João Retorta is a Lisbon-born, London-based director and photographer.
Below are João’s selects and what he had to say:
1. ‘La Haine’ (1995)
Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz
A bit cliche, but had to be on the list. No other film had an impact on me like ‘La Haine’ did. It was the first ‘proper’ European film that I saw when I was getting into film school in my late teens. Up until then, I only knew of Hollywood type of films and ’La Haine’ felt more relatable, more familiar in its setting and more ‘palpable’ than all the predominantly American films that I’d seen. Even if just geographically speaking, as I didn’t grew up in the circumstances depicted in the film, but it felt closer to home somehow. Anyway, it opened the doors to European Cinema for me which ended up shaping my entire taste and interests in film.
2. ‘Code Unknown’ (2000)
Directed by Michael Haneke
Probably my favourite film by one of my favourite directors. An intricate study on the intersection of lives in a modern city.
3. ‘The Worst Person In The World’ (2021)
Directed by Joachim Trier
This one is very recent, but very worthy of a spot in the list. I haven’t been this hit by a film in a while. I was already a fan of Joachim Trier’s work, especially the other 2 Oslo films, but ‘The Worst Person In The World’ is something else. So alive. A modern masterpiece in my eyes. Like PTA said: ‘The Worst Person In The World is the best movie in the world’.
4. ‘Tabu’ (2012)
Directed by Miguel Gomes
I wanted to include something from back home (Portugal) and ‘Tabu’ is one of my favourites from recent years. An original and inventive film.
Selects: Music Videos
1. ‘Time To Dance’ The Shoes (2012)
Directed by Daniel Wolfe
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this video by now and it still gets me as excited as it did when I first watched it. It’s the greatest video ever, if you ask me. Ballsy and crafted to perfection. I could watch it everyday. This YouTube comment sums it up pretty nicely: mojotheaverage, 9 years ago – The problem with this video is that it’s too good! I put this music on to do my work to, now I can’t work because I don’t want to miss the video!
2. ‘After Life’ Arcade Fire (2013)
Directed by Emily Kai Bock
So beautiful and delicate, with so much heart and soul. It makes me want to cry and smile at the same time.
3. ‘Virile’ The Blaze (2017)
Directed by The Blaze
So much life in this video. It’s hypnotic. So perfectly simple and so pure.
4. ‘Canal’ Ratking (2014)
Directed by Erik K Yue
Pure raw energy.
1. ‘Double Life’ Playstation (1999)
Directed by Frank Budgen
I love everything about this. The script, the casting, the camerawork, the editing, everything. It’s stunning. I don’t even game and this makes me want to go buy a Playstation.
2. ‘Brazil Airport’ Nike (1998)
Directed by John Woo
France 98 was the first World Cup that I watched as a child and the Brazilian team, especially Ronaldo ‘o Fenomeno’, were my heroes that summer (Portugal didn’t qualify) and I still remember watching this on Tv. So fun. Still is.
3. ‘Heron Preston’ Calvin Klein (2021)
Directed by Rubberband.
I love everything that rubberband. are doing and I love this campaign. I love how effortless and filled with personality it looks and feels.