Elegant Perversions: The Cinema of João César Monteiro

9/18/10 to 10/24/10

Combining an almost reverential approach to filming everyday life with an embrace of all things obscene, repressed, and unspoken, the cinema of Portuguese filmmaker João César Monteiro is one of the major rediscoveries-and controversies-of the season.

Read full description
  • Recollections of the Yellow House, September 18

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Films

  • The Hips of J.W.

    • Sunday, October 24 7:00 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal, 1997). Inspired by a postcard from critic Serge Daney and dedicated to filmmakers Straub-Huillet, Monteiro's spare tale of a theater director, John Wayne, and freedom re-appropriates Strindberg, Beckett, Bresson, and Pasolini. "A kind of cinephile transubstantiation orgy in which thought becomes flesh becomes celluloid." -Film Comment (128 mins)

  • Come and Go

    • Thursday, October 21 7:00 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal, 2003). Monteiro's last film, a blissful merging of sunny Lisbon parks, dark rooms, conversations, arguments, and inappropriate sexual obsession. “A wave goodbye, with the middle finger extended.”-James Quandt. “A quintessential Monteiro film, which means it is as idiosyncratic as a William Burroughs novel.”-Screen Daily. (175 mins)

  • Snow White

    • Sunday, October 10 6:10 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal, 2000). Monteiro strips away the image, and leaves only words, in this radical adaptation of Swiss author Robert Walser's notorious work. (75 mins)

  • God's Wedding

    • Saturday, October 9 8:10 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal, 1999). More comic and sexual misadventures of our elderly Buster Keaton-like hero, João de Deus. “With a serenely riotous yet self-deprecating comic restraint, Monteiro lightly sketches the abyss between the aristocrat and the bum, piety and hedonism, and this world and the beyond, over which he gracefully flits.”-The New Yorker (150 mins)

  • Hovering over Water

    • Thursday, October 7 7:00 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal, 1986). A stranger with an American accent interrupts a woman's summertime return to the Portuguese seaside. “This is the cinema of underreaction-long and tolerant takes, with the camera happy to stay still and watch as a fish is sliced and served or a bedtime story is told.”-The New Yorker (150 mins)

  • The Last Dive

    • Sunday, October 3 6:30 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal, 1992). Saved from suicide, a young man joins an older ex-sailor on a nocturnal ramble through the streets, bars, and brothels of Lisbon. “The spirit of Fellini looms over this ribald urban folktale, but its mercurial cinematic inspiration is Monteiro's own.” -The New Yorker (88 mins)

  • God's Comedy

    • Saturday, September 25 8:00 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal/France/Italy, 1995). Obsession, sensual pleasure, and ice cream form the unholy trinity of Monteiro's grand statement on the human condition. This monument to cinephilia suggests an unholy alliance between Straub, Tati, de Sade, and a nondescript porn director, under the direction of a dandy who only cares about two things: pleasure and vice."-Film Comment (163 mins)

  • Trails

    • Friday, September 24 7:00 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal, 1978). The fables and folklore-and modern politics-of rural Portugul are brought to life in this storytelling travelogue moving from Tras-Os-Montes to the Alentejo. (116 mins)

  • Silvestre

    • Sunday, September 19 4:00 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal, 1981). Two young sisters are seduced by a villain in Monteiro's luridly designed early film, staged with the deep colors of medieval religious paintings. "A masterpiece of faux naïveté, Silvestre overflows with miraculous events and wonderment at the misery and violence of the world.”-Film Comment (118 mins)

  • Recollections of the Yellow House

    • Saturday, September 18 6:30 PM

    João César Monteiro (Portugal, 1989) (122 mins). A melancholy, middle-aged, natural-born tramp obsesses over sex, desire, and his landlady's daughter in this Portuguese merging of Chaplin and Dostoevsky's Underground Man. “Monteiro sidesteps psychodrama to produce something altogether cooler, more thought-provoking, and more perverse.”-Time Out (122 mins)