Cinema Releases - Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl
Macário spends an entire train journey to the Algarve talking to a woman he does not know about the trials and tribulations of his love life: straight after starting his first job as a book keeper at his Uncle Francisco's shops in Lisbon he falls madly in love with a young blonde, who lives across the road. No sooner does he meet her than he straightaway wants to marry her. His uncle, totally opposed to the match, fires him and kicks him out of the house. Macário departs for Cape Verde where he makes his fortune. When he finally wins his uncle’s approval to marry his beloved, he discovers the “singularity” of his fiancée’s character.
Premiered at the Berlin Film Festival
Week Commencing 26.11.10
|London E8||020 7241 9410||28 November only|
Oliveira attended school in Galicia, Spain and his goal as a teenager was to become an actor. He enrolled in Italian film-maker Rino Lupo's acting school at age 20, but later changed his mind when he saw Walther Ruttmann's documentary Berlin: Symphony of a City. This prompted him to direct his first film, also a documentary, titled Douro, Faina Fluvial (1931). He also acted in the second Portuguese sound film, A Canção de Lisboa (1933).
His first feature film came much later, in 1942. Aniki-Bóbó, a portrait of Oporto's street children, was a commercial failure when it opened, and its merit only came to be recognised over time. This drawback forced Oliveira to abandon other film projects he was involved in, and to dedicate himself to running his family vineyard. He re-emerged onto the film scene in 1956 with The Artist and the City, a work that marked a turning point in Oliveira's conception of the cinema.
In 1963, O Acto de Primavera (The Rite of Spring), a documentary depicting an annual passion play, marked a turning point for his career. This was shortly followed by A caça (The Hunt), a grim feature film that contrasted with the happy tones of his previous documentary. Despite the widespread acclaim garnered by both films, he would not return to the director's seat until the 1970s. Since 1990 (when he turned 82), he has made at least one film each year.
Oliveira has said that he direct movies for the sheer pleasure of doing it, regardless of critical reaction. He maintains a quiet life away from the spotlights, despite multiple honours such as those of the Cannes, Venice and Montreal film festivals. He has been awarded two Career Golden Lions in 1985 and 2004 and a golden palm for his lifetime achievements in 2008.
1931 DOURO, FAINA FLUVIAL
1942 ANIKI BÓBÓ
1972 O PASSADO E O PRESENTE
1975 BENILDE OU A VIRGEM MÃE
1979 AMOR DE PERDIÇÃO
1982 VISITA OU MEMÓRIAS E CONFISSÕES
1983 NICE – À PROPOS DE JEAN VIGO
1983 LISBOA CULTURAL
1985 LE SOULIER DE SATIN
1986 MON CAS
1988 OS CANIBAIS
1990 ‘NON’, ou A VÃ GLÓRIA DE MANDAR
1991 A DIVINA COMÉDIA
1992 O DIA DO DESESPERO
1993 VALE ABRAÃO (Abraham Valley)
1994 A CAIXA
1995 O CONVENTO
1997 VIAGEM AO PRINCÍPIO DO MUNDO
1999 LA LETTRE
2000 PALAVRA E UTOPIA
2000 JE RENTRE A LA MAISON (I’m Going Home)
2001 PORTO DA MINHA INFÂNCIA
2002 O PRINCÍPIO DA INCERTEZA
2003 UM FILME FALADO
2004 O QUINTO IMPÉRIO – ONTEM COMO HOJE
2005 ESPELHO MÁGICO
2005 DO VISÍVEL AO INVISÍVEL
2006 BELLE TOUJOURS
2006 O IMPROVÁVEL NÃO É IMPOSSÍVEL
2007 CHACUN SON CINÉMA: Segment "Rencontre unique“
2007 CRISTÓVÃO COLOMBO – O ENIGMA
2008 O VITRAL E A SANTA MORTA
2008 ROMANCE DE VILA DO CONDE
2009 SINGULARIDADES DE UMA RAPARIGA LOURA
2010 O ESTRANHO CASO DE ANGELICA
Director Manoel de Oliveira
Screenplay Manoel de Oliveira
From the story by Eça de Queiroz
