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75 Ratings

Past and Present

O Passado e o Presente

Directed by Manoel de Oliveira
Portugal, 1972
Drama, Comedy


Vanda is a young widow, with a number of marriages past her, who tends to venerate each deceased husband, as much as she betrays and denigrates the present one.

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Past and Present Directed by Manoel de Oliveira

Critics reviews

Past and Present could nearly pass as one of [de Oliveira's] Salazar-era films, the camera flying by characters as if once again tracing the streets of Oporto. However, de Oliveira now hides the working class from the frame, focusing instead on elaborate set design, expensive costumes, orchestral tracks, and a rather haunting plot about a widow still in love with her dead husband.
February 25, 2016
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In differently disruptive ways, each film foregrounds the artifice of its method while presenting a love story that can only end in death. Past and Present is the weakest, most tentative example, putting the thesis right up front in the dialogue: why do poets always associate love with death? The screenplay is adapted by playwright Vicente Sanches from his own work, and its general premise and tenor are compared correctly, in many reviews, to a less successful attempt at Buñuelian terrain.
February 23, 2016
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