Manuel is a young boy who travels from long ago to the present and then to the future.
Manuel is a young boy who travels from long ago to the present and then to the future.
Ruben de Freitas Teresa Madruga Fernando Heitor Marco Paulo de Freitas Diogo Dória Cecília Guimarães Vasco Pimentel José de Freitas Aurélie Chazelle Miguel Silva Pedro M. Ruivo Pedro Fernandes Clara Rolim Luis Gaspar da Silva Tony Jessen Vasco Sequeira Armanda Bacelar Rafael de Sousa José Antônio Gomes Isabel Branco
Manuel's Destinies, Manoel na Isla Das Maravilhas, Aventure au Madeira, L'Île aux merveilles de Manoël, Les destins de Manoel, Manuel na Ilha das Maravilhas, Manoel on the Island of Marvels
The closest thing to a film feeling like rediscovering, or your mind suddenly reconstructing, a lost fantastical nightmare that you had when you were nine or so, which used to haunt you regularly -- that you'd allowed yourself to lose memory of, for years, until straightaway being swept into its haze.
An impressionistic collage of images and text, structured by the limitless yet incomplete imagination of a child, filtered through the surrealist game of exquisite corpse, and colored by Ruiz's affinity for the Borgesian and the baroque.
*Recently became aware of a 4-part Portuguese version (Adventure in Madeira)
a dark and magical children's tale that, to my delight, is the flowering of the fever dream from the mystical 'three crowns of the sailor' and 'city of pirates.' someone restore this please!!
The mysticism and wizardry of a children's film, with the complexity and honesty of films directed at an older audience. It's not careless, nor pandering, but freeflowing, making connections in the strangest and most poignant of places. It's a film with the heightened emotion of childhood, but in a whirlwind of timelines that reveal shockingly different sides of characters and events.
Even scenes simplistic on the surface, like the father telling him that rewards like a ball or a bicycle aren't enough for his son, are far more emotional given that if the timeline is altered slightly, the father would have been considering that same son a failure. Exaggerated childhood moments aren't out-of-place, they're tasteful and appropriate, on both positive…
does this film really even exist? or is it just this wondrous dream i've been having for the past 2 days never to be repeated again? the latter seems more likely...
What a superb day for cinema I've had;
Ruiz is, without a doubt, one of The Greats.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Raoul Ruiz was a prolific filmmaker - in a six year period he wrote over 100 plays before trying his hand at directing, and he carried this ethos over to his behind the camera projects too. I have seen him described as Buñuel Mk II which seems very unfair but that might be as much about a similar route into filmmaking than the content of their films. Whilst the comparison is slightly unjust it is true Ruiz is still an experimental filmmaker with most of his work sadly unavailable on DVD. One such film is Manoel’s Destinies (aka Manoel on the Island of Wonders) which was originally a three part mini-series for children that aired in France and Portugal in…
A gem if there ever was one.
Raul Ruiz French miniseries Manoel's Destinies is a story that is incomprehensible in every way and yet totally validated and understood. From moment one we enter a child's mind and as unordered and chaotic as those are, we get hurled from a peculiar timeline-plot in which the titular Manoel sort of relives his own life to an eventual hyperactive display of his inner... everything. It's really hard to pin down what exactly went on with this whole film. It was undoubtedly beautiful in all of it's VHS glory, it's soundtrack and non-linear story brought the dreamlike quality to it's best…
Part 1: 9/10
Part 2: 9/10
Part 3: 10/10
I really, really, really love this. I hope to write a better review sometime in the future but for now there's nothing to describe this experience for me. It captures childhood dreams with the same authenticity as Inland Empire does nightmares. Part 3 is genuinely top 20 material for me and overall it's an absolutely incredible film. Flawed, but the more I think about it the more I love it. This is one I'll definitely revisit not too far from now.
EDIT: ok actually the whole thing might be top 20 material idk but i'm in love with this film right now
Cinema was made for films like this to exist
In 3 distinct acts, the master Raúl Ruiz tells the story of time, fate, adolescence, dreams, and the ghosts of past lives. Act 1 did a strikingly good job of getting us accustomed to the world of film. An island distant from the rest of the modern world, something you'd find reading something from long ago. It carries that mythical atmosphere to it while being grounded enough in its environment. Especially since Ruiz gives a balance of the magic of the reality and the magic, often combining them. One of the biggest aspects of Act 1 is The Fisherman in the Forbidden Garden, a place for which Manuel was supposed to…
This Raul Ruiz trilogy serial was scripted and cut into three separate units, one for each week of a French Television presentation in 1984. The first week of Manoel's Destinies was superlative and stands on its own bravely and gloriously as a child's tale filled with the dark fear and trauma of childhood as well as its magic and mystery. I would have been glad if there were not two additional segments, but . . . there were. Which is not to say that the second and third hours were in any way to be faulted as grossly inferior sections, each plays on its own while still continuing to weave threads of time present and time past, growth, dissolution, rebirth--the…
I thought I'd take a break from my ongoing immersion in Italian (Post) Neo-Realism by catching up with everyone's favorite anti-realist fabulist, Raul Ruiz.
