbon. In 1981 he left his studies in psychology and devoted himself to cinema. He officially completed his study in film in 1984, though unofficially he continued his studies by making adverts, music videos and such like (at least that is how Pêra sees this period of work: as an apprenticeship).
Edgar Pêra cites “A Cidade de Cassiano” as his first film, that is to say, the work where he is totally present as the author. “A Cidade de Cassiano” arose from an exhibition of Cassiano Branco, commissioned by the City of Lisbon. As a rule, Pêra tends to go for these kind of commissioned jobs. In parallel with “A Cidade de Cassiano”, the work “Vita & Obra de Cassiano Branco” also came out at this time.
Edgar Pêra ir the spiritual father of the Luso-Galactic world, for which he was revered in the (defunct) Academya Luso-Galaktyka.
Edgar Pêra is a master JV.
In “Who is The Master Who Makes the Grass Green? (Os Tuneis da Realidade)” (1996), Robert Anton Wilson explains why there is no ´reality´ or ´normality´ in the purely physical sense. Each person perceives the world in a different way. Every brain absorbs only a fraction of the exorbitant wealth of information which confronts us all every second of the day, and then manipulates it. Put simply, the world is just too much for Man, that noble creature in the midst of chaos. Pêra has taken this on board – “A Janela (Maryalva Mix)”, with its self-contradictory tales and all its crazy split-screen compositions, is a lone synthesis of this idea – even if “Who Is The Master Who Makes the Grass Green? (Os Tuneis da Realidade)” does not stand right at the beginning of his oeuvre as a thesis; something does turn up a little later on as another hypothesis in the Luso-Galactic Universe, which is not exactly wanting for such things. That is to say: there is no ´reality´as such. The fact that reality is merely a social consensus was always clear to Pêra, and in fact this consideration determines his whole output; but it is a fact which had to find a voice, and it had to find it through film, to save it from becoming just some authoritative uber – theory flying around.
Therefore, cinema verité can only ever be a cinema mentira for Pêra; an image can really only ever lie; and many images, strung together in the conventional manner, can only ever express that social consensus, for all these rules which we simply accept as `realistic´ today, which we quite casually exchange with the words ´true to life´ (the chaotic mass of information, or the individual tunnel of reality?) without a second thought, they are all really just industrial norms based on the developments of the 19th Century. For Pêra, the image – be it on film, tape or microchip – has no worth in itself; in the best case it has a sentimental value which you can start to work with. In his portrait “A Cidade das Pessoas” (1998), the male character´s seemingly spontaneous waving (waving: a classical motif of GradDa and consequently a central image of Veristic cinema) is identified as just a director´s instruction, when a woman suggests to rather stuffy gentleman that he really should start waving already. The image, then, will always be just raw material, which can then be pursued through each particular project, or tunnel of reality (and in some cases the parentheses can be even longer and more convoluted than the main clause…).
Apart from “Oito Oito”, in none of Pêra´s key works do images and sounds unfurl in any ´realistic´ way. Everything is in a constant ecstasy; pictures race by in fractions of a second,, sounds are polymorphic and joyful cacophony; they are anything, everything but ´realistic´ in their synchronicity, or even in their very nature. When examined in a purely Luso-Galactic way, even “Oito Oito” proves itself to be a work of high speed, for it is essentially a comic which is speeded up to such an extent that it now seems like a homage to C-Film. Pêra´s masterpieces of animation “As Desaventuras du Homem-Kâmara / Epizohdyus 111-113 e 115”, “Jardins Subterrâneos” (1998) and “Lisboa-Boa 345DT” (2000) clearly have pace; in fact we should regard all Pêra´s films as animations, for then we would have another rule, another hypothesis which although incorrect, is a good starting point. Which brings us to “Cine-Diaryus du Homem-Kâmara”. When Pêra stylishly crafts a homage to the newsreel, he does it with a camera speed six to twelve times slower than the norm, and so the world looks like a really cool animation where the structure of ´reality´becomes visible, as do the tracks people leave behind in their comings and goings through it. And in that, “Cine Dyaryus du Homem-Kamara” in fact becomes the opposite of the classic newsreel; we are not presented with what has been as a generally acceptable proposition – a kind of truth pulled into ´reality´- but instead, what just was is revealed as what has already passed. ´Reality´s´ consensus: all of us are simply doing what others before us have already done.
