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3.5
360 Ratings

Historic Centre

Centro Histórico

Portugal, 2012
Drama, Avant-Garde, Anthology

Synopsis

As we toured through modern Guimarães, the founding city of Portugal, we wondered: “What stories does it have to tell?” The answer to this question came to us via the voices of four filmmakers with unique visions of cinema.

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Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki starts things off in a sprightly fashion with his “Tavern Man,” a 15 minute sketch of a bar owner struggling to keep up with the times… It’s fittingly surprising that the last segment, perhaps the most understated and solid, comes from 103-year-old Manoel de Oliveira, who at this point may be creating the best work of his career.
July 22, 2013
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[Perhaps the movie] will be less disappointing if one has never visited [Guimarães]… Best by far is Spanish director Victor Erice’s simple, straight-forward oral history of a once huge, now derelict textile factory in which, standing before his static camera, a dozen or so workers brief recount their life stories and thus provide a collective portrait of a vanished working class.
July 18, 2013
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Decidedly unfootnoted, Mr. Costa’s contribution is a stringent, heady, narcotic passage that brooks no stragglers… Mr. Kaurismaki’s “Tavern Man” imagines, not very memorably, the silent-film routine of a waiter-proprietor (Ilkka Koivula) at a cafe that’s slightly but decisively off the beaten path.
July 18, 2013
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