A Swiss sailor jumps ship in Lisbon, tired of the noisy engine room, the ship. He rents a room and does little. He writes letters to his lover, describing the whiteness of the city, the solitude and the silence. He sends his love and emptiness; she replies with love and confusion.
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Smells like Malcolm Lowry. A wonderfully masochistic existential downward spiral of a lost soul, leading somewhere between an alcohol induced nightmare and fantasy. The Pieter Bruegel painting briefly seen in our sailor's wife's kitchen (also featured in Tarkovsky's SOLARIS and THE MIRROR as well as von Trier's MELANCHOLIA) is synopsis; a vaguely joyous scene but overall a bleak aftermath of an unsuccessful hunt.
I wasn't hooked by this film. A lot too rational and intellectual for my taste and no poetry, Just think of what Herzog for instance could have done with such a screenplay and such a city. Already forgotten.
Personal filmic diary of a lost character trying to escape his own life in the city. As in my previous discovery "la salamandre", this one develops a nice road-movie tendency. Less rebellious characters, more turned to love passions. A beautiful atmosphere of simplicity and sincerity.
We all wish we could vanish in some points in our lives. Being a dreamer and just existing. Society wouldn't permit it. Absolute freedom is not possible. What would it be like to experience the absence of everything? Fantastic film
Tanner's expression doesn't reach the poetical value of this sailor's wandering in a lost city. Unoriginal in this kind of Antonioni's wandering (without the same rythm), it could have been beyond a doubt a masterpiece if it didn't fall into clichés and non-interessing actions and consequences that doesn't reveal anything.
Sur un scénario original très lâche, avec juste quelques vagues comptes rendus sporadiques et d'épisodiques prises de notes délimitant un tournage au jour le jour, Tanner nous livre une œuvre limpide et désenchantée qui brasse aussi bien une lancinante désespérance existentielle qu'une impulsive joir de vivre, sur fond d'errance et d'incertitude, entre suave légèreté et intime profondeur. www.cinefiches.com
A character driven story where Lisbon is the character you need to pay attention to and analyse, since the other characters presented to us are bewitched with its silence and solitude, therefore becoming the city themselves. An absolute pleasure!