Because the BBC stinks
Not ranked, because they're all masterworks
Follows a jealous countess, a wealthy businessman, and a young orphaned boy across Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil where they connect with a variety of mysterious individuals.
Just the best.
As his swansong (although another was released posthumously), Chilean filmmaker Raoul Ruiz delivered an epic and sweeping period drama based on an 1854 novel by the same name. I chose to seek out the 'full cut' - a five and a half hour effort broken into six parts for Portuguese television (the stripped back theatrical version version comes in at about an hour shorter).
Mysteries of Lisbon is a stunning tapestry of interwoven tales (similar to the masterful The Saragossa Manuscript, but not quite as layered or 'down the rabbit-hole') with a vast array of characters who share connections of love, murder and deception and always seemingly tied to the ever-present and almost omniscient Father Dinis, who as we discover…
The first hour or so, before we were too tired to continue, but, as I tweeted, the camera moves unmoor theatricality into something approaching that seductive/exalting catch-all phrase we lean on too often in moments of ecstatic spectatorship: pure cinema!
Chilean director Raoul Ruiz towards the twilight dusk of his career decided to adapt a Portuguese period piece novel into what would be a sweeping epic 4 and a half hour long tale of passion, deception, lost parentage and reinventing personas among Portuguese socialites. With how many stories within stories segments this film contains not to mention visualization from each character's viewpoint, think of Mysteries of Lisbon as a non-surreal and fairly straightforward version of The Saragossa Manuscript with its flashbacks upon flashbacks and a touch of Barry Lyndon's period piece costume style drama. That's how I would describe it anyway.
For being such a long film, it is always interesting to evaluate how long does the film really feel…
Raoul Ruiz, whilst far from consistent (no man as prolific as he was could ever produce great work each and every time), was still one of the most interesting filmmakers of his generation. Mysteries of Lisbon was his penultimate film before his death last year and it is a fitting send-off not only in quality but in the way it so neatly encapsulates his entire career.
The film is a sprawling and labyrinthine epic that spans decades, continents and a four and a half hour run time. As with his best work, such as the brilliant adaptation of Proust’s Time Regained or the rarely seen children’s TV series Manoel’s Destinies, Ruiz’s films are difficult to pin down. They are fluid…
"It started as a game and ended as bourgeois melodrama", that’s how one of the main characters in Mysteries of Lisbon describes his relationship with a vengeful ex-lover. Everything here is a game but also "bourgeois melodrama ". It’s cartography of fictions in which every distancing effect get us closer to its drama. It’s a game in which narratives follow each other, character identities glides towards new personas, and doubles multiply themselves. No history is unique, but no history is the same. Mysteries of Lisbon is less a film than a catalogue of many other films, most of them more than able to sustain their own 100 minutes. They are almost all variations of failed loves and lives that in…
Thoroughly engrossing, which is impressive when one considers that it consists largely of people telling a "priest" their stories. Also contains some of the most gorgeously staged sequences in a period film that I've ever seen—Pedro's fever dream visions, in particular. But apart from some loose threads connecting the various stories—particular characters; themes of identity, the enigmas of a human life, etc.—there's no sense of accumulation through the runtime, so the overall effect is somewhat more muted than one would expect given the epic runtime. What does interest, though, is the way it cannily positions the melodramatic turns in the plot as products of the aristocracy, retroactively explaining why costume dramas in this vein lend themselves so well to melodrama.…
I probably shouldn't be allowed to watch movies that are 4+ hours long anymore unless they are ones I have an active enthusiasm to watch. I'd say my attention drifted throughout this but it would probably be more relatively appropriate to say my attention periodically held to it. It was visually interesting whenever it did, particularly in the languid motion of the camera, but I don't know what the people could be talking about that would make me jazzed to watch a four or more hour movie of almost exclusively conversations.
This movie is undoubtedly not for me and I'm very okay with that. To be entirely clear, I wouldn't ever claim I have a strong opinion on this or…
So here are the six functions as outlined at various times and in various ways by Ruiz, both in the essay and in the useful summary included in the interview given as a bonus on several Gemini Films DVD editions of his films:
1. A shot is a paradigm and an allegory for the whole film – as when it provides a ‘poster image’, or what John Ellis precisely calls a film’s narrative image.
2. It is a self-reflective or critical image. This is what Ruiz calls the recursive function (opposite to the strategic function of ‘always going forward’), the function of doubt that makes a viewer want to immediately ‘rewind’ or re-see an image in order to verify the…
"During my long story you will probably ask why I am telling you these things."
This is indeed a long story; only after the 2 hour mark did I notice there was 4 and a half hours total running time. My interest did lag in the final hour and a half, but everything up till then was well worth it.
Tales of overwrought nobility having emotions is not typically my cup of tea but the storytelling and visuals are so entrancing that it would do the film a disservice to sum it up like that. Mysteries of Lisbon is a historical epic about love, sin, revenge, forgiveness, atonement, and the curious coincidences of life.
This is a masterpiece.
Four-and-a-half-hour Dickensian tale adapted from a book of the same name from 1854. If you like foreign period dramas with an epic cast of characters whose lives are intricately intertwined, you'll like this. Although I had to spread my viewings over three sessions, it wasn't for lack of genuine intrigue, especially in regards to a priest with a colorful set of pasts. If someone hadn't posted it in a Criterion fan Page on Facebook it would've gone unappreciated by myself as it seems to have been by most of the rest of the world.
290 Minutes of arts , this movie is like a painting , i liked everything about it , really remarkable , and I'm really sad because i think that it's underrated .
everybody should see this movie , and don't worry it's not long as you think , it's just a short long film .
Una suave delicia llena de historias dentro de historias dentro de historias que al final son una sola historia que, sorprendentemente, nunca parece siquiera molestarse en aspirar a ser La Obra Maestra De La Alta Cultura que uno esperaría (que yo, al menos, esperaba) encontrar en este tipo de obra. Es algo parecido a esas adaptaciones que saca la BBC continuamente de la obra de Austen / Bronte / whoever you wanna name: nada por lo que tampoco vayas a saltar por la ventana de emoción pero si una pieza con la que es difícil ponerse quisquilloso al estar tan enfocada y decidida en mantener la elegancia y la decencia en todos y cada uno de sus aspectos. Clotilde Hesme y Maria João Bastos necesitan lentes nuevas que puedan resistir su presencia, por cierto. Que llamen a la NASA o algo para que las vayan fabricando.
Because the BBC stinks
Not ranked, because they're all masterworks
I have tried to limit this list to proper period dramas (no animated features or alternate histories) and arrange them…
This list features all 596 films that appeared on the 177 ballots of the BBC's recent poll. 349 of them…