Hay un aspecto del sonido de la literatura que está mucho más cerca del hecho cinematográfico de lo que uno se imagina. Es una voz que no se expresa exteriormente, pero que internamente es muy clara.

Lucrecia Martel (Director) 


The International Film and Literature Festival of Olhão (FICLO) wants to pose a challenge: we propose a programme of unexpected connections between cinema and literature, where the audience will experience the selected films as a specific cinematic experience. Viewers will sometimes identify and sometimes sense the underground currents that connect these two narrative forms.

Literature and cinema, as narrative forms, share structures that are mythical, popular and typical of storytelling, and both are immersed in a chain of infinite filiations. In this sense, literature also is part of cinema. The cinematic script per se is no more than the materialization of this literature/cinema or cinema/literature relationship. It is a literature thought of in images, and in this sense words and literature, consistently or not, are the angular stone of the image. The festival is not creating a new relationship, it is only placing the focus on a pre-existing, and very strongly existing, relationship. Obviously, cinema also has an important aesthetic influence on literary works, it is only a matter of time before the festival can place its attention on this.

FICLO is different from the other existing cinema and literature festivals, because it does more than just show film adaptations. And whenever there is an adaptation, it places itself outside the discussion about fidelity and betrayal in the film adaptation. FICLO is more interested in exploring this rich relation of imbrications and filiations. 

The programme consists of numerous national premieres and must-see films that have never been shown in Portuguese cinemas before, such as the case of Marguerite Dura’s Agatha et les lectures illimitées. Duras was a writer who created a new fusion between the two disciplines, borne of the necessity of giving voice to a literary text. Kira Muratova is another filmmaker who will have some of her work premiere in Portugal, in an unprecedented season of nine films. This director’s work was profoundly marked and inspired by the life and work, philosophy and literature of the great Leon Tolstoy. 

The Gentle Indifference of the World is a beautiful materialization of the literature and philosophy of Albert Camus. Characters that are faced with the irrational silence of the world. Characters who, as in L’ homme révolté know how to say no, without renouncing, and know how to say yes, “since their first movement”. Fundamentally they are characters that rebel.

In the case of The Wild Boys one filters but also critically recomposes an imaginary world, that has been formed from retelling the same stories. There are situations, characters, journeys, peripheral places inspired by the literary atmospheres of authors such as Verne, Conrad or Wells. A wonderful atmospheric collage that could not be understood without Burroughs.

We will find films with strong poetic devices. Little Crusader is inspired by a poem dealing with the crusades, written by the 19th century Czech poet Jaroslav Vrchlický. Aniara is based on the science fiction poem of the same name by Nobel winner Harry Martisson. But we will also find poem-films or films in poem format such as Delta or In Praise of Nothing, narrated in verse by Iggy Pop. In Our Madness a woman speaks in poetry. The voice is the poetry of João Maria-Vilanova and José Craveirinha. Out of the competition, Songs from the Second Floor (Invited Country Sweden) is clearly and self-confessedly inspired by the poem Traspié entre dos estrellas by Cesar Vallejo. 

We show the relationship between cinema and theatre from different angles: in the official competition, Petra, a Greek tragedy divided by chapters, or Srbenka, a dramatic event put on stage. Out of the competition, The Seventh Seal (Invited Country Sweden) or the in-progress film about Rogério de Carvalho.

And we could not do without a character that writes. In Scary Mother there is a female writer who rebels; the literature or the book that Manana is writing is her own rebellion. And again, as in L’ homme révolté, the novel is the most elevated form of rebellion.

We are, therefore, starting with this first edition of FICLO, investing in having creative work at the festival: invited writers will, unexpectedly, enter into a dialogue with three silent films. It will be a unique experience. 


Candela Varas & Débora Pinho Mateus 
(FICLO directors)