RESONANCIAS

ANTÓNIO UM DOIS TRÊS.

Film programmed by critic Álex Pérez Lascort within the call RESONANCIAS, in colaboration with the cultural association Convergencias de la Crítica Cinematográfica

 

By ÁLEX PÉREZ LASCORT

Life is usually about turning points, moments when one is forced to take a decision and choose between very different paths. This is, precisely, the subject matter of António um, dois, três. The film is sprinkled with ellipses, loops, and leaps in time –a combination of filming techniques that takes us on familiar territory. In effect, António um, dois, três can be seen as a colorful version of Hong Sang-soo’s most recent work –The Day He Arrives (2011), In Another Country (2012), or Right Now, Wrong Then (2015).

However, Leonardo Mouramateus is more than a skillful imitator –not only he manages to blend Sang-soo’s characteristic devices into his work, but also he succeeds in creating a coherent work to which he conveys his own idiosyncratic style. Mouramateus’ film is, indeed, filled with a different mood. Far from the atmosphere of general disenchantment that reigns over Sang-soo’s films, António um, dois, três is imbued with joyful irony. And while the film doesn’t lack sequences pervaded by solemnity or even anger, those are approached from a romantic, hopeful perspective.

António um, dois, três is a film where every scene is a step forward, where misadventures develop into visible progress, where every line said by a character unblocks a situation. A theatre play is used to create a meta-discourse through which the past becomes cathartic, and reality automatically turns into fiction –a representational game where acting opens the door to other possible realities.

The film explores, in a kindhearted way, the differences between Brazil and Portugal, which also serve as a pretext for a romantic relationship that Mouramateus portrays by the standards of the genre. The character’s trying to win his ex back shows us how love can be both romantic and ephemeral, how accidental situations can be voluptuous and sublime in the simplicity of ordinary gestures.

Antonio um, dois, três is also a love letter to Lisbon, a place where everything is possible, where everything can get better. In this light, the film can be seen as a subtext of the economic and social context of a country that struggles to get by, but confronts it from an optimistic, bright perspective.


Álex Pérez Lascort (Barcelona, 1975) obtained a master’s degree in film criticism from El Observatorio (Barcelona) in 2008. Since then, he has contributed to a number of Spanish online publications on cinema, such as Contrapicado, Cine Divergente, Cinemaadhoc, and VOS Magazine, and is currently writing for Cine Maldito and Fantastic Plastic Magazine. He has a passion for Rohmer and genre filmmaking. Trash films are his guilty pleasure.