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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:11 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:00 pm
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jonah.77 wrote:

Thanks for the heads up on these films! Can you confirm that Francisca is, in fact, English-subtitled?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:56 pm 
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I can't confirm anything, as I haven't bought it. Someone with deeper pockets than mine would have to take the risk on this one. I'm somewhat skeptical, if only because the listing seems to have come out of the blue.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:00 pm
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I purchased an English-subtitled copy of de Oliveira's "No, or the vainglory of Command" from DeeVeeDaa (via Amazon Marketplace) last month, it appears to emanate from the Lusomundo label out of Portugal. I would assume that "Francisca" is also available with English subtitles from that label as well.

Anyway, if the 18 film box set that is purported to have English subtitles ends up being bunk, I will attempt to translate a few of the films from my just-received Spanish Oliveira box set, subtitled only in Spanish.

As long as you have access to good English-Spanish translating software, you can re-author a DVD with English subtitles using a few different programs that allow you to substitute the Spanish subtitles with their English equivalent as an (.srt) file. Then you can either watch the film on a VLC player, or re-author a final MPEG4 version of the film onto DVD.

It's a somewhat tedious process, but worthwhile if you absolutely, positively must view the film with English subtitles.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:53 am 
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Wittsdream wrote:
Anyway, if the 18 film box set that is purported to have English subtitles ends up being bunk...

It isn't. Subs have been confirmed. And DaaVeeDee tells me they have ordered some sets and they will be in stock by mid-January. Till then, there's always blueplanet.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:00 pm
Location: Chicago
John Cope wrote:
Wittsdream wrote:
Anyway, if the 18 film box set that is purported to have English subtitles ends up being bunk...

It isn't. Subs have been confirmed. And DaaVeeDee tells me they have ordered some sets and they will be in stock by mid-January. Till then, there's always blueplanet.

That is wonderful news indeed, and actually does not render my purchase of the 8 disc set from Spain as superfluous as this enormous package is still lacking two of the master's best films with English subtitles - Doomed Love and Francisca.

January is shaping up to be a monster box set month as I plan on buying this Manoel de Oliveira set, the complete Alexander Kluge from Filmmuseum Edition, Joris Ivens complete works and I've yet to purchase the Murnau/Borzage set from Fox. Oh wait, isn't Criterion releasing Rossellini's historical films also? =P~

Enter stage left.......to the poor house for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:07 pm
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Held the box at Fnac this afternoon and i confirm english, french and spanish subs in general, expect for one or two titles as confirmed. No info that i could see about the extras.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:04 pm
Has anybody actually listed which two (or so) titles in the Oliveira box are NOT subtitled? Most particularly, is Canibais subtitled?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:46 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am
Hi! BELLE TOUJOURS and ESPELHO MAGICO are not English-subbed, according to an e-mail from Lusomundo, the Portuguese company releasing the box.

ESPELHO MAGICO is English-subbed on a good-looking Brazilian DVD, which includes a few non-skippable adverts and trailers and does not even have a menu.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:29 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:04 pm
Thanks Stefan - By any wonderful chance, do you know if OS CANIBAIS exists outside of the boxed set? I love this film and would die to be able watch it more times.........


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:40 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am
Don´t have the specs from Lusomundo available right now, but I´m pretty sure that OS CANIBAIS is one of the several movies exclusive to the box set, sadly. Maybe you can find it on a Portuguese or French VHS. French VHS means you need an all-region VHS player
(+ compatible TV set) capable of handling French NTSC, which is different from other NTSC variants. Some VHS players can handle French NTSC VHS tapes, but colour tapes will be shown in black and white. At least that´s how it works with some PAL VHS machines and TV sets.

ESPELHO MAGICO is now released in cinemas in France by Les Films du Paradoxe. Good French-language reviews to be found at http://www.lemonde.fr, http://www.liberation.fr and a short note on the site of the weekly Nouvel Observateur site.

"Le Miroir magique" : les angoisses mystiques des riches
Cinéma 7 janv. 6h51 La leçon d’impiété d’Oliveira
Le Miroir magique


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:50 pm 
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Thought I would post an update on the box set for those interested. Certainly for me it's by far the best such set I have come across and it's automatically become my most treasured of such items (though I am, of course, already severely biased). And this assessment does not come without a few caveats.

The only real drawback, and it is not insignificant, is the lack of subs across the board. On some level I feel unappreciative to even bring this up as the vast majority of material is subbed in English as well as a variety of other languages. Still, it's the arbitrariness of what gets subbed when that is frustrating. I have not watched everything here as much of this I already had but I can guarantee you that what has already been available through Madragoa or Lusomundo is here just re-presented, along with all the original supplementary material accompanying each originally released feature. This stuff is then complete with the subs that were available on the first release. I don't think there has been any remastering of image and sound though it's hard to say as the original versions looked good to me.

