Festival fave Kleber Mendonça Filho delivers a delightful cinematic love letter to his childhood home in Recife, the many old picture houses he used to frequent downtown and his lifelong passion for film.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2023
“As Baltimore is to John Waters, or Rome is to Federico Fellini, or Oregon is to Kelly Reichardt, that’s what the sunny Brazilian state of Recife is to filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho, as proven in this completely charming cine-jaunt though the community’s cinemas and the director’s own family home... The title alludes to a photograph that Mendonça Filho once took inside his living room which contained a blurred figure who most certainly wasn’t standing in front of the camera when he clicked the shutter. Yet it also refers to the idea of ghostly structures, of places that once were teeming hubs of activity and excitement, and are now little more than over-sized tombstones littered on the landscape—a feast for the encroaching termite armies or, even worse, commercial developers.” — David Jenkins, Little White Lies
“A multidimensional journey through time, sound, architecture and filmmaking... Having hosted dreams and progress, these places have also embodied a major transformation on social practices.” — Elsa Keslassy, Variety
“Shot over decades, the film cleverly intercuts archival and contemporary footage with scenes from Neighbouring Sounds and Aquarius. And then there’s the ghost of course, and a curious cab driver with an unusual power. With a delightful, humorous narration by Mendonça Filho himself, Pictures of Ghosts is a glorious love letter to his historian mother Joselice, his neighbourhood and the films and cinemas that made him.” — Sydney Film Festival