A week after screening Eccentricities of a Blond-Haired Girl by Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal's most celebrated director and the oldest living director in the world, Northwest Film Forum presents the films of Portugal's second most celebrated filmmaker, João César Monteiro (Recollections of the Yellow House, God's Wedding, God's Comedy, John Wayne's Hips, Come and Go). His life was nowhere as long as Oliveira's (he only made it to his mid-60s), but his films are far more imaginative and philosophical—Oliveira is a closed moralist; Monteiro is completely open to the strange forces of the universe. I have written elsewhere that there are four types of directors—those who have roots in film buffery, acting, theater, and criticism. Monteiro stems from the last type in my list; he is a film critic who became a director (and actor). And so his movies are the meeting point of a philosophical (or Foucauldian) fascination with madness and a scholarly command of film history. The poster in the spare room occupied by the leading character in Recollections of the Yellow House is the actual state of Monteiro's cosmic and wonderfully crazy films. Northwest Film Forum, July 30–Aug 5.

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