João de Deus is the manager of an ice-cream shop owned by an ex-prostitute. Through an unmoved desire of perfection, he seeks, through cleansing and purity, to attain heaven. The surrounding world, however, does not comply with his decaying vision of lust and decay as a way of achieving his purpose.
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"A soft and pious glance, a gentle, honest smile; a sweet and humble gesture of uncertain guile. A quiet, ashamed vivacity, such grave and modest repose; a pure tender-heartedness, sign of a clear, gracious soul, a timid audacity, meekness, fear without guilt, air serene, long and obedient pain. This was the celestial beauty of my Circe, the magic venom that transforms my thoughts..."
Longer, more obvious and gratuitous than its predecessor, here the social criticism is not so present. João himself seems to be completely absorbed with all the lust, a total pervert to be honest, and the scenes with the butcher's young daughter (who came from nowhere) were dragged for way too long. I have no idea what's the symbolism behind the dance number and the crushed eggs... but damn, it was bizarre.
I like these small gestures, God's comedy commences by remembering Serge Daney (much like Werner Schroeter's 'Manila' concludes with a dedication to Jean Eustache). This exudes a kind of affection that is very endearing to me as a cinephile. The film itself is one of the most important films in Portugese cinema, the exploration of themes reminiscent of Bunuel's films especially 'That obscure object of desire'.
César Monteiro alinha as tiras de "Recordações" a uma comédia de contornos delirantes. Aqui, tudo é mais fascinante.
A forma como expõe os vícios, perversões é brilhante, não só através do jogo de metáforas/simbolismos, como no talento de tornar uma história completamente errada ( meninas) e até visualmente chocante(veja-se a cena do talho) numa epopeia que nos soa a familiar, amiga.
De uma sensualidade absurda.
8 - Monteiro's brilliance, and what makes it easy for me to forgive some self-indulgence and pretense, lies in his uncanny ability to completely personify and poke fun at his nation's body and (especially) soul via the deadpan deliveries of a character that is, at first, so alien to us. God is quite the referential, funny, salacious fellow; a sort of milder, Portuguese Mickey Sabbath. Beautiful, poetic and obscene.