The Strange Case of Angelica [Blu-ray]
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The new film from master filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira, The Strange Case of Angelica is a magical tale of a young photographer who falls madly in love with a woman he can never have, except in his dreams. Late one night, Isaac is summoned by a wealthy family to take the last photograph of a young bride, Angelica, who mysteriously passed away. Arriving at their estate, Isaac is struck by Angelica s beauty. But when he looks through his lens, the young woman appears to come to life. From that moment, Isaac will be haunted by Angelica day and night.
THIS SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY includes the first film by Manoel de Oliveira, the rarely-screened 1931 silent masterwork Douro, Faina Fluvial, presented in a new 2K restoration.
COMPLETE SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Douro, Faina Fluvial (Labor on the Douro River) (1931, 20 minutes), the first film from Manoel de Oliveira, in new 2k restoration
- Audio Commentary by film critic and curator James Quandt
- Oliveira L Architecte (1992, 63 minutes), a documentary by Paulo Rocha
- Absoluto (2010, 35 minutes), a onversation with Manoel de Oliveira during the filming of The Strange Case of Angelica
- Theatrical Trailer
- Booklet featuring "Late Oliveira," an essay by Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive
"A magical masterpiece." --Kevin Thomas, LA Times
"A gift from a filmmaker who, at 101 years old, is nearly as old as cinema itself." --Manohla Dargis
"The best film of 2010. A sublimely autumnal comic masterpiece." --J. Hoberman, Village Voice
Top customer reviews
"The Strange Case of Angelica" (originally released in Portugal in 2010; 107 min.) brings another slice of magic-realism from de Oliveira. Set in the Porto region, the movie brings the curious tale of Isaac, a Jewish-Portuguese photographer who is called in the middle of the night to photograph the just-deceased Angelica, a young woman who had just married. When taking pictures, Angelica strangely comes to life again through the camera lense. As Isaac later develops the pictures he has taken, Angelica comes to life again, and subsequelty also into his dreams, which seem real-life like to him. But is it a good dream or a nightmare? Separately, Isaac has a strong interest in taking pictures of the laborers working the farm fields in the area. How it all plays out (and how both those story lines are intertwined), I will leave up to you to discover. The movie moves at snail's pace, and that's meant as a compliment.
Just a reminder: Manoel de Oliveira was a crisp 101 years old when he wrote and directed this movie. Wow, just wow. But wait! There is more! This DVD comes with a bunch of extras, none more so than his very first movie, a 20 min. documentary made in 1931 called "Douro, Faina Fluvial", documenting the life and times of people working in and around the Douro river in Porto, yes the very same setting of this "Angelica" movie, now 80 years later! There is also an incredible interview with the director, made in March, 2010 when he was in the final editing process of the movie. Listen to him commenting on "Avatar", violence in movies for violence sake, John Ford, and many other juicy comments. What a great DVD all around, and not just for the intruiging "Angelica" movie. Not for anyone in a hurry, but highly recommended!
I felt I am watching the lives and scenarios, that could never be, but it exists somewhere. Masterfully done magic realism, with excellent cinematography, minimalist scripts and characters.
A mysterious poetry of a work, it touches on life, science, mysticism and in the end, leaves you with solemn surrender and resigned pondering.
This is my first movie from Manoel De Oliveir's studio, and I plan to see his other works.
The protagonist was superb, and so was the lady in charge of the boarding house.
I find the last scene to be most beautiful--succinct, clear and final.
Watch it, alone with someone else.
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