In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »
An unexperienced young actress is invited to play a role in a film based on Dostoyevsky's 'The Possessed'. The film director, a Czech immigrant in Paris, takes over her life, and in a short... See full summary »
João de Deus is the manager of an ice-cream shop owned by an ex-prostitute, Paraíso dos Gelados (Ice-Cream Paradise). Through a unmoved desire of perfection, he seeks, through cleansing and... See full summary »
João César Monteiro
João César Monteiro,
Manuela de Freitas
A dark comedy about a murder and its consequences presented in a backwards manner, where death is actually a rebirth. The film starts with an "execution" of the main protagonist and goes ... See full summary »
A housewife is preparing a duck à l'orange in her kitchen. But the reluctant bird tries to escape from her but the woman manages to recaptures it and plucks it savagely. Once the duck is ... See full summary »
This is modeled after the thought that this much sought after thing we call pure cinema is images heaped together. Plenty of these circulate in the 'arthouse' strata. These may be perfectly good as art and aesthetic subject but generally make for shoddy cinema by the definition of the word; after the Greek word 'cinematograph' meaning 'motion + eye + to write'.
To write for the eye, to write with images, it means to structure. The eye as a needle that threads the world together. This doesn't mean it has to be constrained or linear or something we only reason with one way. The great Japanese tea masters for example were some of our most cinematic minds and they understood that purity flows best from unfinished structure.
The filmmaker was probably familiar with a similar notion and decided to experiment. He knows there has to be rhythm and visual beat. We get a few vignettes that paint a life of interminable drudgery and whimsical darkness; a masked man swinging a sword against a doll held up by a string; an old woman endlessly fetching a pot of milk that shatters every time; another man taking a bath and striking poses once finished; librarians at work cataloguing books. The rest is a shapeshifting swirl of light and shadow, presumably the cinematic purity that we are meant to flow into.
Maybe this will work for you as a work of abstract imagination or as the equivalent of what is known in music as power electronics. Maybe it will tap into some other part of you. It doesn't for me. I want a dream embedded with what triggers it. Painting where every stroke reveals a world as it comes into being. The scenery could be anything from mundane life around the corner to the most novel imagination, so long as the mechanisms are true as we know them to be.
There is none of that here, no mechanisms. Just a swirl that is no more erudite or revealing than Transformers' swirl of mechanized warfare.
This is reminiscent of early Lynch, and perhaps influenced later films. But Lynch grew, he learned to structure his dreams. Hopefully this filmmaker did as well. This is feverishly inventive babble. Visual non-sense.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?