A collection of five early shorts full of camp and ambition, including two early collaborations by Gabriel Abrantes and Benjamin Crotty that take us from Iraq to Angola, and Abrantes’s first film, Olympia I & II, co-directed with Katie Widloski, a seductive tongue-in-cheek riff on Manet’s canonical painting.

Travel support provided by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Olympia I & II
Gabriel Abrantes & Katie Widloski, USA, 2006, digital projection, 9m
This radical diptych recasts Manet’s canonical painting as a scandalous psychodrama: in the first part, a prostitute (Katie Widloski) and her brother (Gabriel Abrantes) struggle with their incestuous urges; in the second, a prostitute (Abrantes) copes with her loneliness on a slow night for business.

Visionary Iraq
Gabriel Abrantes & Benjamin Crotty, Portugal, 2009, digital projection, 17m
Channeling the Kuchar brothers, Gabriel Abrantes and Benjamin Crotty play all the roles within a Portuguese family whose incestuous children—a son with Justin Bieber’s hair (Crotty) and an adopted Angolan daughter (Abrantes)—have joined the army and are soon to ship out for a tour of Iraq.

Too Many Daddies, Mommies, and Babies
Gabriel Abrantes, Portugal, 2009, digital projection, 25m
Portuguese with English subtitles
Two eco-activists abandon their efforts to try to save the Amazon in order to start a family, only for tragedy to befall their surrogate in this outrageous, Warholian take on the weepie.

Gabriel Abrantes & Benjamin Crotty, Portugal/Angola, 2011, DCP, 17m
English, Portuguese, and Mandarin with English subtitles
Shot in Luanda, Angola, this visually ravishing tale of romance, crime, and erectile dysfunction chronicles the relationship between an Angolan boy and a Chinese girl as they attempt to forge a shared, transcultural identity.

Baby Back Costa Rica
Gabriel Abrantes, Portugal, 2011, digital projection, 5m
Portuguese with English subtitles
This companion piece to Palaces of Pity follows three teenage girls on an ominous drive home, discussing shared acquaintances, cars, and Judaism as a swimming pool straight out of David Hockney awaits.