João and the Knife

João en het mes, 1972, Brazilia-Nederlanden, Language: Portuguese, Subtitles: English (96’); Introduction by Mark Paul Meyer (EYE Film Institute); Screening: 09.05, 15.00, Toldi Cinema, Nagyterem

Dutch director George Sluizer died four years ago. His most notable work was the 1988 film The Vanishing. The scene where the coffin in which a person has been buried alive and is illuminated from within by the flame of a lighter is seared into the memories of those who have seen it. He shot the last film made with River Phoenix. The memorable sequence of his first feature film, Brazilian in every aspect, João and the Knife, in which the pain of João – in the unforgettable part played by Joffre Soares – intensifies until the moment that he begins to sing. The song that bursts forth from him at the night-time fire is the poem by Odylo Costa Filho who inspired the film which commemorates Mária who fled to the Amazon from a forced marriage. The story of João who never once lied to anybody is, quite simply, a ballad.   In 2002, he worked from the screenplay of Hungarian film aesthete and film writer Yvette Bíró.

Directed by: George Sluizer
Written by: Odylo Costa Filho (novel)
Screenplay by: George Sluizer
Director of photography: Jan de Bont
Music by: Heitor Villa-Lobos
Cast: Joffre Soares, Ana Maria Miranda, Joao-Augusto Azevedo, Douglas Santos, João Batista
Genre: drama
Production: Sluizer Films, Roberto Bakker Produções Cinematográficas
Format: colour, 2.35:1