“Video Lucem” puts great names in music to follow silent films in the churches of the Algarve

If the launch edition of “Video Lucem” was already a pioneering initiative, with the churches of the Algarve welcoming […]

“The Immigrant” by Charles Chaplin

If the launch edition of “Video Lucem” was already a pioneering initiative, with churches in the Algarve hosting cinema sessions, the second edition, which starts on November 9th, wants to be even more innovative. All the films, which will be filmed in seven churches, from November to May, are silent, but will be set to music by renowned artists such as Dead Combo, Maria João, Viviane, João Frade or Noiserv. 

That's how cine-concerts are born, with free entry. This is an activity that even has a tradition within the Cineclube de Faro, the entity that reorganizes the “Video Lucem”, and which was, in fact, experienced in the 1st edition of this initiative, in the opening session.

Carlos Rafael Lopes is the director of the iconic Cineclube and explained to Sul Informação why this bold bet for the second edition. «We wanted to give a different stamp to the programming, giving the opportunity to recover silent film classics and show them, because their visibility is increasingly weakened».

Sérgio Marques, programmer of “Video Lucem”, said, in turn, that one of the criteria in choosing the films was to make “a show of various cinematographies” and not just go to “the one that is always more visible: the American one”. Therefore, there are also Russian, French and Portuguese films, giving «a good sample of what silent cinema is».

dead combo

As for the musical aspect, the challenge proposed to those who accepted to participate in this “Video Lucem” is great.

“We challenge musicians to work with other musicians. These are creations made on purpose for that film, for that session and for that church», illustrated Sérgio Marques to our newspaper.

And the truth is that bringing together so many famous names «was not easy», according to Carlos Rafael Lopes, but «we ended up managing to bring together an absolutely remarkable group of artists». There are those who will sing, those who will play the guitar, piano and even the organ in one of the churches.

To begin with, there is, in the cinematographic part, Charles Chaplin in double dose, on November 9th, at 21 pm, at the Igreja de São Francisco, in Faro. The short films “O Imigrante” and “Rua da Paz”, from 1917, will be set to music by Maria João, João Farinha and Zé Eduardo. The same Zé Eduardo who will present a surprise in this session.

In the second session, on December 7th, at 21 pm, at the Igreja de São Clemente, in Loulé, there will be Custódio Castelo, on Portuguese guitar, Carlos Menezes (double bass) and Fad'NU (vocals and guitar) to set “A Mãe” ”, by Vsevolod Pudovkin (USSR, 30).

As for the third scheduled session, on January 13, 2018, at the Igreja Matriz in Martim Longo (Alcoutim), at 21:30 pm, with the screening of the Portuguese film “Os Lobos”, by Rino Lupo (1923), set to music, live , by the piano of Nicholas McNair.

The Parish Church of Ferragudo (Lagoa) will, in turn, receive a double session on March 8, at 21 pm. Firstly, “Ring Up the Curtain”, by Harold Llyod (USA, 30), set to music by João Frade's accordion, and secondly, “Sherlock Jr.”, by Buster Keaton (USA, 1919), where the music will stay delivered to the various instruments of Noiserv.

This year, there is a difference that immediately jumps out in the programming of “Video Lucem”: the fact that there are fewer sessions. In the first edition, there were 22, now there are seven.

This is due to the “budget issue”, explained Sérgio Marques, since there are more costs involved with the musicians' presence. In total, this “Video Lucem” has a budget of 66 thousand euros: 54 thousand allocated by 365Algarve and 12 thousand from the Cineclube de Faro. The budget is bigger than last year.

"Douro, Fluvial Faina"

For all this to be possible, there is another fundamental support: that of the churches that host the films.

This despite the fact that, this year, the event does not have the general seal of the Diocese of the Algarve, when last year it did.

Father Miguel Neto, responsible for the Ministry of Tourism of this Diocese, explained to our newspaper that the withdrawal of direct support was due to the "management of parish activities."

Father Carlos Aquino, responsible for the Pastoral of Culture of the Diocese of Algarve, told the Sul Informação that, despite the lack of this general seal, “Video Lucem” has the support of both this Pastoral and Tourism. And, in fact, it cannot be said that it does not have the support, albeit indirect, from the Diocese, since the churches are ceded.

Basically, all parish priests were free to accept or refuse to take the initiative in their parishes. “There were some observations, from some inner part of the Church and of the clergy, giving less positive considerations to the fact that cinema is made inside the churches, which is a sacred space”, explained Father Carlos Aquino.

In other words, there were some priests who did not accept the idea well.

Even so, the initiative will spread throughout the Algarve, from Barlavento (exhibitions in Ferragudo, for example) to Sotavento (Tavira and Faro), passing through the interior of the Algarve, with Alcoutim.

Pastor in Loulé, Carlos Aquino confessed that he "likes this program a lot". «It is of excellence», being reinforced with the «musicians».

Contrary to what some of his fellow priests think, for the responsible for the Pastoral da Cultural, the “Video Lucem” is “an opportunity to welcome, with new methodologies, a process of evangelization”. In addition, one of the objectives of “Video Lucem” is also to make known the religious and historical heritage of the Algarve's churches.

According to Father Carlos Aquino, “all the people who participated in this event, and many of them neither share the faith nor practice it, considered the initiative very valid. It is an opportunity to see not only cinema, but to see it in its own spaces, which, in themselves, already invite the assessment of life».

Returning to the calendar of sessions, on February 8, “O Vento”, by Victor Sjostrom (USA, 1928), at 21 pm, playing at the Church of Santiago, in Tavira, with a special feature: Filipe Raposo will play the organ of that one. church.

Joe Eduardo

Another more special session will be on the 6th of April, from 21 pm, at the Sé de Silves.

It's that on that day we will celebrate the 65 years of the Cineclube de Faro.

This night will be reserved for the short films “Douro, Faina Fluvial”, by Manoel de Oliveira (Portugal, 1931), “À propos de Nice”, by Jean Vigo (France, 1930), and another surprise that will involve images old towns in the Algarve.

The music will feature Ana Deus (vocals and percussion), Luva Argel (viola), Viviane (vocals) and Tó Viegas (guitar) Promete…

For the last session of Video Lucem, the idea is to make an «absolutely remarkable event», on May 30th, in Vila Real de Santo António, also from 21 pm.

For this, the idea is to show a film that has rarely been shown in Portugal, despite being Portuguese: “Os Faroby Maurice Mariaud (1922).


If this already seems to be reason enough for a trip to Vila Real de Santo António, there is also the confirmed presence of the Dead Combo, in the musical part, and the fact that the film is scheduled to be shown next to the farol from that city.

Thus is born a scenario with a film about farorows to be displayed precisely next to a farol, with the music of Dead Combo.

In an edition where everything is «more or less home made, with the help of employees and members of the Cineclube de Faro», but without the support, for the programming, of external names, as was the case of the first edition, the expectations «are the highest», according to Carlos Rafael Lopes.

“We see the programming as very attractive. We are aware that there are sessions that theoretically will be more popular, such as the opening and closing session», he added.

Father Carlos Aquino could not agree more: “it is a project to continue”.