LISBOA, CRÓNICA ANEDÓTICA

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of the filmmaker J. Leitão de Barros, Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema has released a DVD edition of his first feature film, the documentary LISBOA, CRÓNICA ANEDÓTICA (1930). This digital publication also includes Leitão de Barros first two films – the shorts MALMEQUER, a costume drama, and MAL DE ESPANHA, a contemporary comedy (both dated 1918). All the films are accompanied by a new piano soundtrack at the hands of Filipe Raposo.

J. Leitão de Barros’ first feature film is a truly remarkable work, fusing a wide range of aesthetic influences and artistic traditions, namely the European cinematographic avant-gardes (it is consciously within the genre and lineage of “urban symphonies” such as MANHATTA, BERLIN, SYMPHONY OF A GREAT CITY, and THE MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA). 

 

Portuguese intertitles, with English subtitles

The film also owes a stylistic debt to Leitâo de Barrios’s journalistic practices.  In 1928, the filmmaker had founded the magazine O Noticias Illustrado, a publication that revolutionized Portuguese press because of its pioneering use of rotogravure.  The outcome was a layout where the image, more than the text, was the hinge used to put a story across with its emphasis falling on the immediacy and instantaneity of the photographic image to create a notion of authenticity, and employing the formal strategies of montage and collage to express the quick pace of modern life.  Many of these features are shared by cinematic modernism, which aimed to reflect as well as to construct the experience of modernity.

 
  MARIE POUR MÉMOIRE

LISBOA, CRÓNICA ANEDÓTICA  is a unique portrait of the cultural atmosphere of 1920s Lisbon, combining documentary sequences and staged episodes that feature over 40 actors and actresses.  During the 1920s, Leitâo de Barrios also worked as a playwright and costume and set designer in some of the major Portuguese theatre companies.  Very familiar with the theatrical milieu, he transposed the popularity of these actors onto the cinema screen.  These scenes create a time capsule of Lisbon theater during this period, ground the Portuguese audience in a shared cultural universe, and prefigure the domestic film comedies of the ensuing two decades.

 
  LES ENFANTS DÉSACORDÉS

LISBOA, CHRÓNICA ANEDÓTICA is perhaps unique among the City Symphony films because of its overall structure as a chronological arc progressing from infancy to old age and back again (rather than from dawn to evening).  This theme is accentuated by the film’s opening title, which states “To Be Born, To Live, To Die in Lisbon”, further underscoring that LISBOA, CHRÓNICA ANEDÓTICA posits itself as a film promoting notions of reinvention and modernity. 

 FILMMAKER J. Leitão de Barros

FILMMAKER J. Leitão de Barros

 
 
 

Contents

Format: DVD-PAL / Region 0
(No Regional Code)

LISBOA, CRÓNICA ANEDÓTICA
(Portugal, 1930)

Director: Leitão de Barros
Production Company: Salm. Levy Jr. & Co.
Cinematography: Artur Costa de Macedo, Manuel Luis Viera, Salazar Diniz, Paul Martillièri

  • 120 minutes
  • 35mm
  • B&W
  • Silent

BONUS MATERIAL

MALMEQUER (Portugal, 1918)

Director: Leitão de Barros
Production Company: Lusitania Film (Lisbon)
Cinematography: Manuel Maria da Costa Veiga, Artur Costa de Macedo

Cast: Aida de Aguiar, Robles Monteiro

  • 23 minutes
  • 35mm
  • B&W and Color (Tinted)
  • Silent

MAL DE ESPANHA (Portugal, 1918)

Director: Leitão de Barros
Production Company: Lusitania Film (Lisbon)
Cinematography: Manuel Maria da Costa Veiga, Artur Costa de Macedo

Cast: Joaquim Costa, Sofia Santos, Beatriz Viana, Laura Costa, José Azambuj

  • 19 minutes
  • 35mm
  • B&W
  • Silent

SOBRE ESTA EDIÇÂO (ABOUT THIS EDITION)

  • A documentary on the production of this DVD edition.
  • 11 minutes
  • Color
  • Sound
   

Total Running Time: 02:53:00 (2 Discs)

Language: Portuguese intertitles, English subtitles

Musical Score: Filipe Raposo

Booklet Text: Alfonso Cortez, Tiago Baptista, Malte Hagener (76 pages, in Portugese and in English)

Published By: Cinemateca Portuguesa

Institutional Price: $300 (plus shipping).

To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.