Sunday, January 16, 2011

Art of Seduction

The Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl (2009) - Oliveira
The film starts with a distraught young man on a train, telling his hard luck story to a stranger next to him about his pursuit of a young blonde he first saw across the street from his office window. All the shots are so static and dolly movements so careful, as if not to disturb stuffy, dusty interior that feels like an old antique shop.

In its 64 minutes running time, time in The Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl is subjective - we see snow covered ground outside the train window in the beginning, green scenery by the end. The clock tower is missing arms but chimes away nonetheless.
Oliveira creates a richly layered parable about unattainability of perfection with beguiling Catarina Wallenstein as highly fallible example to the notion of ideal romantic muse. The problem I had with it is that its enigma disappears once you take the film as a parable. And the ending is very unsatisfying. Directed when he was 101 years of age, however well put together this film is, you can almost smell the old man's musk.

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