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Joao Pedro Rodrigues and Joao Mata Drop Trailer for ‘Where is This Street?’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Martin Dale Contributor“Where is This Street? or With No Before and After,” co-directed by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, is screening in competition at Locarno.The pic revisits locations and themes from Paulo Rocha’s 1963 film “Os Verdes Anos” (“The Green Years”), a best first film winner at Locarno in 1964 and considered to be a point of departure for Portugal’s Cinema Novo movement.“We believe that the film works at its own level, and also gains further levels of meaning when viewed in conjunction with ‘Os Verdes Anos,’” explains Rodrigues. “By revisiting locations from the 1963 film, but without people, we planned to make an ode to Lisbon, a symphony of the city, working in the tradition of directors such as Walter Ruttman.

This idea, that predated the pandemic, foresaw the atmosphere created by the lockdown which suddenly emptied the city.” Rodrigues studied under Paulo Rocha at Lisbon Film School and inherited an apartment from his grandparents that overlooks a decor that appeared in the 1963 film.Midway through their film, Rodrigues and Mata appear in the apartment window, looking down at actress Isabel Ruth, who starred in “The Green Years,” and begins by reprising the latter’s theme song and then segues into a love song that she herself composed.Whereas Rocha’s film features two young lovers, in their “green years” of youth, whose energy and romantic attraction clashes with the claustrophobic and conservative environment of Lisbon during the Salazar dictatorship, “Where Is This Street?” shows a Lisbon emptied by the lockdown restrictions, in a new and even more oppressive form of claustrophobia.“It’s almost as if the film was infected by the pandemic.

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