Essay from Rui Carvalho

Cinema Critique: The Revenant by Rui M. Carvalho (28 March 2016)


Inspired by true events, The Revenant, a movie directed by Alejandro Iñárritu, is an example of a film whose trailer alone makes us feel it has a significant message to transmit. Visually, it might be considered almost a new genre of western, which we might call the “frozen western.”

The sentence “I’m not afraid to die any more, I done it already” surely creates on us a deep first impression, expressing the idea that there’s no turning back: only a landscape in front, and a shadow behind the speaker. This dramatic first impression is further emphasized by the contrast between ice — dominant, mostly blue and grey — and, sometimes, small dots of fire, mostly yellow and orange. A human tragedy plays out in the course of the movie, in which divers persons confront the meaning of their lives; this being especially obvious during one of the last scenes, in which the aggressor, played by Tom Hardy, speaks with the hero (or surviving victim, if you please), played by Leonardo Dicaprio, and confronts us all with deep questions: What is justice for? What types of justice are there and what are the ones we want? Should justice be a constructive process?

This type of reasoning is an example of what some cinematic theorists consider to be the psychological role of film: as a tool to give new significance to reality, to educate and influence the citizenry. The Guardian asserts that cinema can be valuable for children’s and young peoples’ learning and cultural experience (The Guardian, 28 March 2016). And this can be seen as a detail of a big process of civilization, which “is not linear and conscious” (Cultural Studies Now, 28 March 2016).

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Poetry from Rui Carvalho

Green Dale of Love

My life is a dale:
A mystery of green loneliness.
A swift breathing with flowers’ flavor,
that covers with gold petals, and scattered dreams.
And the cold of the night announces sleep,
the dark olive green, always classic,
the screech owl, always alone,
But not a new life:
an enchanted and colorful brier!
All this world is a stage of love’s complaints!

Rui Carvalho reviews Karolina Simos’ Ambrosia Chronicles Book 1: The Discovery

The Ambrosia Chronicles: The Discovery by Karolina Simos

Karolina Simos' book cover
“What am I thinking, saying something like that to the person who just terrified the wits out of me?” confesses Alex to
herself after just telling Lucas to be careful.
Is she just afraid of dying, or is there more going on? I contemplate this when I reach the turning point in the first book of Karolina Simos’ Ambrosia Chronicles. I wonder what further surprises the remaining chapters still contain …
The novel has an intriguing starting point and the sense of adventure grows stronger within each new chapter. When reading the Ambrosia Chronicles, we enter into mystical contemplation and reconsider the most intriguing metaphysical questions we encounter in life.
Mystery, fear and adventure capture my state of mind at this point, and the freshness of the YA fiction genre only adds to these feelings.
Certainly, those who want a captivating reading for this summer should try Ambrosia Chronicles: The Discovery. I have only finished half of the book so far but am already experiencing a good mix of unsolved questions that are transporting me to another world. In this other world, reality contains seeds of a hidden part of our psyche – dreams of things I desperately want to see but which frighten me because they will require me to understand and contemplate my own personal weaknesses.
Ambrosia Chronicles: The Discovery is available here:

From Rui Carvalho, invitation to submit to poetry anthology on director Manoel de Oliveira

Announcement from Rui Carvalho, who is curating an anthology of poetry about movie director Manoel de Oliveira and seeks submissions.

How to honor a great movie director

Manoel de Oliveira is the oldest movie director still working! He is 106 years old and continues to produce one movie per year! One of his best movies was “Abraham’s Valley”, moody and beautiful, but we could mention many others. He is also an example of positive thinking and an example to all of us. It is to honor this example of work and quality at work that we invite you to write a small poem, about him or his movies, in your own language, and send it to us.

Please visit the following websites to know more about Manoel de Oliveira and his work: and and

We will select 106 poems and produce an e-book of poetry that will be available for windows (laptop) and windows phone (smartphone)!

Please hurry up! The submission of poetry for this contest starts 1st January 2015 and ends 31st January 2015!

Results will be available 15 February at:

Please send one or two poems, with message’s subject “Poem to Manoel de Oliveira”, to:

(e-mail of the partner) and

Together with:

Name; Country; e-mail contact;

We expect to publish the book until 31 February!

