Manoel de Oliveira

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Manoel de Oliveira 2008 in the Cinémathèque française

Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira (born December 11, 1908 in Porto ; † April 2, 2015 ibid) was a Portuguese film director and screenwriter . From 2001 until his death, he was considered the oldest active director in the world and the only one who had worked during the silent film era .


Oliveira was born in 1908 to a wealthy Portuguese family in Porto. Since he was born before the Portuguese spelling reform of 1911, he wrote his name in the old spelling Manoel (instead of the modern form Manuel) until the end. At a young age he was an active athlete, u. a. also car racers. He initially wanted to be an actor and he also took on some film roles. So he stepped u. a. In 1933 in the first exclusively Portuguese sound film production of the subsequently flourishing Portuguese film , in Cottinelli Telmo's comedy A Canção de Lisboa , alongside Vasco Santana a . a. But the film Berlin - The Symphony of the Big City by Walter Ruttmann had a lasting influence on him and inspired him to become a film director. His first work was made in 1931 as a silent film: Douro, faina fluvial , a documentary (German title: Harte Arbeit am Douro ) about the northern Portuguese river Douro , which flows into Oliveira's hometown.

His first feature film directorial work, Aniki Bóbó (1942), about children of the port district in Porto, was the first neorealist film before Visconti's obsession in 1943 , but it was a commercial failure. From now on Oliveira turned to the production of port wine in the family winery on the Douro. Oliveira justified this break with the fact that it was very difficult for him to make films during the repressive Estado Novo regime in Portugal. At the end of the 1950s he returned to the cinema. In 1955 he came to Germany for some time to familiarize himself with color film. He acquired technical equipment and made two feature films in complete self-production, but was not able to show them. After a documentary film ( O Pão , 1959), in which he got to know the traditions in Curalha , a community in the district ( concelho ) of Chaves , he decided to make another feature film. O Acto da Primavera (Eng. Title: The Passion of Jesus in Curalha ) won a gold medal at the Siena Film Festival and was a starting signal for Oliveira's future international orientation. However, the film was shown only once in Portugal, and because of some dialogue, Oliveira was temporarily detained by the PIDE secret police .

De Oliveira at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival

Despite all the changes in Portuguese film, he did not make any other films until 1971, not even after he was recognized as a figurehead of the young movement at the "Study Week for Portuguese Novo Cinema " organized by the Porto Film Club in 1967 , and as its forerunner O Acto da Primavera applies. At an age when others are retiring, Oliveira devoted herself more and more to filmmaking. Since then, a good 30 feature films have been made, the most famous of which is likely to be On the banks of the river (1994) (Vale Abraão). His friend Wim Wenders gave de Oliveira a guest appearance in his 1994 film Lisbon Story , in which he played himself.

Oliveira turned a. a. with his friend Michel Piccoli , with John Malkovich , Catherine Deneuve and Irene Papas as well as with Marcello Mastroianni (so in 1996 Mastroianni's last film, Journey to the Beginning of the World , released in 1997) and later with his daughter Chiara Mastroianni . He was shown at the film festivals of Venice , Cannes , Montreal a . a. multiple awards.

“Oliveira was a genuinely European director who derived from Feuillade and not from Griffith . His audience, even if you take television into account, is not a mass audience, ”writes film historian Thomas Brandlmeier .

Oliveira not only directed, he also worked on the script and worked on editing, camera work and as a producer.

A final honor during Manoel de Oliveira's lifetime was the choice of his short film Chafariz das Virtudes as trailer for the Viennale 2014.

Filmography (selection)

  • 1931: Hard work on the Douro River (Douro, faina fluvial)
  • 1942: Aniki Bóbó
  • 1963: The Passion of Jesus in Curalha (O acto da primavera)
  • 1972: past and present (O passado eo presente)
  • 1975: Benilde, virgin and mother (Benilde ou a virgem mãe)
  • 1979: The Doom of Love (Amor de perdição)
  • 1981: Francisca
  • 1985: The silk shoe (Le soulier de satin)
  • 1987: My case (Mon cas)
  • 1988: The cannibals (Os canibais)
  • 1990: Non or The Ephemeral Glory of Dominion (Non, ou a Vã Glória de Mandar)
  • 1991: The Divine Comedy (A divina comédia)
  • 1992: Day of Despair (O dia de desespero)
  • 1993: On the banks of the river (Vale abraão)
  • 1994: The beggar's box (A caixa)
  • 1995: The monastery (Le couvent)
  • 1996: party
  • 1997: Journey to the beginning of the world (Viagem ao princípio do mundo)
  • 1998: Unrest (Inquiétude)
  • 1999: The Letter (A carta)
  • 2000: Word and Utopia
  • 2001: The postage of my childhood
  • 2001: I'm going home (Vou para casa / Je rentre à la maison)
  • 2002: The Uncertainty Principle (O Princípio da Incerteza)
  • 2003: To Films Falado - Trip to Bombay (To Films Falado)
  • 2004: O Quinto Império - Ontem Como Hoje (The Fifth Empire - Yesterday as Today)
  • 2006: Belle Toujours
  • 2007: Christopher Columbus - The Riddle (Cristóvão Colombo - O Enigma)
  • 2009: peculiarities of a young blonde (Singularidades de uma rapariga loura)
  • 2010: O estranho caso de Angélica
  • 2012: O Gebo ea Sombra
  • 2014: O Velho do Restelo

Awards (selection)

Manoel de Oliveira received honorary doctorates from the University of the Algarve (2008) and the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (2011).

See also


Web links

Commons : Manoel de Oliveira  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Morreu Manoel de Oliveira. on: Publico. 2nd April 2015
  2. Filming to Survive. on: Spiegel online. December 11, 2008
  3. The film director Manoel de Oliveira, 100, about time, intimacy and car racing. In: Der Spiegel. Issue 7/2009, June 29, 2009, p. 46
  4. Jorge Leitão Ramos: Dicionário do cinema portugués 1962-1988. 1st edition. Editorial Caminho, Lisbon 1989, p. 286
  5. ^ A. Murtinheira, I. Metzeltin: History of the Portuguese cinema. 1st edition. Praesens Verlag, Vienna 2010, p. 97
  6. Thomas Brandlmeier: Manoel de Oliveira and the grotesque melodrama. Verbrecherverlag, Berlin 2010, p. 6. ( Memento from January 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Chafariz das Virtudes (2014) - Plot Summary (English, accessed on April 3, 2015)
  8. Awards of the Berlinale 2009 , accessed April 29, 2017