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PRINT February 1997

LETTER

Portuguese Cinema

IF THE NUMBER of films released in the last year and a half are any indication, Portuguese cinema has at last achieved something of a presence. Recent releases include Manoel de Oliveira’s twisted tale of scholarly and romantic obsessions, O Convento (The convent, 1995), shown at the 1995 New York Film Festival; João Cesar Monteiro’s quirky narrative of a solitary man, his collection of young girls’ pubic hair, and the ice-cream flavor he invents, A Comedia de Deus (God’s comedy, 1995), awarded the special jury prize at the 1995 Venice film festival; and Antonio da Cunha Telles’ new take on the old love-triangle theme, Pandora, 1995.

With the sheer variety of works on view in theaters last year, any notion of a cinema reflecting “national” ideals and divorced from the exigencies of the market was finally laid to rest, while aesthetic, thematic, and stylistic differences became essential to

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