As to the rest: most are simply clean, clear releases of films otherwise unavailable. There are few if any extra materials on the individual discs for each film which is available only in this set. Still, it doesn't matter as the chance to own, say, Mon Cas is quite good enough for me. Besides, I'd rather have bare bones releases than the frustration involved with the sub issue. And here is where things get a bit complicated. When we finally get an extra on this exclusive material, such as the "making of" on Inquietude, it turns out to be unsubbed despite the fact that the film itself is subbed. Actually, that particular extra appears to have hard Portuguese subs for the brief remarks which, I believe, were in French. So this looks like some kind of press kit supplement.

Of course Espelho Mágico and Belle Toujours, as has been noted, are not English subbed but that's not the worst omission. The extras on these discs, which amount to several different interview sections, aren't subbed either and this is no surprise but it is a disappointment, especially in the case of Espelho Mágico. The stuff on Belle Toujours is the same as what's on the New Yorker release so that's no big loss but the rest is as there is no other representation (they are not on the Brazilian disc) and the interviews on Espelho Mágico look pretty in depth. I can only hope this one will get a re-release with these same interviews subbed. That would certainly be something to look forward to. The same goes for the 36 minute unsubbed interview with Oliveira on the Cristóvão Colombo - O Enigma DVD. That appears to be a concentrated interview/career overview. A real loss there and kind of annoying as the feature itself, of course, is subbed.

Moving on from the films themselves,we come to the extra disc which is also an unfortunate missed opportunity as virtually none of that material is subbed (I can't recall but I think maybe some minor short piece was but don't hold me to that). This is especially frustrating as there is what appears to be a superb hour long doc here which would be great to see to say the least. And of course the book which accompanies the set is only in Portuguese, though it does contain some great photos which transcend all language barriers.

My conclusion then is that it is only in respect to the subs issue that I have any reservations whatsoever. Otherwise, it is a truly extraordinary gift to have this complete collection, and aesthetically pleasing too with all the discs in uniform black sleeves and slim cases that fit neatly into the box in two rows. These other caveats can hopefully be addressed by some enterprising company down the road. That gives us something to look forward to as I can't imagine this stuff being left as it is for good.

Oh, I had better mention one other thing. I am glad I checked out my copy of A Caixa as there was a problem there. At first I'm watching the beginning of the feature and thinking, "Well, this seems quieter than what I remember." Finally I realized to my horror that there was no sound at all, that the soundtrack was simply gone. I knew I couldn't contact the place I had purchased the set (Blueplanet in this case) as they couldn't be expected to replace one disc, so I contacted Lusomundo directly and dealt with a very helpful representative who informed me that a few of those particular discs (mine being one naturally) got authored incorrectly and distributed that way. But he was very apologetic and extremely co-operative. I was sent out a replacement disc immediately without having to send the original back to Portugual, which was a relief.

Finally, because I've been meaning to do this for months, I wanted to post links to a couple thorough and critically incisive pieces on Oliveira available online. These would be important cornerstone pieces I would think for any dedicated Filmmaker thread, which should be established in the future. One is the Rosenbaum retrospective which I have the most problems with. I suspect I simply value different things in the work and I've had issues in the past with the way JR reads Oliveira. Still, a worthwhile essay overall. The other is the Jonathan Romney piece from Sight & Sound. I have fewer problems with his perspective, though I'd still take him up on certain points. For the best recent writing on Oliveira in English, though, I would highly recommend the new Wallflower Dekalog anthology compilation. Some great reflections here and I can't help but note that many did not originate in English.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:01 am 
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Belle Toujours was released on DVD by ICA Films in the UK yesterday.

I've seen it and it's an intriguing idea; a respectful homage to Bunuel and Carriere and reunites Henri and Severine from the original. He's still hung up about their past, she tries to avoid him though her need to discover what he told her husband about her former life as a prostitute forces a confrontation, in which Henri extracts revenge he's waited four decades for. It's all rather slight, the pacing purposefully, rightfully slow as de Oliveira extracts the sense of growing old and the memories still harboured after all these years. The cinematography of Parisienne skylines or rain-soaked streets is superb and the two main performances are fine, though it's a shame Deneuve wasn't involved if only for the sake of continuity.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:32 pm 
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John Cope wrote:
Camera Obscura wrote:
Expected some bite or at least some older man's wisdom, but was rather disappointed by Manoel de Oliveira's A Talking Picture (2003), which is basically an extended travelogue of Lisbon, the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, with some of the most painfully clichéd chitchat about Euro-American cultural relations I have ever seen. John Malkovich seems to enjoy himself, though, showing of his French skills and making 'sophisticated' dinner conversation with Catherine Deneuve and Stefania Sandrelli.


Just because Oliveira shows us something doesn't mean he endorses it. I would suggest that much of the conversation you discuss is meant to be a representation of cliche. That doesn't mean it all is or that it's all inherently disposable either. To what extent, for instance, does such thinking inform current prevailing mindsets? What does it mean for it to do so?

