“I saw the past as a shapeless, visceral mass, yet still somehow perfectible. It had its noble elements but among them I couldn’t help but recognize something – the main thing – that was viscous, unpleasant, and elusive to the grasp, like the intestines of a freshly disemboweled animal.”
“In fact, much of Lover for a Day is built on rhyming schemes that permutate different arrangements of characters into the same type of situation: side-by-side conversations framed in close two-shot; people walking and talking in the street; even certain sex positions recur.
“Fang Xiuying is the mother of a good friend of mine. I was going to make a documentary about her in 2015, but it was postponed because I was too busy at the time. In 2016, the friend called to tell me that her mother’s illness had grown severe, and she might not live very long.
“Early on, I decided that the premise and structure for the film would be the Ouroboros: the symbol of the snake eating its tail, a perpetual cycle of destruction and renewal, in order to ask the open ended question of whether forgetting was the way forward or the way that we destroy ourselves.
“Combining archives of May 1968, amateur films showing the crushing of the Prague Spring that same year and the tourist images of his mother’s trip to China in the year of the Cultural Revolution, João Moreira Salles questions the posterity of the most intense moments of history, be they official
“‘The specter of its own end haunts Europe,’ we are told, adding that this isn’t a normal end but ‘an endless ending.’ It’s a good point, given that nine years on from 2008, Portugal apparently still hasn’t crawled out of the massive hole caused by the crisis and the imposed austerity measures th
“Drawing on identity photos taken by the Portuguese political police during the dictatorship, Susana de Sousa Dias continues the work she began fifteen years ago on the possibility of representing a repressed history and giving an account of the torture now erased.
“I guess the train has always been a close friend with cinema since the very beginning. The Lumieres’ The Arrival of a Train for example. So the long, fascinating historical aspect is there to begin with. Also trains bring people together - strangers, families and friends.