The Window
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  • The Window
  • 104  - 
  • Original title: A Janela - O Maryalva Mix
  • Director:Edgar Pera
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Country: Portugal

Plunged into a universe of pop references, the film is a chronicle of “the last Portuguese bohemian,” a street gigolo named Antonio. The story is presented through fado (a traditional Portuguese musical style, often about loss), Portuguese traditions, Lisbon localism, psychedelia, and schizophrenia.

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REVIEW BY Francisco Peres Movie EXPERT
Review posted: 18/12/2013

Although the author of a dozen films (mostly short and medium length) and the ultimate symbol of experimental Portuguese cinema, Edgar Pera is still unknown to the vast majority of Portuguese and international audiences. With the unmistakable mark of Edgar Pera, “ A Janela – O Maryalva Mix ” (The Window) achieves the miracle of reconciling experimentation with a satirical and engaging documentary look at Lisbon. Plunged into a universe of pop references, the film is a chronicle of “the last Portuguese bohemian,” a street gigolo named Antonio. The story is presented through fado (a traditional Portuguese musical style, often about loss), Portuguese traditions, Lisbon localism, psychedelia, and schizophrenia.


"The story is presented through fado (a traditional Portuguese musical style, often about loss), Portuguese traditions, Lisbon localism, psychedelia, and schizophrenia."


Edgar Pera creates his own universe within his films, often through language. His usage of the letter “Y” in the title is one of his many signatures. “Y,” “K,” and “W” are not part of the Portuguese alphabet, so they gain a certain mystique and bring different meanings to the words. The language of conventional film is also broken: the screen is constantly divided into two, three, or four parts; unrecognizable sounds and voices are played in reverse; scenes are fast- forwarded and rewound; and film/video images are mixed with animation, portraying how our modern perception of time is accelerating.

It’s in the Largo of Santo Antoninho, in the Bica neighborhood, right in the heart of Lisbon, that Mr. Ego – Edgar Pera’s alter ego – is looking to find the “Portugueseness” in every one of us. “Antonio from the Bica” is a bohemian, a lover, a spouse, a singer, a comb seller, etc. We can all relate with at least one of the several versions of Antonio as a representation of all Portuguese men and, likewise, with one of the various versions of Maria as a representation of all Portuguese women.

Who is the real Antonio? Is there one or several? Is there just one Antonio who suffers from schizophrenia? Which actor is the real Antonio? Manuel João Vieira? Nuno Melo? Miguel Borges? John Didelet? José Wallenstein? They all play different versions of a rustic Portuguese character. When we hear one of the male voices asking where Antonio is, calling “ onde é que está o António? ”, we understand that this is a Lisbon accent, specifically from the Bica neighborhood. Every version of Antonio has a Lisbon accent.

On other hand, when we hear Julia (or Maria) saying “ o António é um homem extraordinário ” (Antonio is an extraordinary man), she’s the only version of Maria who speaks with a Lisbon accent. All the other versions have a different accent, underlining the fact that they represent all Portuguese women. And how many different versions of Maria exist? There is the hipster/artist, the singer, the Spanish Maria, the anthropologist, etc. All of them have different clothes and hair color, but they are played by the same actress, Lucia Sigalho.


"The Window is a pure Portuguese story, with fado in the soundtrack, passionate crimes, Portuguese drama, and the yellow electric trams that characterize the city of Lisbon as the real protagonist of this story."


The Window is a pure Portuguese story, with fado in the soundtrack, passionate crimes, Portuguese drama, and the yellow electric trams that characterize the city of Lisbon as the real protagonist of this story. Edgar Pera continues to grow on the world stage. His newest contribution is part of a compilation of short films, 3X3D, co signed with the famous French director Jean-Luc Godard and the British Peter Greenaway.


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