Scheherazade, the daughter of the grand vizier, weaves tales to please the king and stay her own execution. Realising she will soon run out of stories to tell, she hatches a plan to escape the palace. Meanwhile, finch hunters offer a musical analogy for Portugal’s 21st-century woes.
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Arabian Nights: Volume 3, the Enchanted OneDirected byMiguel Gomes
Such a wonderful way to end the trilogy with this blend of "reality" and "fiction", both being questioned by Gomes' work. Chico Chapas story is now told - we'd seen him as an actor in the 2nd film. It takes a huge part of the film and it is without any mention to its potential meaning that we see men training birds to compete against each other. These men have found ways to transfer to birds their male aggression.*
And on the third chapter is the downfall. What to do with the episode of Sherazad, where the primitive accumulation of jokes "à la Gomes" are ingloriously linked? And with the even longer episode of the birds and their coaches, where we do not see any interest whatsoever, not even a ground - unless the copyist Gomes trying to find "his" Fontaínhas? Crisis?, what crisis?
TIFF '15 The lesser entry in the trilogy Volume 3 starts very strong before getting lost in an endless tale/document about raising chaffinches and bird-trapping. The framework is somewhat lost as the tale would certainly not be interesting enough for Scheherazade to keep her life. The early portion however with its wonderful anachronisms and Pasolini like extremities is quite amusing. Ambitious trilogy.
Uma luminosa Xerazade e um sedutor Paddleman encantam na primeira parte. A segunda história, bem menos encantada e bem mais arrastada, é dedicada a homens que cuidam de pássaros... ou a pássaros que cuidam de homens? Não diria que se fecha a trilogia com chave de ouro, mas acho que Gomes fez o que bem lhe apeteceu nestas Mil e Uma Noites: como um todo não têm a força que eu antecipava, mas têm alguns belos momentos.
The opening section of The Enchanted One, which focuses on Scheherazade herself, is clearly the most stylistically adventurous and most obviously thrilling section of Arabian Nights. It is absolutely stunning. There is then a brilliant digression. Then the chaffinches. Heh. Clearly the most challenging section. Amusingly, days are lost in telling a tale which visually consists of dudes standing around. But I love it.
A frustrating and intermittently interesting conclusion to Gomes' endeavor, showing both the potential and inherent disconnect in his central idea. There are isolated moments that contain magic and beauty, but the central structure to this pairing of ancient Baghdad and modern Portugal seems dubious.