In contemporary cinematic terms, it might be said that Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, belongs both to Pedro Costa and Miguel Gomes. Each of these auteurs has created a distinct body of work that, in many ways, couldn’t be more different from the other’s filmography. Costa, in his Fontainhas Trilogy and beyond, has returned repeatedly to documentary-like if highly stylised depictions of a particular community, defined by resilience and hardship, of Cape Verdean immigrants. Gomes, in both his feature films and especially his shorts, inclines more towards fantastical or folkloric modes of storytelling, and to a more formally fractured dissection of cinematic grammar. Both, however, remain connected by Lisbon, a city once flattened by brutal tectonic shifts but whose varied topological makeup today makes it resemble, in terms of creative variation and urban planning, its own monument to resilience. This text is an account of a short walk, undertaken in May 2015, between the terminus of one of the city’s metro lines and the Estádio da Lúz. The methodology, in line with the sequential nature of pedestrianism, is associative: memories prompt memories—of other walks and other films, and of blue lines and yellow brick roads.
The integral version of this article can be found in the printed KINO!