HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Call Northside 777
Cup of Cheer
Lost at Christmas
Super Robot Mach Baron
Battle of Jangsari, The
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan
Safe Spaces
Stanford Prison Experiment, The
Assassination in Rome
Castle Freak
Pinocchio
Brother Bear
Raiders of Buddhist Kung Fu
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  Mysteries of Lisbon Don't I Know You?
Year: 2010
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Adriano Luz, Maria João Bastos, Ricardo Pereira, Clotilde Hesme, Afonso Pimentel, João Arrais, Albano Jerónimo, João Baptista, Martin Loizillon, Julien Alluguette, Rui Morrison, Joana de Verona, Carloto Cotta, Léa Seydoux, Melvil Poupaud
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In 19th Century Portugal, young João is living in as an orphanage in a boys' school, and he is victimised by the other pupils for his supposed illegitimate status as much as his lack of parents: nobody even seems to know what his real name is, never mind where he came from. He is looked after by Father Dinis (Andriano Luz) who may be more aware of what the youngster's background is than he is letting on, so when João is attacked with a wooden ball in the corridor and has a fit as a result, once he is convalescing he has strange vision and dreams of a woman who may be his mother or may be someone else connected to him. Could these be memories of his earliest years?

In fact, could the whole movie be a selection of memories and therefore subject to the pitfalls of misremembering and hazy details unrecorded anywhere else, hence victim to the whims of simply getting mixed up? This was director Raoul Ruiz's final feature film before his death and was lauded all over the world, as much triggered by the thought a veteran moviemaker had crafted a masterpiece just before he shuffled off the ol' mortal coil as it was an appreciation of the work itself. It was certainly quite touching that he should be so highly praised just as he was leaving us, but it did tend to obscure the fact that not everyone was quite as bowled over with Mysteries of Lisbon.

Indeed, there were many who tried to give this a go, braving the four-and-a-half hour running time, and were rendered in a state of stultified boredom throughout, with nothing to appreciate but the attractive design, costumes, sets, photography, all that sort of business. Not enough to sustain a narrative that deliberately grew more muddled as more experience was gathered, to the point where you didn't know whether you could trust any of the accounts of intrigue as delineated by Camilo Castelo Branco's novel, particularly when it more or less ended in the way that any primary school teacher will tell you never to end your stories. That this may be part of the mysteries in itself was not enough to salve that ultimate frustration.

Not least because if you dedicated yourself to following all the strands of plot, it was an exercise in futility should you wish for a cut and dried story where everything was wrapped up in a neat bow, which it most certainly was not. Therefore you had a film where you would be better off appreciating the scenery as it went by, and noting the bizarre twists as they arose and were supplanted by fresh confusion, realising that enjoying the work scene by scene was not a bad thing in itself if you could lose yourself in the acting or the overall appearance of the thing. Not that it looked like anything much more lavish than a typical Sunday night costume drama serial, which not so coincidentally was another incarnation of this.

It was also available in a six hour television version, with different things taken away, added and moulded, so that indicated there wasn't even a definitive telling of the story by Ruiz, as if it wasn't convoluted enough. With its running time picking up and dropping a selection of sequences where characters would have some dramatic revelation about their past, or would take some drastic decision that would either end their lives or put them into a severely muted form (dedicating one's life to the church, for instance, is the kiss of death to any promising existence), there was precious little to latch onto in a conventional form. This may have been more successful on the page where the author can play literary games, yet on the screen it came across as rather perverse to resist the most obvious styles of cinema narrative, fair enough rules are made to be broken, but nobody said that needed to happen to the extent of making much of the audience suspect they were wasting their time - quite a lot of their time, at that - with the equivalent of a historical shaggy dog story.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1108 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: