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March 28th – April 2nd, 2017 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului & Cinema Elvire Popesco / the 7th edition


Directed by: 
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 18:00
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Saturday, April 1, 2017 - 16:30
Written by: 
Gabriel Abrantes
Filipe Vargas, Francisco Cipriano, Joanna Barrios
Jorge Quintela
Margarida Lucas
Carlos Abreu
Gabriel Abrantes, Justin Taurand, Benjamin Cook
Hermaphrodite Films, Les Films du Bélier, LUX/ICO
Romanian Premiere
With the support of

Ever the provocateur, leave it to Gabriel Abrantes to make a tongue-in-cheek phallic story about Constantin Brâncuși’s sculpture Princess X. A Brief History of Princess X is precisely that: a cursory, episodic chronicle of Brâncuși’s (in)famous, work and the erotically-charged narrative threads that tie together its inception in Brâncuși’s atelier, its model (Princess Marie Bonaparte), the latter’s revolutionary studies in female sexuality and ultimately, the sculpture’s placement - and engagement with - in museums. If cinema operates as a canvas for our projected desires, the abstinence observed in Abrantes’ typically subversive, juvenile humour is a poignant, humble tribute to the human frailty that all art hides behind its courageous surface. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)

Gabriel Abrantes

Gabriel Abrantes was born in 1984 in the USA. He studied at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, at L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts (Paris) and at Le Fresnoy - Studio National des Arts Contemporains. He has directed 18 short films over the past 8 years, often setting his provocative narratives in diverse contexts such as Sri Lanka, Haiti, Angola, Brazil, Argentina, France and Portugal. The films have premiered at prestigious festivals such as Locarno Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, the Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival as well as in museums such as MIT List Center in Boston, Palais de Tokyo and MAMVP in Paris, Kunst-Werke in Berlin or Serralves in Porto. His films have been awarded a number of prizes such as A History of Mutual Respect (co-directed with Daniel Schmidt) which as awarded the Pardino d’Oro for best short film at Locarno 2010 or Taprobana which was nominated for EFA Short Film by 2014 Berlinale. He lives and works in Lisbon and Geneva. 

Festivals, awards: 
  • Best Portugese Director - Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival 2016
  • Toronto International Film Festival
  • New York Film Festival
  • Locarno International Film Festival
  • Milano Film Festival
  • Curtocircuito Santiago de Compostela Short Film Festival
  • Uppsala International Short Film Festival
Curatorial comment:
A Brief History of Princess X focuses as much on the perception of the sculpture, as on the history and beauty of it. Similarly, the eye of Abrantes’ spectator needs to focus as much on what can be fascinating about the story being told, as on what can be formally beautiful in the work, and on how Abrantes perceives it: as something generalizable regarding shape, but not to be underestimated just because of the misunderstandings made over the centuries. An immature child who strikes a pose pretending that Princess X is his penis cannot change the history of sculpture, the history of Brâncuși and cannot change the story of the film. But the film yes, maybe the film can awaken something, can bring to life the exchange of signifier and signified within the sculpture and through it into the film. And this film can do it in just 7 minutes, with a unique and infallible humor. (Nicola Settis, Cinelapsus)