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May 10, 2016 7:00 PM

Panorama Europe - The Maias: Scenes from Romantic Life

PANORAMA EUROPE 2016. Film The Maias: Scenes from Romantic Life, presented by the Consulate General of Portugal.


A contemporary reflection on the sins and decadent splendor of a crisis-riddled society adapted from the 1888 Portuguese novel by Eça de Queiroz.

Synopsis: The tragedy and comedy in Carlos's life begins, grows and ends like the tragedy and comedy of Portugal. In the company of his close friend, João da Ega, allegedly a brilliant writer, Carlos, with his idle existence as an aristocratic doctor, spends his time to enjoying friends and lovers. Until he falls in love. She is a new character in this revolutionary novel. It's a vertiginous passion that goes beyond that past gloominess to reach a new and darker abyss, incest.

Os Maias focuses on the story of three generations of men in the Maia family: grandfather Afonso (João Perry), son Pedro (Nuno Casanovas) and grandson Carlos (Graciano Dias). In the film, the adventures of the first two (described in detail in the novel) are the subject of a sort of prologue, shot in black and white, which introduces and contextualizes Os Maias’ main plot. Said plot, shot in full colour, only begins when 27-year-old Carlos returns to Lisbon after a rite-of-passage journey across Europe. His intention is to establish himself as a doctor in the capital. But gaping between the plans he has for his new life and its final realization, there lies a chasm of his own habits, in which he indulges in his public hobbies, his private vices flourish and paradoxes become intertwined.

In this adaptation process, Os Maias asserts itself as an ensemble-cast piece with strong theatrical and operatic tones. This effect is certainly enhanced by Botelho’s numerous static shots, the tragicomic tone of the actors, as well as the film’s constructed sets, which include grand old houses and fake outdoor landscapes painted by plastic artist João Queiroz. In fact, not a single sequence in the film was shot outdoors, both an aesthetic and a financial choice to which Eça himself would not have been indifferent.

Staring: Graciano Dias, Maria Flor, Pedro Inês, João Perry, Maria João Pinho, Adriano Luz e Rita Blanco film
Director: João Botelho, Portugal, 2014, 139 mins.


Free admission



Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


May 10, 2016 7:00 PM


Czech Centre

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