The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak for centenarian filmmaker
By Devin D. O’Leary
You don’t see a lot of films coming out of Portugal these days. I doubt you ever did. Filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira is from Portugal, though. He’s directed something in the neighborhood of 50 features over the course of his long career—meaning he could be responsible for a measurable percentage of his country’s filmic output. His first was in 1942. His last was this very year. I’ve never heard of any of them, and I doubt you have either. But the guy’s some kind of legend, having written and directed The Strange Case of Angélica—hitting select theaters in America right now—at the record-breaking age of 101.
Experiments in Cinema v6.3—Basement Films and the UNM Department of Cinematic Arts’ annual celebration of all things filmy and mind-bending—gets underway in earnest April 13 through 17. There will be a sneak peek this Sunday, April 3, however, at the historic KiMo Theatre in Downtown Albuquerque. This one-off screening from 1 to 3 p.m. will feature regional youth films. Artistic director Bryan Konefsky has chosen a selection of experimental student shorts to kick off this year’s festivities. Admission for this special pre-fest event is free. Log on to the Experiments website for information on all the upcoming films, workshops and parties.
It began with an ill-timed joke. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who has served as the squawking voice of the Aflac duck in television commercials since 2000, rather unwisely posted a couple of one-liners to his Twitter account right after the tsunami hit Japan. Sample joke: “I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said ‘is there a school in this area.’ She said ‘not now, but just wait.’ ” On an offensive scale of 1 to 10, that’s about a 5. On a funny scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 3.5, tops.