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The Portuguese Nun


Peter T Chattaway
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Anyone here know anything about this film? It's coming to the Pacific Cinematheque December 16-20:

The Portuguese Nun

(A Religiosa Portuguesa)

Portugal/France 2009. Director: Eugène Green

Cast: Leonor Baldaque, Francisco Mozos, Ana Moreira, Adrien Michaux, Beatriz Batarda, Diogo Dória

“New York native Eugène Green, maker of some of the most peculiar, personal, and enigmatic films in contemporary cinema, is back with a new, typically eccentric yet sublime film. Green has made all his previous films in his adopted country of France — but his new work finds him relocating to Lisbon, a mysterious city which serves as far more than a backdrop” (Anthology Film Archives). A young French actress, rootless and smarting from a recent break-up, arrives in Lisbon to shoot a film based on the 17th-century epistolary novel Letters of a Portuguese Nun. Wandering the unfamiliar streets, and moved by the sounds of fado music, she has a series of encounters with other lost souls, and becomes preoccupied with a young nun she observes praying in a small church. “Green’s complex and unconventional film [is] an idiosyncratic amalgam of formalistic play, subtle humour and big ideas . . . Green’s ruminative approach embraces a refined minimalism and his stylistic conceits — oddly mannered dialogue, exceedingly long takes and characters who deliver their lines while gazing directly into the camera — coalesce and ultimately mesmerize. But it’s the attention he lavishes on Lisbon’s moods, music, literature and cinema—and the cast, featuring several veterans from the films of Manoel de Oliveira—that give The Portuguese Nun an intellectual heft and a quality of nostalgia that is impossible to resist” (San Francisco I.F.F.). Colour, 35mm, in Portuguese and French with English subtitles. 127 mins.

The 'theque links to some external-site reviews of the film, too.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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