The Museum of the Moving Image will be showing the two latest features by Adirley Queirós this Saturday, as part of Reverse Shot’s series on 15 rising auteurs.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of Adirley Queirós in recent Brazilian cinema, and how generative his work can be for international audiences while keeping an unshakeable commitment with the local.
Quierós’ work first picked critics’ interest with his fictional short, Dias de Greve (2009), and the TV documentary Fora de Campo (2010), which made a rich and compelling portrait of the borders of professional soccer (before turning to filmmaking, the director was a professional soccer player for many years).
It was really Queirós’ first feature, though, A Cidade É Uma Só? (2011), which made him a central and deeply influential name for younger generations of filmmakers. Since then, the filmmaker has deepened a project of self-ethnography of Ceilândia – a satellite city neighboring Brasília, to which many workers who built the city where evicted – through a combination of rouchian practices of shared anthropology, the sharpness of mockumentary, the energy of the musical, the texture of sci-fi, and the political creativity of Afrofuturism.
White Out, Black In (2014) and the extraordinary Once There Was Brasília (2017), the two films screening on Saturday and which have both premiered at Lincoln Center’s Art of the Real, are essential pieces for anyone trying to make some sense of what’s been happening in Brazil in the past few years; but they are also urgent works for anyone interested in the most radical, cutting-edge filmmaking out there.