A meditation on civilization. July, 2001: friends wave as a cruise ship departs Lisbon for Mediterranean ports and the Indian Ocean. On board and on day trips in Marseilles, Pompeii, Athens... See full summary »
Manoel de Oliveira
Filipa de Almeida,
Long winded and pretentious format to tell a story we fail to fully understand
I saw this film as part of the Rotterdam Film Festival 2012. The announcement text on the festival website talked (too) much about the format. Alas, I ignored the warning signs and booked tickets, which in hindsight I should not have done. This film is (a) long winded, (b) boring throughout, (c) overly pretentious, or (d) all of the above. The only positive comment I have is the music that popped up some of the time.
With respect to (a) and (b): In my opinion, the initial music salon scenes (half an hour of our time wasted) could easily be condensed into 5 minutes, without loosing any contents. Alternatively, the whole proceedings could as well start from the restaurant scene.
Similarly, the passages that are read by our "guide" add nothing, only pretenses. Ditto about the stage-like decor, only serving to emphasize what we already knew, namely that we have to do with a play within a play (a so called Frame Story).
During the final Q&A there was a question about the reasons behind the classical stage play setup. From the given answer I could derive no real justification, so the above negative comments stand.
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