The love letters of Vieira da Silva and Arpad Szènes

João Mário Grilo departed from the love letters of two artists to create the film VIEIRARPAD, which premieres in Portuguese cinemas on 2 June.

The documental film is based on the correspondence between Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and Arpad Szènes during periods when the couple were apart between 1932 and 1961. The director João Mário Grilo applies the words of the artists and explores them to reflect on the ways in which their personal experiences articulated with the art they produced.

The film counted on the support of the Gulbenkian Foundation, specifically in featuring works of art from the CAM Collection.

Filmed in Lisbon, Paris, Lyon, Dijon, Yèvre-le-Châtel and Rio de Janeiro, VIEIRARPAD composes an audiovisual concoction in which memory, poetry and intimacy seek to rescue, through the proximity of the images, sounds and editing, the intimate landscapes that the violence of the last century would periodically shatter. The narration takes place in flashback: the film begins in the Yèvre-le-Châtel cemetery alongside the shared grave of Vieira and Arpad, who enter the film as beings from another world inviting us to follow them through their past.

Following its nationwide premiere in Portugal, on 9 June the film is to debut in Brazil at cinemas in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. As from July and through to October, it will be on display under the auspices of the France-Portugal Cultural Season at the Cinéma Variétés in Marseille. The Musée Cantini is simultaneously hosting a retrospective exhibition of Vieira da Silva.

In addition to directing, João Mário Grilo co-wrote the script in partnership with Inês Beleza Barreiros in a production by Zulfilmes.

Updated on 11 may 2022

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