The comfortable daily routines of aging Parisian actor Gilbert Valence, 76, are suddenly shaken when he learns that his wife, daughter, and son-in-law have been killed in a car crash. ... See full summary »
Manoel de Oliveira
The daughters of a nobleman give shelter to a stranger. After that visit ends with a severed hand, the pilgrim takes on different identities to seek revenge. The nobleman goes missing and his youngest has to pose as a knight to save him.
João César Monteiro
Maria de Medeiros,
Luís Miguel Cintra
Anna, a detached and diffident director, arrives in Germany to show her latest film; she checks into a hotel, invites a stranger to her bed, and abruptly tells him to leave. He asks her to ... See full summary »
Chantal Akerman, the Belgian filmmaker, lives in New York. Filmed images of the City are accompanied by the texts of Chantal Akerman's loving but manipulative mother back home in Brussels. ... See full summary »
In my quest to understand Monteiro, I went back a bit to catch his first feature length film, and bang, another surprise, he did start with avant garde! If something could ever exist called abstract black humor, this is it, and this one surely has all the indications of the perverse poet inside him. This is pure experiment, with sound, with camera, with narrative, with light, and what not, but at the same time maintaining an overall tone of garish humor. Monteiro provokes his audience, appearing at the very beginning to brandish his middle finger after its claimed on screen that the film "was rehearsed with his balls squeezed tightly" by João César Monteiro, and he does it with a swagger that'll make you chuckle and feel insulted at the same time! Let me admit that I did not unravel the entire film, and I believe the dense dialog makes it impossible to do so at the first attempt, but Monteiro's style still touches you and his deep yet perverse musings evoke the very unique reaction that only his films are capable of. It is like he is erasing boundaries constantly, mixing the immiscible, smudging the colors to produce one single whole, and exactly so does his narrative, apparently disjointed fragments covering different sequences coming together to form a complete picture of love, innocence and oddity, three properties that define the family at the center of things. All of it is shot with the unique perspective laced with subtle humor that seems to be Monteiro's forte and presents before us a part-surreal, part-beautiful, part-vicious, and part-oblique study of the interdependent cogs of society, family and politics. I need to revisit the film just to fully understand the monologue as the subtitles were freaking difficult to understand! Now that's a first, and hence I'm guessing the Portuguese in this movie must have been of the choicest and most elegant quality.
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