120 minutes

It's rather unusual to see six directors sharing credit on one feature film, let alone on a debut feature. But O Que Há de Novo no Amor? is a rather unusual film, even if one that is pretty much never the sum of its parts. In fact, the shared directing credit between six young Portuguese directors with only a handful of shorts to their CVs hides the fact that their effort is a portmanteau collection, organised around the separate lives of five young suburbans who play together in a struggling rock band, with each director contributing one story seen from one point of view.
     The film stakes a hybrid territory of its own - neither mosaic melodrama à la Magnolia (since the stories aren't cross cut) nor 1960s European episode movie (there isn't a separate presentation for each as they share characters and an overarching storyline). That it doesn't work entirely is mainly due to the disparity of talent involved: Mónica Santana Baptista's is the best of the six, a nervous, handheld dynamic tale of unruly courtship, closely followed by Rui Santos' abstract, atmospheric meditation on loss, and Hugo Alves' gay cruising tale, as successful formally as it is narratively slight. At the other end, Hugo Martins' steel-grey exploration of regret is the more banal and least convincing of the six, and Tiago Nunes and Patrícia Raposo's segments try valiantly, as does mr. Martins, to make the most out of non-existing tales. Despite the halting rhythm (surprising in a movie where rock music is so important), the experience may not be entirely successful but it's definitely worth a look, if only for the technical proficiency each director has attained and brings to the project.

Starring Joana Santos, Ângelo Rodrigues, Raquel André; Miguel Raposo, Diana Nicolau; David Cabecinha, Inês Vaz, Sofia Peres; João Cajuda, João Pedro Silva; Nuno Casanovas, Joana Metrass. 
     Directed by Mónica Santana Baptista, Hugo Martins, Tiago Nunes, Hugo Alves, Rui Santos, Patrícia Raposo; produced by Maria João Sigalho; written by ms. Baptista, mr. Martins, mr. Nunes, mr. Alves, mr. Santos, mr. Raposo and Octávio Rosado; music by Peixe:Avião; director of photography (Rosa Filmes processing, widescreen), Daniel Neves; production designer, Patrícia Maravilha; costume designer, Tatiana Nozes; film editor, mr. Santos.
     A Rosa Filmes presentation/production, with support from the Portuguese Ministry of Culture-Institute for Cinema and Audiovisual and financing from Radio and Television of Portugal. (Portuguese distributor, Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais. World sales, Rosa Filmes.)
     Screened: IndieLisboa 2011, official selection, Rosa Filmes editing room (Lisbon), April 27th 2011.


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