Farewell to Fernando Lopes
by Vitor Pinto
02/05/2012 - Fernando Lopes, one of the leading directors in Portuguese New Cinema, died today in Lisbon aged 76.
Fernando Lopes’ career started in 1961 with As Pedras e o Tempo. After studying at the London Film School, he returned to Portugal, where he directed the documentary Belarmino (1964) about boxer Belarmino Fragoso, a film today considered to be one of his best and a reference in Portuguese New Cinema. During the next decades he continued to make important films within the national film scene, like the critically acclaimed A Bee in the Rain (1972), Nós Por Cá Todos Bem (1976), Crónica dos Bons Malandros (1983), Matar Saudades (1988), and On the Edge of the Horizon (1993). In 1998, he worked with Pina Bausch on Lissabon Wuppertal Lisboa, a documentary about Masurca Fogo, a show the German choreographer conceived in the Portuguese capital.
In the 21st century, Lopes continued filming, with the support of producer Paulo Branco, and co-wrote a couple of his films with film critic João Lopes. The Dolphin (2002), and Lá Fora (2006), both starring Alexandra Lencastre and Rogério Samora, are some of his best films towards the end of his life. In 2009, he shot Os sorrisos do destino, and this March he released what would would be his last film, Em cámara lenta.
In 2008, the Fantasporto Film Festival awarded him a Special Award in recognition for his career as a filmmaker.