AS THE FLAMES ROSE – Interview with JOÃO RUI GUERRA DA MATA: “As feelings are timeless, cinema should move in the same direction, an acute abstraction of reality that takes you forward while making you look back.”

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Oana Ghera: You were inspired for AS THE FLAMES ROSE by Cocteau’s “La voix humaine”, a monologue written for theater  whose theatricality you expose in various ways, from  revealing its source (by posing the book on the character’s nightstand) to the expressionist play with the lighting (to name just one of your techniques). Yet, it seems to me, AS THE FLAMES ROSE is also a declaration of love for cinema as a medium, what with all the rear projections and TV footage, for artificial as they may be, still manage to expand the enclosed space of the studio in a deeply cinematic way. Where do you stand regarding the long theorised relation between cinema and theater? Where did the influence of the play end and where did that of cinema begin in your creative process? Or are they intertwined? And also regarding the matter of theatricality, how do you relate to Fassbinder’s work?

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