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Cinema House Manoel de Oliveira features the filmmaker's life and work
25-06-2019

The "Casa do Cinema Manoel de Oliveira" ["Cinema House Manoel de Oliveira", free translation] was inaugurated in Serralves, on 24 June by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.


The House was designed by architect Siza Vieira and "it does justice to the greatest filmmaker of our country, to the national cinema and to the city of Porto", affirmed Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, quoted by Lusa, on the occasion of the ceremony held in the gardens of Serralves, in front of the "Casa Cinema".


Among the guests were the Ministry of Culture, Graça Fonseca, the architect from Porto, Álvaro Siza Vieira, the Chair of the Management Board of the Serralves Foundation, Ana Pinho, the Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, the President of the Municipal Assembly of Porto, Miguel Pereira Leite, and the municipal councillors, among other guests.


The President of the Republic also highlighted the eight decades that Manoel de Oliveira devoted to filmmaking, affirming that "the artist remained faithful to his beliefs and obsessions".


At the age of 106 years, film director Manoel de Oliveira was the world's oldest man still in working activity. He was the only one to have witnessed the evolution from silent movies to the sound movies era, and from black and white films to colour films.


He was able to accomplish his last wish: "to continue making movies to death". Manoel de Oliveira was also known as The Master.


The Portuguese film director and screenwriter was born in Cedofeita, Porto. He first began making films in 1927. Then, in 1931 he completed his first film Douro, Faina Fluvial, which is a documentary about his home city Porto made in the city symphony genre.


Aniki-Bóbó was his feature film debut in 1942. Manoel de Oliveira would continue to make shorts and documentaries for the next 30 years, without being considered a major world film director.


According to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the opening of the "Casa do Cinema Manoel de Oliveira", six years past the agreement reached between the filmmaker and the Serralves Foundation, and four years past his death, on 2 April 2015, "it is only fair to the city of Porto, the city that served as scenario for most of his films, where Oliveira was born, where his family managed a factory, where he studied, where he was an athlete, a pilot driver, a filmmaker, and where he lived and died".


And the question that must be asked, what does the Cinema House Manoel de Oliveira houses? It houses the life script of Manoel Oliveira, his work, through photography, texts, sketches, props, film scripts, awards, posters, mail and the entire library and document collection of the filmmaker.


The aim is to broaden the knowledge on his life and work by studying his cultural heritage, which includes the history, art and culture in the field of cinema in Portugal in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


The "Casa do Cinema" currently houses two exhibitions: a permanent one (a tour on the artwork and life of The master, displaying the various awards and prizes collected over eighty years in the business, and a temporary one, themed "Manoel de Oliveira: A Casa".