Maria do Mar at the Opening Ceremony

by Porto/Post/Doc / 28 07 2021

The eighth edition of Porto/Post/Doc opens with a cine-concert in honour of Portuguese cinema. Maria do Mar, by José Leitão de Barros, set to live music by the Lisbon Sinfonietta Orchestra with musical direction by Vasco Pearce de Azevedo and special participation of Pedro Burmester, from an original score by Bernardo Sassetti. The restored copy is presented for the first time in Porto as part of a partnership between the festival, the Cinemateca Portuguesa, the Casa Bernardo Sassetti and the Teatro Municipal do Porto.

Maria do Mar is a remarkable work of integration of the maritime landscape and the life of fishermen from Nazaré in a fiction built around the hatred between two families because of the death of a fisherman, accidentally provoked by another. In the end, it will be following the loving union of the children that the reconciliation will take place. The editing work is clearly marked by the influence of the Soviet avant-garde of the time, with many other signs of the European and American cinema of the twenties of the last century.
In 1999, on the occasion of the restoration of the film Maria do Mar, in what would be the first restoration project of the laboratory of the National Archive of Moving Images, the Cinemateca Portuguesa commissioned Bernardo Sassetti a score with original music, orchestrated by Vasco Pearce de Azevedo, Bernardo Sassetti and Luís Tinoco.
Representative of the inventiveness of his musical writing and attentive to the emotional nuances of Leitão de Barros' directing, it is a composition that the musician continued to work on, in successive refinements, throughout the decade that followed that premiere, having been presented with the film, in its lifetime, in countless other venues.

José Leitão de Barros was born in Oporto on 22 October 1896. In 1918, he directed his first films (MALMEQUER, MAL DE ESPANHA). His reputation was consolidated with the making of A SEVERA (1931), the first Portuguese sound film, and he was connected to the creation of Tobis Portuguesa. He directed films such as LISBOA, CRÓNICA ANEDÓTICA (1930), ALA-ARRIBA! (1942) and CAMÕES (1946), marking the national cinematography of the Estado Novo period. He died on June 29th 1967.

Bernardo Sassetti was born in Lisbon on the 24th June 1970. After classical piano studies he dedicated himself to jazz, having started his musical career in 1987. He has composed for different formats of formations, collaborating regularly with various musicians, not only in concerts and recordings but also in theatre and cinema. Among his works of composition for cinema are Quaresma by José Álvaro Morais, O Milagre Segundo Salomé and Um Amor de Perdição by Mário Barroso, Alice and Como desenhar um círculo perfeito by Marco Martins, 98 Octanas by Fernando Lopes. He passed away in Cascais on May 10, 2012.

Porto/Post/Doc takes place between 20 and 30 November at the Teatro Municipal do Porto - Rivoli, Passos Manuel, Coliseu Porto Ageas, Casa Comum da Reitoria da Universidade Porto and Planetário do Porto - Centro Ciência Viva. Similar to what happened in 2020, the festival will also feature an extension to online, where it will be possible to view a large part of the selected films. More details about the programme will be revealed in the coming months.

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