Aquele Querido Mes De Agosto



'Our Beloved Month of August' (Aquele querido mes de agosto), Cannes, Directors' Fortnight

Portuguese director Miguel Gomes' Directors' Fortnight entry "Our Beloved Month of August" looks like the result of a production that ran out of cash before it began but the director went ahead anyway. Gomes admits as such in his notes on the film so it's no surprise that the 150-minute picture is a jumbled mix of impressions shot on the fly. The setting is the mountainous region of central Portugal where August is a time for fun, games and celebration. As a portrait of indigenous peoples having a good time, the film has some cultural merit but it's unlikely to appeal beyond home shores.

It's difficult to tell what is real and what's made up in a film that's basically the story of making the film. Gomes and his guerilla crew roam about shooting local activities that include hunting sports, and many parades. There's also a great deal of karaoke singing.

At one point, a young woman approaches the crew enjoying a game of quoits seeking to be cast in the film. Rejected, she challenges Gomes to a game but the outcome is not clear. Nor is the film.