Fogo-Fátuo

  • 67'
  • Portugal
  • 2022

The films of João Pedro Rodrigues, such as IFFR 2017 selection O ornitólogo, often present themselves as fairytales – magical, dreamy and childlike, yet simultaneously militantly queer, political and provocative.

Jumping between different historical timeframes, including the future, Fogo-Fátuo is a fairytale squarely aimed at our COVID-affected present-day world. Even the minimalism of its characters and décors reflects the pandemic conditions of its production. But what skill, wit, vivacity and richness Rodrigues and his regular collaborators, including João Rui Guerra da Mata, bring to this project! The film begins as the portrait of an imaginary Portuguese royal family – repressed, eccentric, histrionic, and still feeding in the country’s colonial past. However, the desire of the eldest son, Alfredo, to be a firefighter among the working people swiftly leads to a hot romance with Afonso.

The film is full of entertaining moments of singing and dancing: highlights include a fire station choreography that pays homage to both Howard Hawks’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Jean-Luc Godard’s Armide (1987); and a cameo by celebrated fado performer Paulo Bragança. Mixing musical and presentational styles with merry abandon, Fogo-Fátuo conjures a veritable utopia of erotic passions and anarchistic impulses.

 

Adrian Martin

Director
João Pedro Rodrigues
Premiere
Dutch Premiere
Countries of production
Portugal, France
Year
2022
Festival Edition
IFFR 2023
Length
67'
Medium
DCP
International title
Will-o'-the-Wisp
Languages
Portuguese, English
Producers
João Matos, João Pedro Rodrigues, Vincent Wang
Production Companies
Terratreme Filmes, House on Fire
Sales
Films Boutique
Screenplay
João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rui Guerra da Mata, Paulo Lopes Graça
Cinematography
Rui Poças
Editor
Mariana Gaivão
Production Design
João Rui Guerra da Mata
Sound Design
Nuno Carvalho