Aurora, an elderly Portugese woman and her Cap Verdean housekeeper live next door to Pilar, who has made it her aim in life to do good. Not that she receives any gratitude for her efforts – and certainly not from the notoriously mistrustful Aurora, who prefers to spend her remaining years losing her meagre savings at Estoril casino. When the old lady dies, Pilar discovers among her belongings a letter addressed to an old lover. Pilar decides to post the letter, thus ushering in a flashback to the second part of the film – and adventurous amour fou set in colonial Africa.
Making a film without referring to film history is unthinkable for director Miguel Gomes, and it’s no coincidence that his film has the same title as Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s Tabu. In his third feature film outing Gomes playfully interprets and rearranges historical events. Whilst the first part of his film is in black-and-white and portrays a society wallowing in nostalgia, the second part delivers everything they long for: stirring melodrama, slapstick, juxtaposition and passion. –Berlinale
Miguel Gomes (b. 1972) began first as a film critic before directing a series of refreshingly eccentric short films that revealed his innate talents as a sensual visual stylist interested in an intensely image based narrative in which music plays an equal role to dialogue. Gomes’ early “musical comedies” offer important keys to his feature films by revealing the important inspiration of both musical cinema and the silent film to his uniquely playful and imaginative approach to narrative. The unique energy and puckish charm of Gomes’ little known debut, the Alice in Wonderland-meets-Jacque Rivette narrative puzzle, The Face That You Deserve, took the ludic tendencies of his cinema to a furthest extreme. The festival favorite My Beloved Month of August turned a new and important direction by responding to the “post-documentary” mode of innovative and unclassifiable non-fiction cinema championed by Costa and defined earlier by pioneering works such as Oliveira’s Rite of Spring (1963… read more
Well I have to say that this movie made me proud of being portuguese. It's a visual treat for our eyes, and it's captivating to see the mystery unfold into the truth about the phantoms that tormented old Aurora while learning more about how it was like during the colonial times in Africa. I think the two part structure worked really well and I enjoyed both equally. It truly is a great testimony of our cinema!
At the cutting edge of anachronistic technology.
In our annual poll, we pair our favorite new films of 2012 with older films seen in the same year to create fantastic double features.
Tabu, fantasy, history, cinema.
The French film journal has unveiled their choices for the best films of the year.
A breakdown of the VIFF experience, its qualities and traits.
Our annual round-up of all the posters for the main slate of the New York Film Festival.
An evaluation of the feature films programmed in TIFF’s Wavelengths section.
Also: A new trailer for Soderbergh’s Magic Mike.
Spend two minutes with the most cinephilic film at this year’s Berlinale.
The full list of all the awards.
“A living, breathing demonstration of cinephilia in action.”
Also: David Bordwell on what digital projection is doing to film history.
New work by Christian Petzold, the Taviani brothers, Ursula Meier, Miguel Gomes and more.
More and more frequently in art-filmmaking, concern over narrative structure has been all-but abandoned. Those protecting cinematic-propriety still maintain that plotless, hyper-realist minimalism… read review
from the incipit of the movie:
“Under the rain and scorching sun a melancholic creature trek through jungles and arid lands for months. In the heart of the black continent, neither beasts nor… read review