There’s something about Portuguese cinema that I don’t understand. It’s like they don’t even try. The common symptoms of bad Portuguese cinema are easy to point out:

  • Weird characters : in Portuguese movies people are always weird, evil, twisted and insane
  • Undefined plot : in most of them, the movie starts and it seems you are already missing something
  • Bad music : due to low budgets, the musical choices are always based on experimental music, most of the times, boring, bad and uninspired
  • Bad sound : Most of the times it’s really hard to understand the dialogue, due to the low volume of the voices or high background noise. When they decide that overdubs are needed, you can always tell, always!

On the last weekend I went to see “O Crime do Padre Amaro”, based on the novel by Eça de Queirós. Technically I think the movie was ok, it seemed well shot (I’m not an expert on this matter) and the sound in general was acceptable. But problem was the editing, this movie was shot as a series of episodes to be broadcasted in the future on Portuguese TV, due to that the movie had to be cut to fit the usual 1.5 to 2 hours. It was like watching something in fast forward. You were asked to figure out what was happening, since each scene was cut to the very essential. This led to a lot of sudden changes in the plot, adding to that, the makers of the movie realized that every single scene of the movie HAD to have a song, I mean every! I must’ve heard the entire Da Weasel and Mesa albums on that movie.
Oh, and then the clichés: the out of place girl, the sex-freaks (with proper visual sex scenes), the white guy from the ghetto that thinks he is black, the over-acting over-clichéd gay guys. Oh well…
I’m not saying everything is crap, but everything seems like it’s done without thinking too much, without caring, without trying hard.