So, whoever – like Cassiano Branco or António Pedro or the master ie Fernando Pessoa in all his heterogeneous heteronymous power – creates something which no one before him has created, then it remains unreal, or surreal, or hyper-real, the exact word is unimportant, however tangible the house, or the book might be; to become ´real, it must decay within the network of perception, time must make it history, so that it can be ´real´. It simply has to be perceived, artlessly, without anyone thinking anything especial about it.
And as we´re on the subject of Branco and Pedro: ´Reality´ demands/creates a lack of ambiguity, and if someone is fascist in 1934 and then socialist in 1948, that messes everything up, everything being the whole immediate future; the only remedy is to move forwards: to say he was a follower or a misguided apostle of politics, an apolitical person, so to speak (or whatever the general consensus on António Pedro is currently). As “O Homem-Teatro” shows, however, Pêra well knows that the real question goes like this: what have fascism and socialism in common with each other that allows someone to pass through them both at different points in time? (let alone the fact that the one, as much as the other ideology,, as much as the ´reality´ expressed through their names, is not static, quite apart from the matter of personal development and growth).
In this way, Pêra consistently, insistently hones in on the forms and structures of the early Soviet cinema, and of German Expressionism – both are concentrated in best film-noir style in “A Cidade de Cassiano”; In “Oito Oito”, the whole thing has more of a Z-Trash sharp-wittedness. Premier Vague is paid equal attention – as in “Dia do Musiko” (1998). All these forms have become part of the ´real´cinema culture, but paradoxically are always the ones that know best how to shake up cinema; even though they are sit there quite innocently, they are expressions and memories of scattered awakenings, which, although they have been looted for all they are worth, still possess that socio-cultural-political explosive power; so much so that whenever they are alluded to in whatever way, they still lend a particular purity, a directness, that huge revolutionary power. You could even say that the 20th Century never got the fear of them, the enclosure of demons.
“És a nossa Fé” represents another variation on the idea of Cine-Dyaryus as an anti-newsreel; football, which in the form of a ritual is an intensely concentrated dosage of surrealism, which day by day shreds ´reality´. In this case, it is Sporting vs. Leixões, David vs Goliath…. At times football is the only acceptable reality, like cinema, and is observed by Pêra in the spirit of Verism, to end up crossing wires with the fascist past as part of the iconography of Portugal. In this way, football becomes a version of fascism via different means, or rather, fascism alone is a declaration – a ´realisation´of something deeper, which finds its voice in football. If you justapose football euphoria with an array of pictures of Christians mourning a pope´s passing, and pictures of good communists at the burial of one of their own, the chaos of all leftist and rightist myths and paradigms is complete (If you ignore the fact that Pêra would probably have been a football playing communists in a parallel universe).
Recognition through ecstasy. If there is a need to boil the Pêra phenomenon down to a single point, then perhaps that is it. His cinema, risen (again?) from the wreck of culture and pop-culture, is a Luso-Galactic Voodoo variation, and appropriately at that, with Pêra as a horse that history and all its many forms ride upon. In the Crowley / Pessoa style “Zombie Town 23” (1998), this voodoo idea is injected into the work, through pictures and quotes, though it was always really a key component.
But who are the zombies? The ideas/structures/images of the 20th Century, which the GradDa is steeped in; and therefore every print that is taken from them, every audiovisual project, every work that can be made from them (which the Luso-Galactic World then turns into a transcendent relation of necroreality…) In all this we have to perhaps gain a much deeper understanding of Pêra´s passion for Remix, and Protoremix, and the fragment, his passion for everything which keeps things moving, everything which animates. All this is what keeps the zombies alive, what gives them strength, a presence; it creates them in such a way that they can be experienced, can be considered. And so, just as we are sucked with full force into the reality tunnel of every work, we are spat back out at the end of it; or rather, the pull that Pêra´s works exert, can be experienced and perceived as a retreating moment – as something which mirrors the observer.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
WITH THE KINO-AUTHOR
KINO-NEWS had a free pass to the Neuro-Lab Studio where Cinesapiens is being finished by a very small and very dedicated team. According to one of his close collaborators, Edgar Pêra used “irony and farce as the fuel. Cinesapiens is an astonishing motor of ideas. Everything is both atraccionistic and eccentricionistic: actors, musicians, dancers, they all play to the audience, and the audience plays for us.” But the filmmaker warned “ that’s just one of the ways to look at Cinesapiens. But I agree that it’s a new take on the cinema of the attractions using 3D as the catalyst for kino-novelty”.
