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Alentejo Late Afternoon is an aesthetic essay on the earliest sources of the art of cinema: light, movement, sound and pretense. Using Alentejo’s landscape as the canvas and the camera as an instrument for the expression of an original look, a cinematographi... read more

Completed On: 12 Nov, 2018

Duration: 29 min 0 sec

Genres: Documentary, Experimental, Short

Country: Portugal

Director: Carlos Ruiz Carmona

Submitted By: Carlos Carmona

Alentejo Late Afternoon is an aesthetic essay on the earliest sources of the art of cinema: light, movement, sound and pretense. Using Alentejo’s landscape as the canvas and the camera as an instrument for the expression of an original look, a cinematographic
structure is created around references to the history of cinema, a revisiting of forms, styles and models that made the cinema and its more direct antecedents: photography, painting, music, theater. The evening light is approached as if it were a character, dressed
in all the emotions so many are the changing colors that runs through the entire spectrum of visible light. In this sense, in Alentejo Late Afternoon the landscape and the sunset are the pretext to expose, with shamelessness, the invisible joy of creating cinema, this
admirable new world of representation, emotion and discovery. Such as the Alentejo landscape that is represented here as the protagonist of a film of a universal time and place.
  • Directors
    Carlos Carmona
  • Producers
    Carlos Carmona
  • Writers
    Carlos Carmona
  • Film Type
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres
  • Runtime
    29 minutes 0 seconds
  • Completion Date
    12 Nov, 2018
  • Production Budget
    12000 EUR
  • Country of Origin
  • Country of Filming
  • Film Language
  • Shooting Format
    16 mm
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Film Color
  • Student Project
  • First-time Filmmaker

Director's Biography

Spanish/Portuguese filmmaker who has worked as producer and director in England and Portugal since 1995. He has produced several shorts and documentaries for television over the years. He currently lives in Porto (Portugal) where he set up his own production company, Fronteira Filmes, mostly dedicated to the production of documentaries.
In 1999 Carlos Ruiz directed and produced his first feature-length film: To anyone who can hear me. This film was premiered at the International Film Festival of Taormina, Italy and participated in festivals such as Edinburgh, Madrid, Sienna, Croatia, Roma, and Figueira da Foz. In 1999 To anyone who can hear me won two major awards at the International Film Festival of Figueira da Foz, Portugal: Grand Prix for best Feature Fiction Film and International Journalists Jury Prize and an Honorable Mention at the International Film Festival of Famalicâo, Portugal. In 2001 Carlos Ruiz produced Shadows, which was entered in competitions at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (Netherlands) in January 2002. Shadows had its debut at Columbia Tri-Star Preview Theatre in London, England, 2001.

In 2004 Carlos Ruiz directs and produces his second feature film: Portrait, an award wining feature documentary which has participated in many International Film Festivals such as Taiwan, Ankara, Rome, Madrid, Mexico, Cadiz, Helsinski, DocLisboa and Tui-PlayDoc. In 2005 Portrait won Best Spanish Feature Film at the International Documentary Film Festival of Madrid, Spain. In the same year the film was awarded an Honorable Distinction at the International Documentary Film Festival of Tui, Pontevedra, Spain. In 2009 and 2010 Portrait was selected and distributed internationally by Miguel Cervantes’ Institute. The program included multiple long-term exhibitions in Mexico, Moscow, Shanghai, Stockholm, Beijing, Rome and Casablanca. In 2013 was selected and exhibited worldwide by Eurochannel in Europe, Asia and America.

CRU/RAW represents his last feature length documentary work. This film took almost a decade to be produced. The narrative includes content shot on institutions such as the Tribunal, the Hospital, the University, the Police, and the Prison.

