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The Films of Manoel de Oliveira, Ranked

by Eliecer Gaspar
The Films of Manoel de Oliveira, Ranked by Eliecer Gaspar
“an extremely constraining and reductive conception of cinema that thinks that it is necessary to use pans or make the camera move in and out and that language belongs more to the theatre. No, the cinema is everything. Language is a precious element of cinema because it is a privileged element of mankind” – Manoel de Oliveira For me, Oliveira’s peak started with Doomed Love (1978) and ended with Day of Despair (1992), with Francisca (1981) being its highest Everest. Day of Despair marked the end of Oliveira’s period of metatheatre films, and in a way Day of Despair is Oliveira’s first last film. From 1999 to 2004, Oliveira made some of his… Read more

“an extremely constraining and reductive conception of cinema that thinks that it is necessary to use pans or make the camera move in and out and that language belongs more to the theatre. No, the cinema is everything. Language is a precious element of cinema because it is a privileged element of mankind” – Manoel de Oliveira

For me, Oliveira’s peak started with Doomed Love (1978) and ended with Day of Despair (1992), with Francisca (1981) being its highest Everest. Day of Despair marked the end of Oliveira’s period of metatheatre films, and in a way Day of Despair is Oliveira’s first last film. From 1999 to 2004, Oliveira made some of his worst films, detracted by, in my opinion, Ricardo Trêpa’s bad performances and the persons of Pedro Abrunhosa and John Malkovich. The Strange Case of Angelica (2010) was Oliveira’s last masterpiece and Visit, or Memories and Confessions (2015) is one of the most beautiful elegies to a cinematic past and future.

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