Bad Blood: Portrait of a family collapse
by Vitor Pinto
After being chosen as the first local title to open the official competition of Fantasporto - one of Portugal's top film events – Bad Blood [+see also:
film profile] (Coisa Ruim) by Tiago Guedes and Frederico Serra opens today, competing in the box office against three US productions (Good Night, and Good Luck, North Country and Big Momma's House 2) and South Korean film A Bittersweet Life.
Just like Marco Martins (whose Alice [+see also:
interview: Marco Martins
interview: Nuno Lopes
film profile] was one of the domestic hits of 2005), Guedes and Serra have a background in advertising and music videos, but their goal has always been to direct a feature film, particularly after their relatively successful experience in short films (O ralo in 1999 and Acordar in 2000) and the visibility gained with the TV movie Alta Fidelidade, produced by private broadcaster SIC.
Teaming up with journalist and scriptwriter Rodrigo Guedes de Carvalho, the two directors filmed the obscure tale of a family from Lisbon that moves to an inherited house in the countryside. The clash between life in the capital and the traditions from the new village is inevitable. Suddenly, they will have to deal with local superstitions, ancient curses and exorcisms, all coming together to obscure their rational beliefs and dictate the collapse of the family.
Allowing themselves to be influenced by M. Night Shyamalan ("The way he approaches horror interests us. Things happen, most of the time, out of the frame", says Guedes), Bad Blood is a character-driven film, in which horror is not a goal in itself, but rather a mean to bare the wounds of a dysfunctional family. "My stories are always created from the characters. They are always born before the plot", stated the scriptwriter, whose new project Entre os dedos (lit. "Between the Fingers") will also focus on a collapsing family and will approach the delicate theme of colonial war and its consequences.
With Adriano Luz and Manuela Couto in the lead roles, Bad Blood was produced by Clap Filmes, with the support of ICAM and RTP. Atalanta is handling the film’s distribution on 26 screens throughout the country.
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