KINO-NEWS: Cinesapiens will be shown together with 2 other films by Jean-Luc Godard and Peter Greenaway in the feature 3X3D. How did the project begin?
PÊRA: Four years ago Rodrigo Areias invited me to participate in the Guimarães Capital of Cultura 2012 movie program that you was starting to coordinate. I suggested that we did something in 3D. I am very fond of the possibilities of this new technology, and still starting to learn. It’s another way of looking at cinema and there’s still a 3D Citizen Kane to be done. Welles used the wide angle to re-invent the language of cinema, there’s still lots of exploring before we understand the full capacity of the tridimensional illusion. Of course the glasses are a vey annoying detail that has to be dealt before the 3D revolution can really happen.
KINO-NEWS: What do you think of the contemporary 3D cinema?
PÊRA: Hollywood rules in 3D Land. The New Wave of 3D Euro-films is still a utopia. Probably it will never happen. Cinesapiens surfs in this tridimensional void.
KINO-NEWS: What is the relationship between your films for Lisbon 1994 and Guimarães 2012? They were both commissioned by European Capitals of Culture.
PÊRA: Manual of Evasion LX94 and Cinesapiens have many connections. Both films deal with the concept of Novelty. Manual of Evasion deals with Novelty in Time and Cinesapiens with Novelty in Cinema. Manual of Evasion used the ideas of Terence Mckenna, Rudy Rucker and Robert Anton Wilson about time. Cinesapiens is a micro-fragmented story of the cinema spectator. It has many kino-quotes and influences.
KINO-NEWS: Yes, we’ve noticed. We found in Cinesapiens references and quotes from Buñuel, Dali, Monty Python, Jean Louis Schefer, Lumière, Raymond Bellour, Serge Daney, Edwin S. Porter, Eliot Weinberger, Jacques Dèrrida, Bruce Isaacs, The Jazz Singer, Al Jolson, Marcel Collet, António Lopes Ribeiro, Rudolfo Valentino, Ana Steese Richardson, Legion of Decency, Jaques Rancière, Jean-Luc Godard, Santana, Singing In The Rain, Tom Gunning, Mel Brooks, Sidney Lumet, Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever, Henry Jenkins, Elvis Presley, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Miroir du Cinema, Laura Mulvey, Vincent Price, Roger Corman, Bela Lugosi, Ed Wood Jr., Milos Forman, Wizard of Oz, Tom Waits, Bernard Herrman, Psycho, Bob Dylan, George Lucas, They Live, Videodrome, Woody Allen, John Williams, Jaws, Forbidden Planet, Joker, James Cagney, White Heat…
PÊRA: You have a very perceptive mind… You almost spotted everyone. And of course Jack Kirby and Ray Zone. And an excerpt from the short story “From Beyond” by Howard Phillips Lovecraft.
KINO-NEWS: Aren’t you afraid of losing your identity in the midst of a sea of cine-references?
PÊRA: Well, that was the challenge: to create a Kino-Frankenstein’s Monster, a new form of cine-life, but with conscience of itself. When the Kino-Frankensteins ’monster looks into the mirror, which is the screen, he sees a condensed reflection of Cine-History. So I created various levels of narrative, frames within frames and genres within genres. A kinetic bridge between a kino-essay and a cine-novel. There is one quote concerning Godard by Jacques Rancière which I particularly like: “Cinema has betrayed its vocation by sacrificing the fraternity of metaphors to the business of stories.” But the kino-quotes don’t necessarily reflect my point of view. The words and films were kino-canibalized, i.e. they were enslaved by the Cinesapiens creature. The screenplay uses the kino-quotes as catalysts for the scenes.
KINO-NEWS: Did you write a script for Cinesapiens?
PÊRA: Yes, I did, and sometimes I regret that I did it. (Pêra smiles)
KINO-NEWS (puzzled): Why?
PÊRA: Because I had to follow orders from my own past, and I would like to edit the film in total freedom. But one of the advantages of writing a screenplay for Cinesapiens, is that I had a direction and still I had liberty to shoot what I wanted to. So, before choosing the kino-quotes I wrote a text about Amazement in the history of cinema, from the Early Spectator to the Holocinema Viewer, establishing a bridge between kino-theory and film-practice.
KINO-NEWS: Cinesapiens is the prototype of your next 3D feature The Amazed Spectator?
