I’m on an airplane with a very obnoxious kid sitting behind me screaming and kicking my seat back, so it’s comforting to pitch about my wonderful 2 and half days in sunny Portugal.
I was supposed to be there for 4 days but a hurricane hit JFK on the night of my departure and all of the flights were cancelled. Then the next night the entire flight crew was in a bus crush so we left many hours late and I missed my connecting flight. However, all the hassles were worth it.
The Monstra animation fest is a terrific event, set in a wonderful 50s cinema (Sao Gorge) in downtown Lisbao where I was met by the director Fernando Garelito. He was able to invite a very select group of filmmakers to Lisbon: Ratsk Ciric, Olga and Priit Parn, Vladimir Leshir, and animator turned live action director Micheala Paulatova.
My Master Class was a big success as were my screenings, for some reason I’m very popular in Portugal. They had all my DVD’s Portuguese for sale- plus some local work that I did the later for.
But for the best was the city itself, Portugal was neutral during WWII so many of its most beautiful building are gloriously intact. It seems that the architects were high on Baroque and Rococo architecture. It’s almost like an acid trip discovering some amazing decoration building down narrow dark sides streets. The last day was my favorite I got a ride to the show and wandered through ancient village, swum in the mild ocean and had fresh fish at one of the many seaside restaurants.
Then that night Gavelito took us out to a fado music club. Wow, what emotion and sadness, it’s like Portuguese country western music. If Tammy Lynette were from Lisbon she’d be a fado musician. So now Portugal is one of my favorite destinations and I give the Monstra Festival a 9 (out of 10)