In one of De Oliveira’s crowning achievements, the great Michel Piccoli stars as Gilbert Valence, a celebrated actor who loses his daughter and son-in-law in a car crash, and gradually puts the pieces of his life back together. To be specific, we watch as Valence more or less returns to his daily routine of morning coffee at a sidewalk cafe, afternoon shopping expeditions, and the continual search for the next great part, including his casting as Buck Mulligan in a Franco-American co-production of Ulysses directed by John Malkovich! Precisely because Oliveira doesn’t dwell on Valence’s grief, every scene in the film seems somehow shaded by melancholy and the human impulse to carry on—a theme that resonated with uncanny power during the film’s NYFF premiere, mere weeks after the 9/11 attacks. –NYFF
Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira, GCSE (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐnuˈɛɫ doliˈvɐjɾɐ]; born December 11, 1908) is a Portuguese film director born in Cedofeita, Porto. He is currently the oldest active film director in the world.
Manoel de Oliveira was born in Porto, Portugal on December 11, 1908, to Francisco José de Oliveira and Cândida Ferreira Pinto. His family were wealthy industrialists.
Oliveira attended school in Galicia, Spain and his goal as a teenager was to become an actor. He enrolled in Italian film-maker Rino Lupo’s acting school at age 20, but later changed his mind when he saw Walther Ruttmann’s documentary Berlin: Symphony of a City. This prompted him to direct his first film, also a documentary, titled Douro, Faina Fluvial (1931).
He also has the distinction of having acted in the second Portuguese sound film, A Canção de Lisboa (1933).
His first feature film came much later, in 1942. Aniki-Bóbó, a portrait of Oporto’s street children… read more
Piccoli confirms his status as one of the most seasoned Gallic actors working, well into his seniority. So too, de Oliveira’s direction is gentle, unobtrusive, letting scenes play out, including those of theatrical origin, with passages from Shakespeare, Ionesco and Joyce; each suitably deflecting the film’s elegy, to Piccoli’s ageing thespian, who realises himself at a crossroads in his steady life. Its grace is noted, and appreciated; very thoughtful a portrayal.
Another beautiful still ruined. Thanks dickhead, that's not even an actual still.