Joaquim Pinto’s What Now? Remind Me

Joaquim Pinto, E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me), 2013, digital video, color, sound, 164 minutes. Joaquim Pinto and Nuno Leonel.

A LIE, A FIRE, and—most drastic—a smile inaugurate Joaquim Pinto’s self-commemorating diary film E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me). (Both query and command, and tenuous in tense, the title in its very unwieldiness imparts Pinto’s precarious state.) In sotto, dolorous voice-over, the Portuguese director introduces himself: “My name is Joaquim. My life is uneventful.” His unadorned declaration—first name only, the simplest diction—prepares us for the mundane events that his film will entail, just as the opening sequence in which a gray-green slug hauls its soft body across the screen in a close-up lasting well over a minute forewarns of the patience required to persist with Pinto’s slow-paced quotidian for almost three hours. His humble induction may not ultimately qualify as deceitful, but What Now?—dense with incident both dire and momentous; with

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