I happened to see director Manoel de Oliveira's 2009 "Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl" last year, and now comes the legendary movie-maker's next movie.
"The Strange Case of Angelica" (originally released in Portugal in 2010; 107 min.) brings another slice of magic-realism from de Oliveira. Set in the Porto region, the movie brings the curious tale of Isaac, a Jewish-Portuguese photographer who is called in the middle of the night to photograph the just-deceased Angelica, a young woman who had just married. When taking pictures, Angelica strangely comes to life again through the camera lense. As Isaac later develops the pictures he has taken, Angelica comes to life again, and subsequelty also into his dreams, which seem real-life like to him. But is it a good dream or a nightmare? Separately, Isaac has a strong interest in taking pictures of the laborers working the farm fields in the area. How it all plays out (and how both those story lines are intertwined), I will leave up to you to discover. The movie moves at snail's pace, and that's meant as a compliment.
Just a reminder: Manoel de Oliveira was a crisp 101 years old when he wrote and directed this movie. Wow, just wow. But wait! There is more! This DVD comes with a bunch of extras, none more so than his very first movie, a 20 min. documentary made in 1931 called "Douro, Faina Fluvial", documenting the life and times of people working in and around the Douro river in Porto, yes the very same setting of this "Angelica" movie, now 80 years later! There is also an incredible interview with the director, made in March, 2010 when he was in the final editing process of the movie. Listen to him commenting on "Avatar", violence in movies for violence sake, John Ford, and many other juicy comments. What a great DVD all around, and not just for the intruiging "Angelica" movie. Not for anyone in a hurry, but highly recommended!