This film (or rather, television mini-series) often seems to be considered one of the director's greatest achievements by Ruiz aficionados, so I was initially a little bit surprised, disappointed even, that this is one of his less challenging films (or at the very least it starts out that way), particularly compared to his other work from this period. At the risk of sounding insufferably pretentious, I found the first episode ("Manoel's Destinies") almost too easy to follow. That is to say, it's still definitely surreal, but while fantastical it has a fable-like quality that is actually…
Ruiz just running amok in the playground of dreams......... AKA all I have ever wanted.
start time 2:19pm
im doubtful ruiz will ever do for me what he does for some people but his traditionally great work is still great to me. i think the second part of this is weak but the others are dreamy, nascent curiosities that abound with a pronounced visual identity. the VHS copy i saw obviously distills a lot of this to a more flat core - ruiz works fantastic on high def - but it's more fitting as it reminds me of my lo-fi childhood tech which this movie brings me back to.
Raul Ruiz has immediately become one of my favourite filmmakers, purely for his understanding and respect for the autonomous energy and evocative flow of the oneiric state as a narrative, or a stream of consciousness.
Ruiz more than any filmmaker treats these expressions with such organically successful autonomy, that despite what may appear on the surface to be a perplexing scenario, only strengthens what underlying and emotional resonance that scenario has in-relation to the associative relation.
Ruiz's films are unique, as I don't believe that any other filmmaker has been quite as audascious or as firmly confident to tackle the oneiric state as a non-chalantly paradoxical logic, which is what grants the director his wit and humour when it comes…
I like how most of the world’s only copy of this is something someone taped off SBS way back when. It’s nostalgic for me, and a reminder of how great, important and unique that channel is. Or was.
The first part left me feeling oh this is like a children’s adventure turn for him. Then the rest happened along with a layering of time, dreams and storytelling; it being just the most divine and dense illustration of childhood imagination, fear and hope. I wish we had had better tv reception back then and i had been someone to have taped this, because i think i would have loved it then as a kid still. Although in different ways, like an even more mysterious and poignant Owl Service or Children of Green Knowe.
A long lost dream and a long lost nightmare. A celebration of childhood, though it also takes it to really dark places.
This film simultaneously feels familiar yet strange. There is cohesion and consistency in its steady, free-form stream of words and images that are enmeshed in its complex narrative, and there is breathtaking beauty in its subtle and hushed tones. Strikingly emotional, poignant, and sincere.
It makes me yearn for days that I think I used to have, but I'm not really sure if I ever had them. It taps into my own covert fantasies to possibly alter my fate if given the chance—to make the "right" choices—despite being faced with the reality of not being able to change…
that's it, your childhood is over
Ruiz makes a children’s film, and I’d genuinely be fascinated to read a child psychologist on how such a film might affect a young viewer’s psychological development. I once wrote, ages ago, in an uncharacteristic fit of optimism, that “watching Paddington 2 could actually help young viewers to become better people.” Maybe the same could be said of this kind of sprawling, casually philosophical, fanciful but still earthbound surrealism. Life as an ongoing game of chance, every decision splintering out into so many radically multiplying realities. “He’ll succeed in life. But in which life?” The way new realities can be brought into existence by collective dreams, that shadows can be just as real as bodies (“Grown-ups played too, conjuring the…
Sonhos existenciais e febris de uma criança vivendo numa ilha fantástica ou algo por aí, difícil definir sonhos em palavras.
Don’t say “never.”
Because it’s one of my favorite words. People will think you’re copying me.
A bizarre and meandering love letter to the nostalgia and imaginative excesses of childhood. This is like unearthing some aborted 90s PBS children's program that went horribly awry, think an episode of Wishbone directed by Luis Bunuel or David Lynch. Im still kinda confused at who the target audience for this film turned TV show was? Cause you'd emotionally scar an awful lot of children. Also I don't think the mothers would approve of all those 12 year olds smoking Gitanes and waxing all poetic about being and nonbeing...if you catch my drift. This also sports some insane imagery that only gets more diffuse the further you go along. Sadly so does the plot, by the third episode its a…
Three chapter film that's mysterious and confusing. Jumping forward and backward and giving the audience a taste of which way Manuel's quest is gonna go and then do the complete opposite. Raúl Ruiz toys with you and makes it vague on what his or the character's intentions are. 'Manuel on the Island of Wonders' is top-notch surrealism and has hints of Buñuel or Lynch. Have to read more on this work to fully appreciate it, but the highly different parts (plus the images; see for example the chess-scene and the boys playing under an orange sky) were definitely intriguing. Odd that this was meant to be a kids fantasy. It somewhat is, but you can also see an inspiration for mystery and horror writers.
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