Enjoy 2015! All best!


Poetry from Rui Carvalho

What I want…

I want to be mustered by the cool water of the fountain.
I want the stiff light of the sun over the round petals.
I want the pouty lips and red cheeks and your kiss.
I want all the life and universe I can obtain!

I want the sigh of the travel at the light speed.
I want the sameness of a Summer morning seed.
I want your jabbered whispers in the desert.
And I want to be FREE and eat life as a dessert.

mysterious feelings

I don’t understand this colorful rainbow dust,
Neither the cool and truly bright fountain near it…
My search for their colors gave senseless end.
Without you, near them, my naked hands would be empty…

I found you near the true yellow, near the star’s dust.
Sorbitol: the love with 60 % less calories!
The love you give: joy, condensed sun beams.
Pure commotion in front of innocence.

Can’t survive, without your oval aureole…
Light inside of a cell, mysterious meiosis.
Heart captive of sound, the fountain of love…
Feelings, perfect definition, flight without wings.

Am I mad? Am I alive? Am I just dead?
Your eyes my fire? My eyes a fishhook?

Rui Carvalho is a software developer and writer from Lisbon, Portugal. He may be reached at 

Rui Carvalho’s Photo Tour of Lisbon


Dear Friends,

The city of Lisbon makes me have so much to say that I really had a very hard time to decide what I should talk about. I thought about the places and the history, the river and the hills and finally decided to talk to you about the colors of my city, having inside my heart the secret hope to discover the exact things I should tell you in my next letter. Not surprisingly, I had the same problem selecting the photos to present to you. Nevertheless, I selected the photos you can see below. I really believe they portrait the very heart of Lisbon. Ok, some might say, watch out, where is a heart there is blood. But relax, that’s not the case here!

When I think about Lisbon I really can’t imagine a day when darkness completely covered the city, even during the winter. This is because the buildings have different colors and some of them are covered with glazed tiles or have a group of glazed tiles to make them more beautiful. This is true for old buildings but also new buildings. The first photo below shows the Tagus River on the left (in Portuguese: Rio Tejo) and blue glazed tiles on the right (in Portuguese: azulejos). The light over the river seems to come from him and not from the sun. In fact, the reflections from the waters in a summer afternoon make me feel a strange feeling: something in between the kiss of a mermaid and the astonishment of a child when he or she first contemplates the blue waters. The dry heat mixed with the blue of river mixed with the yellow of the buildings and the pink of the flowers are something that spreads over the air as a dream misplaced in time.

But this city is not only made with yellow buildings. Please look to the second picture bellow. There you can see the strange combination of the violet flowers of this tree, in June, and the color of this 18th century building. Please stare at the photo for a moment. Maybe you are understanding the city the way I did a few years ago… The old city is like a doll house where we can imagine ourselves as citizens of a neighborhood inhabited by real people and real ghosts. And everything in a day of Summer, in June or July, sees us surrounded with the pleasant and white smell of candles just snuffed by a mad person that likes smoke that is wholly and completely nonthreatening. To live in Lisbon and go to the center of Lisbon, to downtown, is like going back in time to the 18th century. Don’t worry, I will explain this to you in my next letter.

Now, I gently invite you to stare at the third photo. There you can see some colorful ribbons and a peace of wood that says “Alfama”. Alfama is the name of one of the most typical quarters of Lisbon. The ribbons are there because the photo was taken in June during the preparation of the most important party of the city, that takes place in June. Certainly, there’s a Saint involved in this party! Santo António de Lisboa, or Saint António from Lisbon, that is also Saint António from Pádua, in Italy, the city where he died in 13 June 1231. It is believed that this Saint can bring about good weddings and this is great news for you, my friend, because if you want to marry soon you just have to came to Lisbon on 13 June and pray! Yes, if you are in July you must wait all year… That might seem very unfortunate but you can start praying right now!

My dear friends, now I have to finish this letter and return to my colorful life, letting you behind, suffering the absence of my next words. You should wait for my next letter… Where I will explain you the recent past of this city. By recent past I mean the 18th century.

All the best,

Rui Carvalho


Rui is an app developer in Lisbon and may be reached at