THE ORNITHOLOGIST (O ORNITÓLOGO)
Behold the latest fever dream from director João Pedro Rodrigues. As the film begins, the title character, while blissfully studying birds, is tossed out of his kayak by a rogue current and swiftly becomes incapacitated. Once rescued, he finds that each supposed port along this river harbors more risk than the last. Chinese tourists, nude deaf paramours and topless women toting machine guns on horseback are just some of the diversions and dangers lurking along the banks. Following a sparse backbone of a plot, the film becomes more of a mesmerizing incantation than a traditional narrative experience. A beautifully strange work of art, THE ORNITHOLOGIST is a one-of-a-kind experience soaked in blood and water. — Lane Kneedler
Lisbon-born João Pedro Rodrigues’ first feature PHANTOM (2000) was awarded Best Feature Film at Entrevues Belfort Film Festival. His other features include TO DIE LIKE A MAN (AFI FEST 2009), which was selected by the Cinéfondation for the Atelier of Cannes Film Festival, and THE LAST TIME I SAW MACAO (2012).