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Morning of Saint Anthony’s Day

 

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Morning of Saint Anthony’s Day

Manhã de Santo António | João Pedro Rodrigues 2011
Portugal | Format: HD | color | sound | 25 minutes

The Morning After the Day of St. Anthony
Tradition says that on June 13th, Saint Anthony's Day, Lisbon's patron, lovers must offer small vases of basil with paper carnations and flags with popular quatrains as a token of their love.
and a quatrain in the end that is also not subtitled
(below the translation)
At the ball where everybody dances
Someone's left out.
It is better not to go
Where one will not be.

—Fernando Pessoa

The idea for this film comes from a photograph I took with my mobile phone while on my way home in Lisbon, on the first metro in the early hours after the St Anthony’s night celebrations on the 13th June. That evening I had caught the last metro into the city centre. The train was full. Boys and girls of various urban tribes were full of high spirits. Some were singing to the sound of bongos, others danced. They were drinking strange concoctions out of plastic bottles that were being passed around. The last metro was the beginning of a party that went on all night. In the early hours, I caught the first train back home at 6.30am. The contrast couldn’t have been greater. Although it was as full as it had been the night before, there was now absolute silence. The train was not carrying people, but exhausted bodies, half asleep, who woke up as if by instinct when they reached their destination. They got out mechanically, in silence, always with the same rhythm, without saying goodbye, as if each and every one of them were alone. On leaving the carriage I couldn’t help myself looking through the window: I saw an image similar to many others I had witnessed that morning but that seemed to me to sum up, somehow, that strange apathy. Inside, three boys were asleep, two sat facing each other and the third lying face down on the floor, partly occupying the corridor lengthways. It was this image that I recorded on my mobile phone. I made for the exit, walking behind a group of youngsters. When I reached the street I looked at the other exits. From every one more young people were coming out, all moving in the same way, silent, through a city that was still asleep. Once in the street, each one of them returned to their homes with the same mechanical walk, in an alcoholic rhythm which seemed in my head to be eminently choreographic. I inevitably thought of the geometrical and melancholical choreographies of Buster Keaton or Jacques Tati and even the dance pieces of Pina Bausch. I thought of a huge choreography in honor of St Anthony, a kind of unconscious homage to one of the most popular celebrations in Lisbon.—J.P.R.

Screens as part of Invisible Attributes – By Sky and on Foot.

Venue: Francesca Beale Theater

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