LISBON — Joao Cesar Monteiro, a Portuguese filmmaker whose dramatic comedy “Recordacoes da Casa Amarela” (Recollections of the Yellow House) won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1989, died Feb. 3 in Portugal of cancer, newspaper reports said. He was 64.
Born in 1939 in Figueira da Foz, Portugal, Monteiro was a film critic, actor, scriptwriter and director. In 1963, he studied filmmaking in London and began his career with short films.
His first film, “Silvestre,” which took him five years to finish, was an official selection at Venice in 1970. Almost 20 years later, he made a triumphant return to the fest with his Silver Lion winner.
Monteiro made four shorts and 14 feature films. “Yellow House” was the beginning of a loose trilogy feature Joao de Deus (John of God), played by Monteiro himself. The others are “God’s Comedy” (1996), which took a special jury prize at Venice, and “God’s Wedding” (1999), which won Argentina’s Mar del Plata film festival.
Other films include 2000’s “Branca de Neve” (Snow White), “The Hips of J.W.” (1997) and “The Last Dive” (1992).
Regarded by some critics as a genius and others as a mere eccentric, Monteiro was renowned for his caustic comments about cinematic art, critics and audiences.