by Tony Dayoub
Today, I saw the visually sumptuous Portuguese language film, A Corte do Norte, by João Botelho. It stars the incomparably beautiful Ana Moreira in an intergenerational family drama where she plays five different women. The cinematography by João Ribeiro is a chiaroscuro delight of vivid colors set against dark backgrounds.
The film itself left me a little cold. With flashbacks and flashforwards further confused by Moreira's multiple roles, it was a little hard to follow what was going on. Judging by the press conference after the film, Moreira and Botelho seemed a little perplexed themselves. Botelho says he adapted it pretty faithfully from a famous Portuguese novel by Agustina Bessa Luis. But he admits having to eject some of the philosophical undercurrent to simplify the plot. Moreira said she had to turn to Botelho often in order to get clarification regarding the differences between each of her characters. The languid pace of the film adds a hypnotic effect to the wonderful visuals. But something was definitely lost in the translation.
I also caught a great new film by Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep), Summer Hours (L'Heure d'été). This was a truly moving and witty film about family, art, heirlooms, and the sentimental values attached to them. I'll have a more extensive review of the film up before it screens tomorrow.
Below is a schedule of tonight's festival events. More information can be found at the festival's web site.
NYFF – Festival main slate film
OSH – NYFF Sidebar: In the Realm of Oshima
ZT – Ziegfeld Theatre, 54th St. between 6th and 7th Avenues
WRT – Walter Reade Theater, 65th St. between Amsterdam and Broadway, upper level
Tuesday, Sept. 30
4:30 The Sun’s Burial (OSH/WRT)
6:00 Tony Manero, with Love You More (NYFF/ZT)
6:20 The Catch (OSH/WRT)
8:30 Night and Fog in Japan (OSH/WRT)
9:15 The Northern Land/A Corte do Norte, with Surprise! (NYFF/ZT)
A Corte do Norte is playing at the 46th New York Film Festival, at 9:15 p.m. tonight only, at the Ziegfeld Theatre, 141 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019, (212) 307-1862
A Corte do Norte Photo Credit: FF Filmes Fundo / Film Society of Lincoln Center
L'Heure d'été Photo Credit: IFC Films / Fortissimo Films / Film Society of Lincoln Center