An elderly criminal becomes a folk hero as he successfully evades hordes of police; a stern judge oversees a case involving 13 stolen cows, mail-order brides, a genie and a machete-wielding human lie detector; a Maltese poodle shuffles between households in a recession-stricken estate.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Arabian Nights: Volume 2, the Desolate OneDirected byMiguel Gomes
Overall "Arabian Nights" is an ambitious yet unsuccessful project. While Vol. I is disjointed and ostentatious, Vol. III is inconsequent and trivial. At least Vol. II gives a good idea of what the project might have become if it had been properly executed. The first story is a nice take on contemporary contemplative film, the second story is a funny satire and the third story is a charming Perec-like kaleidoscope.
It's funny: though I suspect that Volume 2 is the least likely of the three to be programmed (in a festival context for example) on its own, independent of its bookends, in many ways I think it might be the one that works best as a standalone, perhaps, paradoxically, because the three separate pieces are so utterly distinct. The Desolate One is a masterclass on how to work w/ actors and non-actors in the same movie.
Chico Chapas is perfect as Simão 'Sem Tripas'. He is a non-actor. In a intriguing way. Unlike the Kusturica oddities that seem to fit the role and don't even need to act: they seem to have been found as they were presented, weird and wonderful and camera friendly. And unlike other non-actors in small roles in this very same film that are just bad actors (but don't harm the work). Chapas has a genuine uneasiness. *
The inconsistency and irrelevance continue to dominate the second volume of this filmmaker authorial saga, not reaching the desired nonsense parable for the second episode or the rural semiotic epic for the first. However, in sparse instants of the third episode, despite a traditional dramaturgy, there are few moments of a less indistinct formality. Very little to keep on taking the cloud for Juno.
TIFF '15 Volume 2 reps the best entry in the trilogy by being the most focused on its tales while respecting its framework. The long tale 'The Tears of the Judge' contain some of the finest satire in recent memory and an exceptional turn by Luisa Cruz. The tale well bordered by two other exceptional tales wisely makes its points of culpability, collusion and bureaucracy in a comic setting.
A primeira parte arrasta-se em torno do protagonista que não desperta grande interesse, não obstante o pitoresco cenário; uma segunda parte dedicada a um julgamento que começa divertido mas que rapidamente se desgasta perdido em historietas bizarras apenas para chegar à conclusão pouco subtil que é tudo um ciclo vicioso de crime e pobreza; a terceira e última parte é a mais forte, generosa e a menos pretensiosa.
Without the benefit of the framing device and documentary elements of Volume 1, 2 feels flat, groping for significance. Most surprising and disappointing is its paucity of movement and ideas. Images and concepts seemed to explore from Gomes' previous two projects, but Arabian Nights is static and occasionally even boring.