Abstract

Fado, the Portuguese guitar, and jazz and folk music have been major musical references in the first decades of the Portuguese national cinema. From its first recorded-sound film to the musical comedies in the ’40s, the Fado films of the ’50s, and the Novo Cinema productions in the ’60s and ’70s, this type of music has been featured prominently. Music itself became a topic or served as a major element in films by the country’s most renowned filmmakers: Manoel de Oliveira and João César Monteiro. Contemporary filmmakers such as Miguel Gomes, João Canijo, Edgar Pêra, and Pedro Costa have lately emphasized the importance of music in their production. My aim in this article is to offer a brief introductory survey on the role of music in Portuguese film history, before focusing on a contemporary film, Ne Change Rien (2009), by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Pedro Costa. Within the context of Portuguese cinema, the film demonstrates indeed a revitalized interest in the relation between music and the moving image. This recent production, which features French actress and singer Jeanne Balibar and explores her rehearsal and recording process and on stage performances, challenges our ideas on art production with its representation of music in film. I will use the concept of the “indisciplinary film” in order to grasp the complex political and aesthetic implications of Ne Change Rien’s way of engaging with the different aspects and the mystery involved in the creation of music and filmmaking.

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