Tag Archives: Teresa Madruga

Manoel de Oliveira – O Dia do Desespero AKA The Day of Despair (1992)

Quote:
In 1992 Oliveira made O Dia do Desespero, which deals with the last days and suicide of Romantic novelist Camilo Castelo Branco and is based largely on the writer’s letters. Most of it was filmed in the house where Castelo Branco in fact committed suicide. The film opens, midway through the credits, with a 50-second static shot of a pen-and-ink portrait of the writer. Other portraits, always shot with a static camera, punctuate the film’s narrative, lending it a documentary tone from the outset. Read More »

João César Monteiro – Silvestre (1981)

Quote:
The plot of the film is taken from two traditional Portuguese tales: A donzela que vai a guerra («The maiden who went war» 15th Century?), of Judeo-Iberian origin, and a novella, The dead one’s hand, orally transmitted, which forms part of the Bluebeard cycle.

Dom Rodrigo has two daughters, one legitimate, the other bastard, Silvia and Susana. Growing old, and without male heir, Dom Rodrigo decides to marry off Silvia to his neighbour, a rich nobleman, Dom Paio, with the aim of securing and expanding his domain. After a brief visit from the fiancé, a great glutton and skirt-chaser, Dom Rodrigo leaves for the court to invite the king to the nuptials. Upon his departure, he instructs the girls not to open the doors of the mansion to any stranger. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – L’Île aux merveilles de Manoël AKA Manuel on the Island of Wonders (1984)

Quote:
This three part French TV serial for children (alternate versions exist as a feature, Manoel’s Destinies, and a 4 part Portuguese TV serial, Adventure in Madeira) is the favourite of many devotees of Raúl Ruiz. This is because it ties the enchantment and mystery of Lewis Carroll, Carlo Collodi and the Brothers Grimm to the filmmaker’s experiments with narrative strategies and what he calls the pentaludic model of storytelling (where characters are thrown dice-like into combinations and situations governed by the play of Chance and Destiny). Read More »