Wednesday, 8 April 2015

OBIT - MANOEL DE OLIVEIRA


A temporary break from the site prevented me from posting an obituary for Manoel de Oliveira, who died on the 2nd of April 2015 at age 106. The acclaimed Portuguese auteur was often considered to be the world's oldest filmmaker; what was most remarkable was the frequency and the quality of the work he continued to produce well into his eleventh decade. Initially a director of documentary shorts, a transition into feature length and fiction filmmaking was not entirely smooth under Salazar's dictatorship. However, since the early '80s, he has been one of Europe's foremost cinematic artists, with accolades to his name such as career / lifetime achievement awards from the Venice Film Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival and the Portuguese Golden Globes and honorary awards from the Cannes and Berlin fests and the European Film Awards, alongside three FIPRESCI prizes. He is survived by his wife Maria, their four children Manuel, Jose, Maria and Adelaide and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. de Oliveira will be much missed by the cinematic community worldwide, though we may look forward to the release of his 1982 feature Memories and Confessions, which he had dictated only to be shown after his death.