Gabriel Yared x João Pedro Rodrigues
For Gabriel Yared, born on 7 October 1949 in Beirut, music has always been a muse with whom he sought protection. Music was food for his mind and he tasted it greedily. While "eating music", as he liked to put it himself, he also shaped himself. He dissected the oeuvres of Bach, Liszt, Franck and came back down to earth with Marvin Gaye, the Beatles and Brazilian music. In Brazil he learned to compose and once back in France he mastered orchestration by working for Françoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc, among others.
The latter put him in touch with Jean-Luc Godard: the beginning of a very varied film oeuvre in which Anthony Minghella played a key role. For their first of four collaborations, The English Patient, Yared won a Grand Slam of awards: an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and a BAFTA. Other highlights from his more than 130-title filmography include: The Talented Mr Ripley, Cold Mountain, Camille Claudel, Betty Blue, L'amant, Message in a Bottle, Das Leben der Anderen, and L'amour et les forêts. Besides film music, the versatile Gabriel Yared also composed for television, for ballet and for orchestra. He constantly seeks perfection in music and does not like to go through life as a film composer, but as a composer tout court. He has been a regular guest at the World Soundtrack Awards and won three awards in 2004 including Film Composer of the Year for Cold Mountain. In 2020, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Soundtrack Academy.
João Pedro Rodrigues
“I have to forget my previous film to start a new one," says João Pedro Rodrigues, born on 24 August 1966 in Lisbon, who already has several film oblivions on his conscience. But that does not mean that his short films, his feature films and his documentaries are all separate islands. On the contrary, they are mostly linked to his personal life and are full of his own obsessions. Rodrigues, who often collaborates with his partner João Rui Guerra da Mata on screenplay and direction, is captivated by the history of Portugal, with film and cultural history and especially with painting. On top of that, he likes to reflect on sexuality and the world that surrounds him.
All these elements come together best in 2016's The Ornithologist. No wonder, because before he started studying film in Lisbon in 1985, he was already a biologist-ornithologist. His controversial debut feature, O Fantasma, shown in Venice in 2000, put him definitively on the film map, and titles such as To Die Like a Man and The Last Time I Saw Macao have only confirmed his reputation as a revolutionary, driven, contemporary and pioneering filmmaker. Few can balance like him on the tightrope of fiction and non-fiction, switching from reality to fantasy. His most recent film, Will-o'-the-Wisp was screened in Cannes at the last Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, in 2022. In this medium of musical fantasy, he mixes Portuguese pop and fado with many forms of painting.