I'm afraid i am having bias, I'm easily stunned by modern cinema which confidently applied deep dark monochrome for style. I enjoyed charcoal-like tone of Wojaczek (1990) and now this. It's like Costa has watched tons of classic canons, studied them meticulously before making the film. I could watch this film anyday just to see those beautiful shots again or to hear Pedro Hestnes' soothing voice.
Belongs on the short list of most beautiful debuts ever made, and its themes of displacement add a modernized, grounded take on its romanticism. Very Caraxian, albeit more indebted to the classicists than the Nouvelle Vague that reconfigured them. Occasionally elliptical to no real end, this is nevertheless a hell of a first film, even if it's unindicative of Costa's subsequent career.
"Desire" list: Pedro Hestnes and Inês de Medeiros or Cathy O'Donnell and Farley Granger?, or Sylvia Sidney and Henry Fonda? Expressionist shadows over a fulminant teenager beauty. Cinematography by
Acácio de Almeida, Elso Roque and Martin Schäfer.
That feeling you get that every image counts cause its the director's first feature length can be exhilarating and this movie delivers in full spades with that. Expressionistic brooding! The ques to classical hollywood and world cinema had me jumping. It showcases what you can do if you ignore the modern film making and do you're own thing.
Tonight I witnessed not just the best debut film I've seen, but possibly the most perfect. Each image so ethereal and striking, all depicted in gorgeous high-contrast black and white; stunning cinematography, all-round fantastic performances and a Hermmannesque soundtrack. Absolutely blown away.
A strong first effort, no doubt. The black and white makes the film look older and wiser. The dominating dark tones fill everything with a very portuguese melancholy. I got the impression that, sometimes, the action was a tad fragmented, but it's a beautiful picture.