Director of photography Sabine Lancelin
Camera Operator Francisco de Oliveira
Sound Henri Maikoff
Editor Manoel de Oliveira, Catherine Krassovsky
Assistant Editor João Salavizo
Costumes Adelaide Trêpa
Set Christian Marti
José Pedro Penha
Make-up Ignazi Ruiz
Hair Pilartxo Diez
Producer François d'Artemare
Production company Filmes do Tejo II
Co-producers Maria João Mayer,Luis Miñarro
Co-production companies Les Films de l’Après-Midi, Eddie Saeta
Portugal/France/Spain 2009 / 64 mins / Digital / ColourCAST
Macário Ricardo Trêpa
Luisa Vilaça Catarina Wallenstein
Uncle Francisco Diogo Dória
Dona Vilaça Júlia Buisel
Woman on the train Leonor Silveira
Friend Filipe Vargas
"This is a bewitching movie...don't anyone tell or remind de Oliveira, please, that he is too old to be alive, let alone making miniaturist masterworks."
Nigel Andrews The Financial Times
The 101 year old's delightful latest is a perfectly executed comic miniature on the perils of old-fashioned courtship"
David Jenkins Time Out
“This meditation on desire and its travails has a light touch that belies the astonishing age of its maker”
Anthony Quinn The Independent
“ELEGANT...DISARMING AND WITTY
A bittersweet, beguiling exercise in the mysteries of love and character.”
Angie Errigo Metro
“You’re drawn in by the film’s crisp tempo and visual charm...it’s a winner”
Edward Porter The Sunday Times“EXQUISITE”
Philip French The Observer
“Oliveira continues his meditations on the modern world contradicting romantic assumptions...with the aid of Sabine Lancelin’s elegant cinematrography, Oliveira continues the ‘spiritual journey’ that began with Douro his first film in 1931”
Jeff Sawtell The Morning Star★★★★
“Oliveira knows how to tell a story...the main is a quiet genius”
Derek Malcolm The Evening Standard
"Oliveira proves he's still a cinematic master with this mischievous miniature...The real pleasure lies in the wit, acuity and precision of de Oliveira's direction"
David Parkinson Empire
"Eccentricities weaves a dream-like atmosphere...an enigmatic gem"
Tom Dawson Total Film★★★★
Centenarian de Oliveira produces another delicate, light-hearted, charmingly digressive miniature in which a young accountant tells a stranger on a train about his having fallen for the titular beauty, who lives across from the apartment of an uncle for whom he works. The film itself is (unsurprisingly) not a little eccentric in its relaxed and wayward approach to plot and motivation, but its elegant images, its gently ironic wit and its deceptively innocent tone are extremely captivating.
Geoff Andrew Time Out
‘De Oliveira celebrates his hundredth birthday with a blithe shaggy dog story that shows his storytelling at its simplest and most pleasurable...the end result is one of Oliveira’s latter day best, a perfectly formed miniature.’
Jonathan Romney, Screen International
"Eccentricities of a Blond Haired Girl,” a 64-minute gem from Manoel de Oliveira, now 100 years strong. A story of love and money and the misery created by their intersection, the film tracks a young accountant struggling to earn enough to wed the blonde of the film’s title. Inside Mr. Oliveira’s lapidary frame, the young man — and woman — seem as lovely and captive to their world as pinned butterflies."
Manohla Dargis The New York Times
Manoel de Oliveira, in his hundredth year, turned out a typically oddball charmer with ‘Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl’, a wry and characteristically digressive yet simple story of ill-fated love.
Geoff Andrew Time Out
Read the short interview with Oliveira in the Independent
New book about Manoel de Oiveira from Wallflower Press