Cedro Plátano

Director’s note

I have always considered the portuary industrial landscape to be visually exciting, and port activities to be of great sonic richness.

In the Port of Leixões - Panorama is the first episode of a documentary series that take place in the port of Leixões. The port was built at the mouth of the river Leça, in the late 19th century. Set near the towns of Leça da Palmeira (to the north) and Matosinhos (to the south), Leixões is the largest artificial port infrastructure in Northern Portugal. The Port of Leixões is a lively place, where the sounds of the city blend with the typical tumult of sounds of the nearby ocean and portuary activities: from the seagull cries, the water crashing near the anchorages, the sirens of patrol vessels, the ship horns, the sounds of radio communications, to the sounds of the cranes and all the machinery that operates in the container terminal. The goal of this project is to recreate the Genius Loci (the special atmosphere) of this harbour in a cinema projection.

This first episode, which I called Panorama, is a 27-minute journey inside the port of Leixões that introduces the port and its surroundings - the cities of Matosinhos and Leça da Palmeira. In other words, and as the title says, it is a panorama of the port - a title that offers a simple tribute to the Lumière Brothers. Since the film has no dialogues, the sound and the image take priority so that they can be fully appreciated, a sensory experience if you will. The photography was done by DOP Mário Castanheira and the amazing soundtrack, created from field recordings on location, was the work of Ricardo Leal (sound recordist) and Miguel Martins (sound designer and sound mixing). The post-production of sound has a fundamental role in obtaining and recreating the port's own time in the film, drawing the viewer's attention, bringing them into the experience of being in that space and to the gestures and actions that are portrayed.

Lisbon,  October 2019

Renata Sancho