Lost Room

Lost Room

Horror films never really developed in Portugal, somewhat due to the lack of conditions for the industrial development of films, but also because of the low number of genre-influenced literature, which is one of the biggest sources for cinematic adaptations.

In 2009, MOTELX decided to create a section dedicated to finding the lost roots of Portuguese Horror cinema. The main goal of the Lost Room section is to research these movies and screen them as examples of Portuguese "horror" which otherwise wouldn't be seen by most.

MOTELX 2017

5 - 10 September 2017

Triangle by Rafael Moreno Alba

MOTELX 2017

“Triangle” tells the story of a couple: an industrialist and an unoccupied and lonely bour- geoise whose husband’s many duties leave her adrift in the city. Inevitably, an affair with a younger man ensues and, with it, comes the husband’s jealousy. Crime is one small step away from jealousy, and the distance between crime and madness is also very short. This Portuguese-Spanish co-production, shot in Lisbon and in the Algarve, intended to open the doors of Portuguese cinema to other markets through the partnership between Victor Zapata (Spanish producer of western spaghettis and of “Tristana”, by Buñuel) and the actor Américo Coimbra, following António Vilar’s footsteps. Initially titled “Desdemona” and “Symphony for a Homicide”, this film is a rare hybrid between loving melodrama and gothic horror film in Portuguese cinematography.

El Espiritista by Augusto Fernando

MOTELX 2017

Alberto Ramos, known as ‘the best photographer in Lisbon’, is also a famous medium who uses his professional gift to enjoy a libertine lifestyle that gives him access to the upper social classes. Margarida Malveira, a rich 50-year-old widow, consults him in the hopes of establishing contact with the love of her life, deceased 30 years prior. After one session, the spirit of Margarida’s husband possesses Alberto’s mind, forcing him to take care of his wife. The first (and only) directorial work by the mysterious Augusto Fernando, about whom biographical information is very hard to find, is part of Jesus Franco’s erotic cinema trail and of the wave of demonology films that followed the worldwide success of “The Exorcist”. It vanished, however, after its premiere in the Porto Coliseum in September 1977, while the date of the last public screening remains unknown.

MOTELX 2016

6 - 11 September 2016

O Segredo das Pedras Vivas by António de Macedo

MOTELX 2016

In an isolated village of the Alentejo region, a conflict arises. José
Vitorino, one of the landowners of the region, rich in prehistoric monuments, wants to build a luxurious solarium in lands filled with ancient rocks, places of devotion and sacred rituals. Indifferent to the people’s protest, who believe in the magical powers of the stones and that the region’s drought is due to the rocks’ destruction, José Vitorino hires an architect to plan his new house. On christmas eve, in the middle of the Winter solstice, a strange ceremony around a dolmen, once an altar for bloody sacrifices in more remote times, releases a harmful spell. A race against time to reverse the faulty charm begins.

Tiaga / A Princesinha das Rosas by Noémia Delgado

MOTELX 2016

“Tiaga” tells the story of a poor old woman, played by Isabel de
Castro, to whom a good wizard offers the gift of youth to reward the help she provided him. A version of “Faust” seen through the female gaze and featuring some unusual moments, such as a shot of a black goat while José Afonso sings over it, as well as nightmare sequences in which Tiaga is chased by the devil. The other film, maybe the most known of the series, is “A Princesinha das Rosas”, and is about Naíde, a girl born from the union between a fisherman and a mermaid, adopted by monarchs of a country with no heirs, but to whom the call of the waters will inevitably attract. Noémia films the story with a naïve simplicity that accentuates the film’s dark fairytale tone.
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