While working on a story in the border area, a young journalist discovers a divided town bisected by a river. He observes a surreal wedding in which the bride and her family stand on one shore and the groom and his relatives on the other, lost under a cold sky.
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I need to see more Angelopoulos films because this film was absolutely great- a quiet study of the nature of political borders that feels eerily relevant given today's current climate (at least in the US). Plus this film features two great and truly de-glamorized performances by Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau!
so close to being a masterpiece. it stalls midway, for some unknown reason, but the final 30 mins is amazing. the wedding sequence alone is one of Angelopoulos's greatest set pieces, and is far more integrated into the narrative than it is in other films like Eternity and a Day.
Oh, woe unto we plebs who would seek to find fault w/ these profundities. Ugh. This is barely built around the bones of a thesis. It is almost all sententious thesis. Angelopoulos is obviously gonna throw some absolutely stunning camera movements around things complexly blocked. Yup. But, wait! We know you, Theo. You can set them up better than this. And usually you have a way better movie to pin them to.
the search for narrative. Mastroianni as elusive elucidate. knows and yet not knows. M as narrative itself. impotence. gasp over abyss. Search for "real" society and compromise. film as form itself suspended over possibility of media. Apologetic yet unmarginalized. the image comes home to you. Theo as never again.
Including some of the most dazzling sequences and hypnotic pans, this is one of the most ambitious Angelopoulos films. Sagacious really as the problem of borders is as topical as ever, it suspends the divisions that it tackles with Mizoguchi-esque sequences of flows towards (and away) from home. If the acting is unecessarily stylized at points, the rest is absorbing and mesmerizing, de-dramatizing (people's) tragedy.