Like those delightfully playful films in which Fellini plays himself. Add Rohmer's whimsy; the irreverence of the surrealists; enough deadpan vignettes (and marching bands!) to put Roy Andersson to shame (thankfully minus his misanthropy), and you have something approximating that famous description of an elephant by a group of blind men when it comes to summing up Gomes' singular style/vision. +1 for the ending. 4.5
Esta espécie de épico de aldeia de Gomes traz, no final das contas, um belo ensaio sobre o que é realidade no cinema, o que há de documental nesta arte. A divisão narrativa, embora não intencionada, acaba por marcar um ponto importante. "In one part the actors are making the mise en scène, and in the other part you [Gomes] are. " Fica um Portugal filmado com ternura, muito nosso. [revi em 2017]
A great depiction of life in the summer in Portugal, it speaks true of a mental construct in Portugal which is 'the village' nobody is from the big cities or at least most of us claims not to be and finds roots in these places to live these lives of love, corny songs and unknowingly genuine characters who are not aware of themselves. The introduction of the director and the device blend perfectly with fiction..
3.5. A better effort than Gomes' first film. Highly ambitious, this rumination on tradition and the way it binds history to repeating itself (the director aptly transmitting that it could be used in its' favor) ultimately falls short. The concept is so over-stuffed and aspiring that Gomes loses grasp of the movie. Which makes sense, seeing that that actually happened in real life. Touche, mister Gomes.
When I finally saw this last week, I first suspected it was merely a Portugal doc. Way too long. Perhaps fully appreciable only by natives. Next, I thought: I get it—Gomes is a humorist. Then, seamlessly, an endearingly realist film within the film began to unfold... || Contains a few great scenes. Interesting play w. levels: doc, fiction film, (fictional) making-of. Might be excellent, if cut to max. 90 min.* 5.5/10
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