By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Until Wednesday, November 2nd, São Paulo residents and visitors will have the opportunity to watch hundreds of films from Brazil and abroad at the São Paulo International Film Festival. The 40th edition of the festival, which opened on October 20th, will show 322 different films in 35 locations, including cultural centers and museums around the state capital, including free outdoor projections during weekends.
“I think this is a year that we have to make political reflections, think about it (political situation) calmly and reflectively,” festival curator, Renata de Almeida, said during a press conference at the beginning of the month. “The festival has always been political, but not partisan. The aim is to promote dialogue, something films do well, encouraging reflection.”
This year’s festival will pay tribute to two great directors of cinema: Italy’s Marco Bellocchio and the Poland’s Andrzej Wajda. Marco Bellocchio, also the author of this year’s festival poster, is confirmed to be at the event and will have twelve of his films shown, including Beautiful Dreams, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
“Bellocchio is a restless filmmaker who always comes up with many questions in the psychological field, but also has very strong work in the political field,” Almeida was quoted as saying by Agencia Brasil. In addition to Beautiful Dreams, other films by the director will be shown, including Pagliacci (2016), Beauty that Sleep (2012), China Is Near (1967), The Religion Hour (2002), and Good Morning, Night (2003).
Andrzej Wajda, will be honored with a retrospective of seventeen titles, including The Young Ladies of Wilko (1979), Ashes (1965) Ashes and Diamonds ( 1958), Everything for Sale (1968), Man of Marble (1976), Iron Man (1981), and Walesa (2013). “The Poles call him the father of Polish cinema. He has a very striking political filmography. Through his work, you can understand the history of Poland, ranging from Nazism to the political opening,” says Almeida.
Also a confirmed presence in this year’s festival is American director and U.S. Academy Award Winner, William Friedkin, who will be honored with the Leon Cakoff award. Seven of Friedkin’s films will be shown, including The Exorcist (1973) and The French Connection (1971), which won five Academy Awards, including best film and best director for Friedkin.
For those eyeing next year’s Academy Awards, the São Paulo film festival will also show ten foreign films up for nomination for the prestigious U.S. award, including Iran’s The Apartment (Forushande) by Asghar Farhadi, Philippines’ Ma’Rosa by Brillante Ma. Mendoza, and Bósnia-Herzegovina/French production Death in Sarajevo (Smrt U Sarajevu) by Danis Tanovic.
The film festival will also show the latest works by directors Abbas Kiarostami, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Bahman Gohbadi, Danis Tanovic, Döris Dorrie, Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, Jia Zhangke, Jim Jarmusch, João Botelho, Paul Verhoeven, Park Chan-wook, and Paz Encina.