PÊRA: Yes and no. Cinesapiens is a film by itself, but it is also the basis of The Amazed Spectator, both deeply rooted on the art B movie tradition. The Amazed Spectator is will be finished next year.
KINO-NEWS: Do you see a grim future for the cinema?
PÊRA: We hear a lot about the death of cinema, but cinema is alive, it is the viewers who are dying. And in this kino-kaos a new breed of spectators will emerge in the cracks of new ways of viewing films.
KINO-NEWS: You are talking about the Cinesapiens species? A Mutant Spectator? In the movie, the Cine-Lecturer Arnaldo Zeus (Nuno Melo) says that Cinesapiens is a being that perceives film as life and life as film. Is it someone who can believe in fiction and be amazed by reality?
PÊRA: I cannot say… I don’t think Zeus really knows what a Cinesapiens is…
KINO-NEWS: And what about the Kryptocelluloid beings that you keep talking about? Arnaldo Zeus also says that the kryptocelulloids suck reality and expel it in film form.
PÊRA: They are creatures that live in the memories of the spectators. Since we are global spectators we share mostly memories of Hollywood cinema.
KINO-NEWS (trying to be funny) : So the kryptocelluloids expel a lot of bullshit?
PÊRA: (trying to be serious) : I think that you can still find rule breakers inside the industry…
KINO-NEWS (interrupting) : I have with me a copy of a newspaper from 1990 about the Kryptocelluloids, so it’s an old concept of yours.
PÊRA: (looks at the newspaper smiling) O Independente? How did you find this? You are a krypto-reporter…
KINO-NEWS (slightly embarrassed): … where you say that “the kryptocelulloids were found by the assistant of Mr. Edison, while his boss was travelling to Europe. This unsung hero found a way to travel to the kryptocelluloid dimension and obtained the krypto-particles that originated film as we know it.” Are they a metaphor for filmmaking? Film as kind of excrement of reality?
PÊRA: The kryptocelluloids are very funny characters that I like to play with.
KINO-NEWS: Very different from The Baron.
PÊRA: Yes, Cinesapiens may be seen as a comical relieve from a neuro-gothic expressionistic nightmare. Before making a film I create a cine-universe to live in. When I was doing The Baron I volunteered to serve a master who was cruel and ruthless, who lived in the shadows and manipulated my will. Cinesapiens is a child made in an environment of love, freedom and enthusiasm so it meant for me a new way of life, much more true to my own identity. So it’s also a much more fragile cine-object.
PÊRA: Because it makes fun of serious subjects. When farce fucks with reality the result is a creature that needs some kind of visceral empathy, from a Parent-Amazed Spectator. Cinesapiens baby may be scorned by a Sober Spectator, not knowing how to react to its “silly faces”. And, as everybody knows, we still live under the dictatorship of Sobriety.
KINO-NEWS: So the Baron is a voyeuristic and “sober” film and Cinesapiens is an exhibitionist “alternate state of mind” movie ?
PÊRA: Well, The Baron is an adaptation of a novel from Branquinho da Fonseca and it was the first film I did with a “normal” subvention from the portuguese state. I had for the first time the opportunity to shoot with a honorable, even if very small for USA, budget. But it’s not a sober movie, the story is somber, but the film fights synkro-realistic tyranny, overlapping different dimensions of sound and image. The Baron was made under emotional fascism, as the original novel was written under the fascist regime. Cinesapiens was made after the collapse of a dictatorship. It celebrates freedom of thinking. And the right to laugh and to be silly.
KINO-NEWS: Is Cinesapiens a Silly Simphony?
PÊRA: Well, music is a key aspect of Cinesapiens. And I asked Jorge Prendas to make a silly musical that would remind the viewer some songs or artists of the history of cinema but without using the original melodies. Then I asked Leonor Keil to interpret it coreographicaly, also as a silly homage to the musicals.
KINO-NEWS: Do you feel that your cinema suffers from multiple personality disorder: In Cinesapiens and A Janela (Maryalva Mix)/ The Window (Don Juan Mix) you have the same actor playing different roles….
PÊRA: In Janela Lúcia Sigalho would play seven different women and seven different actors would play the same character, their lover. In Cinesapiens there are two actors who play different personas. Nuno Melo is Arnaldo Zeus the Cine-Lecturer. Each persona of Zeus represents different Ages of Spectatorship. Jorge Prendas is Alfredo Nyarlathotep, the Messenger of Chaos. His personas re-enact different ages of Kino-music.
