Manoel de Oliveira  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira (December 11, 1908 – April 2, 2015) was a Portuguese film director and screenwriter.



Manuel de Oliveira was born in Oporto on December 12, 1908 to a family of wealthy industrialists.

Oliveira attended school in Galicia, Spain and his goal as a teenager was to become an actor. He enrolled in Italian film-maker Rino Lupo's acting school at age 20, but later changed his mind when he saw Walther Ruttmann's documentary Berlin: Symphony of a City. This prompted him to direct his first film, also a documentary, titled Douro, faina fluvial (1931).

He also has the distinction of having acted in the second Portuguese sound film, A Canção de Lisboa (1933).

His first feature film only came much later, in 1942. Aniki-Bóbó, a portrait of Oporto's street children, was a commercial failure when it opened, and its merit only came to be recognised over time. This drawback forced Oliveira to abandon other film projects he was involved in, and to dedicate himself to running the family business. In spite of that, he didn't lose any of his passion for the medium, and re-emerged in 1956 with The Artist and the City.

In 1963, O Acto de Primavera (The Rite of Spring), a documentary depicting an annual passion play enacted by peasants, marked a turning point for his career. This was shortly followed by A caça (The Hunt), a grim feature film that contrasted with the happy tones of his previous documentary. Despite the widespread acclaim garnered by both films, he would not return to the director's seat until the 1970s.

Manoel de Oliveira claims to direct movies for the sheer pleasure of doing it, regardless of critical reaction. He maintains a quiet life away from the spotlights, despite multiple honours in festivals such as those of Cannes, Venice and Montreal.



Documentaries and shorts

  • 1931 Douro, Faina Fluvial
  • 1932 Hulha Branca
  • 1932 Estátuas de Lisboa
  • 1937 Os Últimos Temporais: Cheias do Tejo
  • 1938 Miramar, Praia das Rosas
  • 1938 Já se fabricam automóveis em Portugal
  • 1941 Famalicão
  • 1956 The Artist and the City
  • 1958 O Coração
  • 1959 O Pão
  • 1963 The Hunt (short narrative)
  • 1964 Villa Verdinho: Uma Aldeia Transmontana
  • 1965 As Pinturas do meu Irmão Júlio
  • 1982 Visita ou Memórias e Confissões
  • 1983 Lisboa Cultural
  • 1983 Nice... À Propos de Jean Vigo
  • 1986 Simpósio Internacional de Escultura em Pedra
  • 1988 A Propósito da Bandeira Nacional
  • 2002 Momento (short)
  • 2005 Do Visível ao Invisível (short)
  • 2006 O Improvável não é Impossível (short)
  • 2007 Rencontre Unique (short segment from To Each His Own Cinema)
  • 2008 O Vitral e a Santa Morta (short)
  • 2008 Romance de Vila do Conde (short)
  • 2010 Painéis de São Vicente de Fora, Visão Poética
  • 2011 Do Visível ao Invisível (short segment from Mundo Invisível)
  • 2012 O Conquistador Conquistado (segment from Centro Histórico)
  • 2014 O Velho do Restelo (The Old Man of Belem)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Manoel de Oliveira" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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