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Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #47. Joao Pedro Rodrigues’ The Ornithologist

The Ornithologist

Director: Joao Pedro Rodrigues
Writers: Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Joao Rui Guerra

Portuguese director Joao Pedro Rodrigues has built a fantastic filmography of offbeat, experimental films, including notable works like 2000’s O Fantasma! and 2005’s Two Drifters. He has a long history of collaborating with art director Joao Rui Guerra, which culminated in the superb docu-hybrid film noir essay The Last Time I Saw Macao (2012). The pair have been working on another feature, which supposedly began principal photography over the summer. Little has been revealed about the film beyond a style aiming to be a mix between Macao and Rodrigues’ excellent 2009 film To Die Like a Man (a film worth seeking out if you happened to miss it). It’s interesting to note Rodrigues trained as an ornithologist earlier in life, so we expect something meditative and introspective.

Cast: TBA.

Production Co.: Black Maria

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic/international).

Release Date: While To Die Like a Man premiered at Cannes in Un Certain Regard, The Last Time I Saw Macao went to Locarno, so depending on how programmers feel, this could land in either place (but we suspect Locarno).

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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