KINO-NEWS: Both names have a portuguese first name and a mythological last name. Any particular reason?
PÊRA: Both Zeus and Nyarlathotep are beings that assume multiple forms. Hollywood has a pantheon of star-gods. Nyarlathotep is the messenger of the gods of the lovecraftian mythology.
KINO-NEWS: In Cinesapiens you have an excerpt from Lovecraft’s “From Beyond”.
PÊRA: Yes. Lovecraft was the only writer who updated mythology to modern times. His materialistic gods are reflections of the fears of our age. Their contempt for humans rivals our own contempt for each other.
KINO-NEWS: You already did an adaptation of Lovecraft with Keith Esher Davis (Professor Crawford Lovekraft in Cinesapiens). You used the famous first paragraph from The Call of Cthulhu.
PÊRA: Oh… that was a kino-sketch, a way to test 3D. …. Actually it’s the result of a trip to Auschwitz and a casting for the 3D feature Horror in The Red District, based on a Lovecraft story. Lovecraft anticipated the Holocaust. His phobias were the fuel of his narrative.
KINO-NEWS: Is there any connection to the From Beyond movie of the eighties?
PÊRA: Well, both films use humor to translate Lovecraft’s cosmic horror narrative. But I used the text, not the story. And if Lovecraft’s fiction doesn’t have humor, his letters have a lot. We can say that Lovecraft was much more complex than Kafka. The horror of his stories were based in the insignificance of human beings on a cosmic scale.
KINO-NEWS: The beginning of From Beyond is memorable: “What do we know of the world and the universe about us? We only see what we are constructed to see.” Is that a continuation of Who Is The Master Who Makes the Grass Green? and the reality tunnels of Robert Anton Wilson?
PÊRA: Yes. You are well informed and have a very sharp mind, for a young kid.
KINO-NEWS: (embarrassed) T…hank you.
PÊRA: Robert Anton Wilson objective relativism may be seen as a continuation of Lovecraft’s visions.
KINO-NEWS: So Cinesapiens is the continuation of the thesis of Who is the Master?
PÊRA: Well, Who is the Master is a seven minutes film. It must be a very short thesis! (laughs). But in a way, you are correct. Each person has its own reality tunnel and each spectator has a different memory of a movie. The consensual reality (and the consensual cinema) is the result of an atrophied organ of perception. I try to show my kino-reality tunnel with the minimum of interference from the cine-normalization processus.
KINO-NEWS: You worked with the same artistic team of The Baron in Cinesapiens. Actors, musicians and even some technicians. Why, if they are two complete different films?
PÊRA: Well, when I finish shooting a movie I always say: “now I am really ready to start shooting this film”. If you stay with the same people you tend to use what you’ve learned in the past and at the same time there is the common will to do something completely different.
KINO-NEWS: One last question about 3X3D: How do you feel between Godard and Greenaway?
PÊRA (smiling, and a bit ashamed): Like crashing into a party. Greenaway is a painter of moving images, a cine-architect. And it’s true that there’s cinema before and after Godard: today he is ubiquitous. I still have a very strong teenager-memory of Numéro Deux, of the way Godard treated the screen, it was a turning point in my way of looking at cinema. But I’m not relevant to the equation. I’m just a kino-trickster who likes to play with images and sounds. I only tried to be faithful to my cine-identity. I’m not in the same department of G & G.
KINO-NEWS: But the Worldwide Celluloid Massacre ranks you among them in the “Eccentric Europe section”. Zev Toledano even prefers Manual of Evasion LX94 to The Baron.
PÊRA: That guy must be more lunatic than I am. That’s one exception that confirms the rule. I’ve always lived outside the kino-radar. With 3X3D it’s the first time I have an international distributor. I’m cine-invisible.
KINO-NEWS: Do you agree with Olaf Moller when he said that you’re unknown because too different from what’s made in Portugal…He also says …
(PÊRA interrupts the Kino-News Reporter afraid that he will start proselytizing) PÊRA: Olaf Moller is another exception. He is the Krypto-Indiana Jones of lost cinematographies. He is also a text-maker, i.e. a filmmaker with words, who else could have said that I am a communist football player in a parallel universe?
KINO-NEWS: So the question still remains, sir: Who the Fuck is Edgar Pêra ?!?
PÊRA: Yes. You are correct again, young man. I must give you some autographed blu-rays of my films. When someone will publish them, of course.