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Limite (1931)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  October 1931 (UK)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 833 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 7 critic

Three people sail aimlessly while remembering their past.

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Title: Limite (1931)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Olga Breno ...
Woman #1
Tatiana Rey ...
Woman #2
Raul Schnoor ...
Man #1
Brutus Pedreira ...
Man #2 (as D.G. Pedrera)
Carmen Santos ...
Woman eating a fruit
Mario Peixoto ...
Man sitting at the cemetery
Edgar Brasil ...
Man asleep in the theatre
Iolanda Bernardes ...
Woman at the sewing-machine
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Storyline

In a drifting small boat, two women and a man recalls their recent past. One of the woman escaped from the prison; the other one was desperate; and the man had lost his lover. They have no further strength or desire to live and have reached the limit of their existences. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

October 1931 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Limit  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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| (sound-on-disc)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene of the prison escape is shown in parallel with an insert from The Adventurer (1917), with the title "Carlitos encrencou a zona", meaning: Charlie messed up his way out - where his head with the convict cap emerges just by the side of the prison guard. The sequence is shown as a film-in-the film, during a projection in a theatre with a piano player providing the accompaniment to Charles Chaplin's silent film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What Are You Looking For? (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Notturno (Nocturne)
from String Quartet No. 2 (1881)
Composed by Aleksandr Borodin
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User Reviews

 
Beauty needs no words
10 November 2010 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

At first glance, it might appear somewhat ironic that LIMITE remains the one work with which most people identify multi-talented Mario Peixoto today. While Peixoto kept writing poetry, essays and various manuscripts throughout his life, this film remained his one contribution in the cinematic world. After its initial release in 1931, the film was virtually unavailable for decades, making it hard for the general public and historians alike to judge for themselves if this so-called "masterpiece" which Peixoto had produced in his youth really was worthy of so much acclaim. However, recently I had the opportunity of seeing LIMITE on a big screen with live musical arrangement, and I am forced to admit that the film's current status as a phenomenon has rather little to do with its unavailability; it remains genuinely impressive, starkingly beautiful to this day.

The story finds several mentally defeated persons recalling their past in a boat. Peixoto takes use of several flash-backs which might appear confusing, especially since there are only some very few title cards present throughout this silent film. However, exactly what the story is about is less relevant (and interesting) than how it is being visually executed, and furthermore the emotional impact it leaves upon us. Through his extensive use of close-ups, landscapes, storms and shadows, Peixoto manipulates us into imagining his visions as being truly real, physical presences. For instance, when showing us a group of people enjoying a Charlie Chaplin-short at a theater, his way of visually describing the term laughter becomes so convincing that we nearly forget that we, in fact, are observing another group of observers; they become part of us, and we flow within one another into one eternity.

Peixoto covers laughter, and he covers death, nature, despair and small-town life. You find yourself sitting at the edge of your seat not because you're wondering what's going to happen next, but due to what you're observing each moment. Even though it is evident that Peixoto was heavily inspired by earlier experimental film directors (the masters of German expressionism come to mind), one of the major reasons why it leaves such a profound impact is precisely because it was made at such a late point in the silent era; too late to make an impact on the silent medium, it is almost disturbing how bluntly it reveals exactly what was lost when silent films died. For a long time, the focus on dialogue in talking films made directors blind, forcing the film medium to take one huge step backwards in terms of aesthetics. Of course, things have changed to the better since that time, but LIMITE still remains a thought-provoking reminder as to not forget that film, after all, first and foremost is a visual medium, where beauty should play a central part.


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