Honour Mention, Avanca International Film Festival, July 2018
Best Documentary, Bragacine Independent Film Festival, Bracara Augusta Award, 2010 Portugal
Minhoto Cinema Best Film, Filminho Minho International Film Festival, 2010 Portugal
Honourable Mention, Tui International Documentary Film Festival, 2006 Pontevedra, Spain
Best Spanish Feature City of Madrid Award, Madrid International Documentary Film Festival, 2005 Spain
Best Director, Festival Internacional Independente de Braga – Braga Cine,2005 Portugal
Best Feature film, Figueira da Foz International Film Festival, 1999 Portugal
International Press Award, Figueira da Foz International Film Festival, 1999 Portugal
Honour Mention, Famalicão International Video and Film Festival, 2001 Portugal

Director's Statement

Late afternoon in Alentejo initially arises from the will to pictorially portray and imortalize Alentejo’s light and color in a plastic way as if it were a painting. This passion emerges after many moments of contemplation of the landscape in several places of that region
and the changes of color and light at different times of the day, with special emphasis on the twilight, that moment when the sunset pre-announces the birth of the night. The perfect metaphor for the cycle of death and life that will come at dawn the next day. In this way, this project has as its first motivation a fascination for the observation of the Alentejo landscape which, for the director, represents a universal microcosm and that refers to and recalls great works of painting.
It is not by chance that the title Late Afternoon in Alentejo refers to the titles of so many paintings by artists such as Van Gogh (Avenue of Poplars at sunset), Claude Monet ("Sunset", "Grainstick at sunset"), WilliamTurner ("Sunset") to name a few, whose fascination with the light of the setting sun on the landscapes, beings and objects, we can
Thus this project comes to light intuitively from the view of the director who as a painter of the classical period goes in search of the light to portray, imortalize and share his experience, his pictorial vision of the sunset in Alentejo.
During this process and as a director I realised that the landscape was "artificial", that is, it was sculpted, organised, built by the all powerful hand of mankind. Apart from the clouds, the skies, the insects, the rocks, some trees, little or almost nothing remains of its
original past. The landscape represents a vast sculpture shaped by the hand of man, an immense canvas although of human proportions, because in Alentejo the extension is still of a human measure.
From this detailed observation unfolds a reflexive and poetic dialogue between me, the manipulative director, and the transformed, domesticated nature. It is this dialogue that defines the aesthetic treatment of the film. A dialogue that will put in parallel, sometimes
in contrast, sometimes in harmony, the nature observed in the Alentejo landscape during and just before sunset and the very construction of the film narrative. This dialogue is
expressed in several domains throughout its construction: in sound, light, composition, narrative structure, contemplation of simple events, patient waiting at the right moment,
objects and fragile events, sometimes imperceptible, in the way of the look, in the search for simplicity in the look, in the way of seeing the Alentejo.
The sounds of natural environments and non-diegetic artificial sounds are continually confronted throughout the cinematic narrative by constructing a reflective and poetic dialogue that draws attention to the construction and artificiality of the object and the
Mechanical sounds of a rewinding tape, distorted sounds, electric noises, moments of silence, the rustling sound of a paper, among others interrupt the narrative experience intending to refer the viewer out of the film, to the editor's desk, to the act of manipulation
and narrative construction. This sound-alterations that changes between the recreation of natural sound ambience and the interruption with non-diegetic artificial sounds intends to
create a space for reflection and draw our attention to the fact that what fascinates us, the Alentejo landscape, is as artificial as its cinematic representation.
The search for light, plastic composition, waiting patiently for the right moment to connect the camera and record, also seeks to evoke the beauty of so many and varied landscapes
that inspired the work of numerous painters and, in this sense, seeks to honor the landscape as a source of inspiration and the authors themselves that serve as reference for the visual creation of this work.
On the other hand, this search for light intends to portray the beauty of what is still nature in the landscape constructed, pass the pleonasm. Trees, wind, textures, earth, plants,
insects, water, elements, still exist, and still beautiful, still refer us back to the origins, at the beginning of everything. In this way the narrative becomes a homage to life and an
appeal to the preservation of nature. In the background, the cinematographic narrative suggests to the spectator new ways of extracting meanings from the landscape, its
objects, its forms, encourages them to discover new ways of seeing the Alentejo, to appreciate the ancient primitive nature that no matter how much is transformed always remains present in its essence.
The Alentejo is a characteristic landscape, defined, with a very strong identity. But the film presents, through the frames, the composition choices, the elements that the camera captures and how it films it (rocks, water mirrors, trunks of twisted trees, the effect of the
wind in the herbs, clouds, insects that devour other insects, etc.) an universal landscape as a pictorial motif, the landscape as emotion withdrawing it thus from its geographical rationality.

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