Manoel de Oliveira – Le soulier de satin aka The Satin Slipper (1985)

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Prolific Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira has cut down the 7-hour stage play of Catholic playwright Paul Claudel to just under three hours in this film. Within those three hours, two people — Dona Prouheze (Anne Consigny) and Don Rodigue (Luis Miguel Cintra) have fallen in love but are honor-bound to renounce their passion for a greater love of God. Dona Prouheze is particularly devout and has offered her satin slipper to the Virgin Mary in exchange for the Virgin’s protection against sin. She dies as virginal as when she was born, while Don Rodrigue conquers Asian lands for king and country. As his life progresses, he becomes more and more devoted to painting religious subjects on his ship, rebuffing the royal attempts to get him back into active duty. Slow and possibly tedious for some audiences, this film was originally created as a four-part miniseries for television. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Manoel de Oliveira – Aniki Bóbó [+Extras] (1942)

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“Film4” wrote:
One of the earliest features by Portugal’s most renowned director, it was also one of De Oliveira’s best-known works for many years. Using the actual children of the area, the film follows the adventures of street urchins growing up in the slums of Oporto and on the banks of the river. Much simpler in style and more approachable than many of De Oliveira’s later films, it has excellent location photography and natural performances from the kids. Coincidentally it was made in the same year as Vittorio de Sica made his first Italian neo-realist film, The Children Are Watching Us. Continue reading

Manoel de Oliveira – Painéis de São Vicente de Fora – Visão Poética AKA Painéis de São Vicente de Fora – Poetic Vision (2010)

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Venice Film Festival wrote:
The film was made upon the invitation of the Serralves Foundation in Porto for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Foundation and the 10th anniversary of its Museum. A reflection on the Painéis de São Vicente de Fora, a 16th-century masterpiece attributed to Nuno Gonçalves. Continue reading

Miguel Gomes – Aquele Querido Mes de Agosto AKA Our Beloved Month of August (2008)

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Despite a complete lack of financing and cast, driven young director Miguel Gomes is hell-bent on making a film and dives headlong into a cinematic kaleidoscope. With a camera and a small crew, Gomez travels to a remote Portuguese mountainside, where the Pardieiros music festival is under way, and begins filming the townsfolk. While the festival sets one’s eyes ablaze and toes tapping, Gomes finds a narrative slowly and sneakily emerging. Locations, songs, and characters from the documentary are recast as echoes of their former selves. Townspeople are reincarnated as members of a family band and incestuous subplots unfold. These colliding realities beg the question: Is the beginning of the film merely research for following fiction? Is truth a rehearsal for fiction here, or is it the other way around? This one-of-a-kind diptych probes the intersection of documentary and fiction filmmaking, suggesting that story and reality are echoes of one another. Ravishingly photographed and brilliantly assembled, Our Beloved Month of August is a travelogue to get lost in, an indigenous film created by tourists. It’s also a window into a fascinating filmmaking process that continues to unravel long after the credits roll. Continue reading

António de Macedo – Domingo à Tarde AKA Sunday Afternoon (1966)

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Jorge is the doctor in charge of the Haematology Department of a big hospital. One day he meets Clarisse, a patient suffering from advanced leukaemia, and falls in love with her. His struggle to save her inevitably fails in the end, and Jorge will now have to deal with a future of pointless routine and despair. Continue reading