This April 25 will be the 47th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, a reason to look at the greatest icon of Portuguese cinema, the actress, director, singer, composer, writer or playwright Maria de Medeiros, a versatile character, well known among us for her films and for her participation in some television series.
Maria de Medeiros Esteves Victorino d’Almeida, artistically known as Maria de Medeiros, was born in Lisbon on August 19, 1965. She is the daughter of the composer António Vitorino de Almeida and sister of the also actress Inês de Medeiros. He spent his childhood in Austria, returning to Portugal after April 25, 1974, after the Carnation Revolution. He studied at the French Lyceum in Lisbon and later settled in Paris. He studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, but abandoned them for interpretation. She is a graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre and the Conservatoire National d’Art de Paris.
From the hand of Brigitte Jacques – who directed her in shows such as ‘The death of Pompey’by Pierre Corneille or ‘Elvire Jouvet 40’, by Louis Jouvet – definitively began her acting career, first in the theater, and later in the cinema, where she has been recognized as the most international of Portuguese actresses.
He began his filmography with the feature film ‘Wild’, by João César Monteiro (1982). He consolidated his international career with two American films: ‘Henry and June’ (1990) by Philip Kaufman, who co-starred alongside Fred Ward and Uma Thurman, and ‘Pulp Fiction’ (1994), by Quentin Tarantino, where he acted alongside Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and, again, Uma Thurman. Their roles stand out in ‘The Divine Comedy’, by Manoel de Oliveira (1991); ‘Golden eggs’, by Bigas Luna (1993); ‘Three brothers’, by Teresa Villaverde (1994), which won her the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival; ‘The detective and death’, under the command of the Spanish Gonzalo Suárez (1994); ‘Adam and Eve’, by Joaquim Leitão (1995), which won her the Portuguese Globo de Ouro for the best actress of the year; ‘O Xangô from Baker Street’by Miguel Faria Jr .; Y ‘Airbag’, filming under Juama Bajo Ulloa in 1997. He has a filmography of about 100 films
In 2000 he directed his debut feature, ‘Captains of April’ which reconstructs how the Carnation Revolution began, which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and which had the participation of actors such as Stefano Accorsi, Joaquim de Almeida or Fele Martínez. He has directed other films, in this case documentaries and short films, such as ‘Bem-Vindo a São Paulo’ (2004), ‘Mathilde au Matin’ (2004), ‘Je t’aime, moi non plus: artistes et critiques’ (2004),’ A Morte do Principe ‘(1991),’ Fragment II ‘(1988) and’ Sévérine C. ‘ (1987).
In 2007 he recorded his first CD as a singer, ‘A little more blue ‘, a compilation of songs of resistance to the Brazilian military dictatorship, by authors such as Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins or Dolores Duran, and that same year he is part of the official Jury of the Cannes Festival.
On March 17, 2008, she was named an artist for peace by UNESCO. In 2010 he published his second album ‘Peninsulas & Continents’ and in 2012, he published his third CD with his own compositions entitled ‘Eternal birds’. She does not forget television and participates in an episode of the TVE series’ Cuéntame como paso ‘, playing a Portuguese journalist who lives on April 25, 1974. In 2012 she settled in Barcelona and in 2016 she worked on the Spanish film’ 100 meters’, by Marcel Barrena, and also premieres in France an adaptation of ‘An impossible love’, for the theater. Still, cinema remains high on her agenda, be it behind the scenes as a director, or in front of it, as an actress.
Maria de Medeiros holds the title of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of France, which was granted to her by the French government in 2003, and she has been one of the Unesco Artists for Peace since 2008.
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