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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Μια αιωνιότητα και μια μέρα (Eternity and A Day)


What a marvelous film! Theodoros Angelopoulos is a great filmmaker and storyteller. This is his 11th film and tells the story of a poet in the twilight of his life and a day, before taking a very important trip, where he makes amendments with unfinished business in his life (closes unclosed circles).

Yes that’s the main story line but this story tells many other little stories about his past, his present and in the last scene about his future. Then, there are other little stories that are the most incredible stories for the tales they tell and the visuals they show. All this is done without being disruptive of your viewing pleasure and the continuous flow of the movie. Just amazing!

When the story is telling the poet’s past the director uses flashbacks in the most interesting way, the main actor remains himself with his own present clothes, so you see the same actor in a different time. As a matter of fact the main actor uses the same wardrobe along the whole movie. Also in these flashbacks the mood, the cinematography and the style change to the opposite of what you see in the present.

From the other stories there are two that are outstanding. One is told by the little child when they arrive to the Greece-Albania border. The story the kid tells is raw and brave, but the visuals are stunning. From the moment the camera starts to slowly pan in one single long shot until they show the border with Fellini alike visuals is one scene that I will keep in my mind forever.

The second story suddenly happens and is a Greek wedding with mesmerizing visuals also Fellini alike… ah!, there is a third outstanding story about the 19th century poet that buys words!!

This movie has so many details that I wish I could have a long conversation with someone that has seen it. Details like these, there is a scene where all extras and the main character are wearing dark clothes and suddenly appears one character in light clothes… or the men riding the bicycles wearing yellow raincoats… or those scenes that are dull and serene where all the extras are elderly people, then the mood changes to full action and the extras are all young people!!! Amazing!

Yes I just loved this film, because has great stories within one story and as a movie is truly a masterpiece with unique use of the camera, like the one very long shot at the end that goes from present to past to future in one single shot. This is the famous shot that made this movie very, very famous.

Great performances by Swiss Bruno Ganz that plays Alexandre, the poet, and Achileas Skevis the non-actor that plays the Albanian illegal immigrant child, that in real life he used to be an Albanian illegal immigrant and the story he tells is his true life.

This movie is the winner of the 1998 Cannes Palm d’Or and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. Honored with other awards and nominations at several international awards and festivals.

Not for all audiences, but this is one movie that is not totally an art or art house film and could be watched by more people, but at least have to like European cinema.

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