Nine years after it is now time to see the movie under the same name which now reached movie theatres worldwide.
The book tells the story of Gregorious, a man who incidentally bumps into a woman about to commit suicide on a bridge. Much to Gregorious relief, he manages to prevent the woman from putting an end to her life. The woman disappears out of shame or just to leave the man with a piece of paper in his hands which will change his life in the years to come. Left alone in the bridge Gregorious sees the bit of paper, written in an alien language, pretty similar to Spanish. He takes to a library to try to understand the words and comes across the book ‘A Goldsmith of Words’ by the Portuguese writer Amadeu de Prado. He soon decides to take the long journey south to Lisbon in order to find out more about this writer and to learn the language.
The book is the story of this journey and of a man who, by trying to find more about this writer, comes up with questions and the need to find answers to his life.
Lisbon is once again the final destination of a character, played in the movie by Jeremy Irons. It is not the first time this actor films in Portugal and it is not the first time Lisbon is the stage for the story of a man trying to a find a new path by going through his past in the process. This movie and book somehow take us back to Erich Maria Remarque’s “One night in Lisbon”, where a man recalls his past and tells his story to a stranger in one night in a city he was supposed to spend just a couple of days before pursuing his journey, but which ends up being his final destination.
Cities in space are still a vision of the future, but should there be one or two or many they will probably be inspired in the dreamy designs of Zaha Hadid who died today at the age of 65 of a heart attack while being treated in Miami after having contracted bronchitis. Famous for her designs with curved lines, a distinguishing feature of her work, she left her mark all over the world, from Abu Dhabi to Spain, from London to Taiwan. London was her home where she started working as an architect in 1972 and where she established her practice in 1979. A true woman of the world, she travelled a lot and retained influences that would later materialize in iconic buildings and works. One of her major influences was the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer whom she considered a genius. “He was a virtuous of space. He had a natural talent for sensuality”, she said once in interview to El Pais, further adding that “many architects experiment with forms but he was more ambitious; he created with concrete forms that are apparently liquid”.
Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, in Germany was the project that gave her international recognition. In 2004 she was the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Prize. Other public recognitions followed and along with her projects she had also a pretty active academic role lecturing in a number of universities in the word. Her career was not exempt from criticism, not so much as regards her style. When invited by Japan to design the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo she was strongly criticized by Japanese architects but she dismissed it claiming that they did not want a foreigner architect to design a national stadium. Stadiums became actually a headache for Hadid who would be charged for having done nothing to prevent the number of deaths of migrants during the building and construction of the Al Walkrah stadium in Qatar whose accusations she vehemently denied claiming hat there had been no such deaths. But criticism aside, which she quickly reacted to, Zaha Hadid left her mark nearly everywhere in the world of design from buildings to bridges through shoes with her distinguishing mark, a stage design for the British band Pet Shop Boys or jewellery for the Danish brand George Jensen, just to name a few.
Carlos Tomé Sousa