Douro, Faina Fluvial (Hard Work on the River Douro), The Painter and the City (O Pintor e a Cidade), and Bread (O Paõ)

Douro, Faina Fluvial
Douro, Faina Fluvial is de Oliveira's classic documentary study of his native town of Oporto. Richard Penã writes, “Clearly influenced by the ‘city symphonies' of Ruttman and Cavalcanti, Douro is a remarkably accomplished debut, a lyrical study full of striking visual compositions and a fine sense of pacing” (in Journal of the University Film & Video Assoc., Summer '83). “It is also defiantly unromantic in its portrayal of poverty and deprivation, a fact which caused a rumpus at an international congress in the early '30s when Portuguese officials protested a spectacle which showed such severe working conditions” (John Gillett, Sight & Sound).
• Directed, Produced, Written and Edited by Manoel de Oliveira. Photographed by Antonio Mendes. (1931, 18 mins, In Portuguese, 35mm)

O Pintor e a Cidade
Oporto was also the locale for de Oliveira's first feature film, Aniki-Bobo, which is today one of Portugal's best-loved works, but was a financial disaster that sent the director into a fourteen-year period of inactivity. “Before returning to features with O Acto da Primavera (November 27) in 1961,” Penã writes, “de Oliveira made two more documentaries, The Painter and the City (1956) and Bread (1959). Both are handsome, well-crafted works, the first made in the upbeat style of Douro, juxtaposing images of modern Oporto with nineteenth century drawings (Oporto as envisioned by the painter, Antonio Cruz, in his watercolors--ed.).” Richard Penã
• Directed, Produced, Written, Photographed and Edited by Manoel de Oliveira. Music by Padre Luis Rodrigues. (1956, 28 mins, In Portuguese, 35mm)

O Paõ
"...Bread opens with a shot of wheatfields in brilliant color and then proceeds, without commentary, to enact a small parable on bread production. Throughout, Oliveira's associative editing is masterly, yet there is no forced didacticism. The film works most effectively as a kind of polemical poem, without words.” John Gillett, Sight & Sound
• Directed, Written, Photographed and Edited by Manoel de Oliveira. Produced by Portuguese Federation of Flour Manufacturers. (1959, 24 mins, In Portuguese, 35mm, Color)

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