Charme Indiscreto de Epifânea Sacadura
Óscar Alves

In his first short film, Óscar Alves experiments with the flashback-based narrative structure and the theme that would be further explored in his later work Aventuras e Desventuras de Julieta Pipi, filmed with greater means.

Shot with no dialogues or sound effects, the film relies on intertitles to convey the essence of the dialogues, and it requires greater rhythm and expressivity from its actors; to this end, Alves recreates the expressionist aesthetics of silent cinema.

The time and setting of the action are revealed immediately: 1930, the Chalé das Águas Correntes (Chalet of Running Waters). Epifânea Sacadura (Fefa Putollini), actress, welcomes us with a “Hello, Boys!”; lounging on her chaise longue in a languid pose; she even fondles herself on occasion. Epifânea is clearly bent on seducing the boys. The actress speaks of her career; she tells the story of the making of a film, in which we
see her character receive the visit of a gentleman that turns out to be a vampire.

A situation she resolves by immobilising him through a “Bottled Fart” she had handy. She then produces a king-size hammer and stake to get the job done. Epifânea confesses that life in the movies has made her into “a drunk, glutton, and neurotic”, and then recounts one more recollection: the filming of “Última Valsa em Cucu” (“Last Waltz in Booboo”). A beach stands in for the desert that serves as the backdrop for an exotic story; the actress, in a shell bikini, crawls into the arms of the leading man. On set, the actor turns out to be a real gentleman, helps Epifânea when she is bitten by a spider, and even gives her a manicure. The actor only looses his stride when Epifânea pulls his tunic up, and screams, “Not in the ass!” The film ends with a commercial for the “Vaqueiro” brand of margarine - “Even in the desert, a little “Vaqueiro” comes in handy” -, in a sequence that is a clear reference to Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris (1972).

The actress then, still reclining on her chaise longue, recounts her discovery at 18. We learn of her peasant origins, and how director Laurentis Kommecús discovered her while climbing a tree and shooing away
a butterfly that had landed on her behind. Kommecús instructs his refined producer to school Epifânea in how to eat, apply makeup, and walk on heels, so that he may turn her into a star. The conclusion, as foreseeable from the director’s artistic name, the photos of Epifânea’s first filmic efforts are revealed: a porn flick. João Ferreira

/ Details

Year: 1975

Country: Portugal

Language: Portuguese

Subtitles: No Subtitles

/ Direction

Óscar Alves

Born in Porto, Portugal, he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture with Maria Lúcia Carneiro and Oldemiro Carneiro, while simultaneously studying at the Fine Arts School of Porto. He was a regular collaborator of one of the most important intellectual magazines of the time, Bandarra. As an actor, he worked at the Teatro Experimental do Porto (TEP), run by António Pedro. When moving to Lisbon, he exhibits at the Sociedade Nacional de Belas‐Artes (SNBA) and is cast as an actor of the Teatro Monumental theatre company, where, alongside Laura Alves and Paulo Renato, he plays Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, among other plays. In this period, he commences his television career as a leading actor in television plays such as Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Almeida Garrett’s Falar a Verdade a Mentir. With poet Natália Correia, he organizes, at the SNBA, a controversial show on surrealist poetry. By this time, his art work is already integrated in the art gallery circuit. In the 1970’s he experiments with film directing. In 1980 he definitively abandons showbiz, moving to Madrid.

He returns to Lisbon in 1985, accepting an invitation from Portuguese TV to direct a program on visual arts and, one year latter, a program on the show business world. He returns briefly to Madrid to work with Spanish TV for a documentary on the Salvador Dali retrospective. Since then, Óscar Alves has had several of his works sold at Christie’s London and New York and exhibits regularly in Madrid and in Italy. Alongside Domingos Oliveira, he runs the Atelier de Artistas art gallery, at the Twin Towers, in Lisbon.


1978 – Good‐Bye, Chicago (Short Fiction)
1978 – Aventuras e Desventuras de Julieta Pipi (Feature Film) 
1976 – Solidão Povoada (Feature Film)
1975 – Charme Indiscreto de Epifânea Sacadura (Short Fiction)

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and to analyze traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate usage statistics, and to detect and address abuse.