A Greek-American filmmaker returns to his home town in northern Greece for a screening of his latest controversial film. His real reason for coming back, however, is to track down three long-missing reels of film by Greece’s pioneering Manakis brothers.
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Angelopoulos and Keitel's "A" are both fascinated not so much with cinema itself as with the gaze of history and of memory, the endless procession of dispossessed people -each procession representing pain needing to be remembered. Angelopoulos' film set is a device ready-built with the need to fill it with people, movement and duration, even if it also sometimes succumbs to the dangerous siren-song of perfection.
Essentially this is Angelopoulos exacerbated. It includes some extraordinary long takes, some stunning imagery and is quite complex with its story. The dialogue is however obnoxious, and Harvey's emotions seem so sporadic (he tends to fall in love with women instantly ???) that it's easy to see why some critics loathed it. Still, as a whole, the film is something to digest. I watched it in one sitting.
Lenin scene was stolen from Dušan Makavejev's "Gorilla Bathes at Noon". And the very first movie made in the Balkans was not Manakis brothers' film from 1905, but "Crowning of King Peter Karadjordjevic" from 1904 filmed by two Englishmen in Serbia.
how much nudity is there in this film, I ask because I have purchased this and am planning to watch with my Dad, just to confirm that the viewing isn't too awkward (cough Taxi Driver porn theatre scene cough)
from the "ulysses staring contest" forum with some additional info:
I think the film being at 3 hours, should have had a more complete ending than the one in this film. It’s just Harvey Keitel in front of a blank screen having unsuccessfully completing his mission. however I thought the film itself was well done, with nice European scenery and Keitel, and Erland Josephson gave great performances.(4/5)
"The first thing God created was the journey, then came doubt, and nostalgia."
A tale of wandering revolving around the symbiotic relationships which people of various nationalities develop in order to escape the tough social and political realities.
3.5 This is a pretty difficult film to rate.Yes, it is pretentious and maybe even a bit too long but it's worth going through the whole experience even in one sitting, if not for the long meditative takes at least for the poetic images and beautiful music