Compare it to what is being said and the way it is said between mother and daughter in the first half. This material too functions as suspect but in a different way. Nonetheless, it provides an obvious point of contrast for the later multi-language table discussions(perhaps all too obvious but then that is another level of the irony as I indicated). Part of the point of those captain's table scenes seems to me to be a reflection on to what degree such relatively easy, shallow comprehension and self-congratulatory rhetoric actually does serve as foundation for "sophisticated" geo-political views and what the implications of that may be for the propagation and even basic survival of civilization. Oliveira's critique settles on the observation that in an intellectually impoverished time any discussion of larger contextualizing issues of this sort will automatically seem more than adequate as evidence of intellect to many, including many of those responsible. The risks of an inadequately developed position (especially one absent the necessary ironic comprehension) are, shall we say, implied.


My comment came off more derogative than I meant it to be. And I see your point, it doesn't mean Oliveira endorses something simply because he's showing it. Certainly don't want to come of as the next brute who casually dismisses his work by some shallow 'literal' reading of this film. Some very interesting thoughts you posted that are well worth reflecting upon. And to be fair, this being my first film by Manoel de Oliveira, it might take a few more films to fully appreciate the directorial style and sensibilities of a filmmaker who, from what i read here on this forum and elsewhere, comes with some bagage and might not be the easiest to adjust to. I'd like to explore more of his films, which might not turn me into an instant disciple, but in the case of A Talking Picture the packaging just put me of a little.

Not sure what de Oliveira is trying to say here and it's probably way too much heavy lifting from my side for a film I just dismissed for containing painfully cliched chitchat, but just to expand some more on your comment, it seemed to me the film served primarily as a reflexion on our current obsessions with cultural identity, or the fallacy in our efforts to construct cultural identities through rather simplistic 'history lessons'. The first part of the film illustrating how history (and tourism) has become little more than a simplified themepark that merely serves as a mirror to confirm our own preconceived notions of how we like to place ourselves culturally vs the other, whether it's French vs Greek, European vs American, or Western culture in general vs our ideas of non-Western culture in general (Islamic, Oriental, whatever it is one might see as non-Western). Perhaps these cultural notions might proove themselves increasingly defunct in the current 21th century world order, especially the ones aligned along national identities or Western vs non-Western identities. But the "dinner conversation" is so preposterous (and above all, so static and stylized), it would seem a little too obvious a comment for the shallowness and self-congratulatory rhetoric that Oliveira might target here. Ah well..

To be honest, I found the first part maddeningly oblique. The 40-50 minutes of this extended "history tour" with the little girl just made me cringe, but indeed, that might be the whole point to which the second part with the dinner conversation serves as a perfect point of contrast, but a little more spark and wit would have helped. And his preference for theatrically inspired mise-en-scene, long takes and focus on dialogue does result in fairly static filmmaking. And whatever de Oliveira was trying to say with the ending, with the terrorist attack on the cruiseship, passed me by completely, sorry to say.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:52 pm 
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Jonathan Rosenbaum, in his latest column in Cinema Scope, mentions the problem with the audio on A Caixa in the big box set. I'm probably going to order the box pretty soon and it seems reasonable to assume all boxes have the same problem. John Cope, do you remember what email address you used to contact Lusomundo?

I'm considering just adding the separate release of A Caixa to my order, to avoid the whole hassle of having the disc replaced.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:11 pm 
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My contact at Lusomundo was Saúl Rafael. His email is saul.x.rafael@zon-lusomundo.pt. I wouldn't add on A Caixa as an extra disc if I were you, ola. Saúl could not have been more helpful and gracious about the whole experience when I contacted him. A replacement was sent to me directly without my even having to send back the original. Seriously, I would contact him before you make a purchase and inquire as to the state of the situation now. I'm sure he can arrange something. I really can't believe though that they haven't recalled those boxes and gotten it all sorted out. Still, I wouldn't want any of this to detract someone considering a purchase of this magnificent set.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:50 am 
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Thanks, John. Yeah, you're probably right - and even if A Caixa does need to be replaced, I'll still have twenty other films to watch while it gets sorted out!

Oh, I had almost forgotten! I bought the Spanish releases of Francisca and The Satin Slipper. I guess I ought to figure out how to take screen grabs, but the executive summary is, The Satin Slipper is not stellar but certainly watchable, whereas Francisca unfortunately looks pretty terrible -- much, much too dark. Both discs have optional Spanish subtitles only and no extras.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:36 am 
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I just got my Oliveira box set. I've given A Caixa a brief spin on my work computer and am happy to report that it seems to have a working audio track. From squinting at the center of the playing surface, it does indeed seem to be a second pressing (there's a "#2" where all the other discs I've checked have a corresponding "#1", plus a January 2009 date while the others are dated 2008). I don't think there's any way to identify this second pressing without opening the box, but for what it's worth, mine is numbered 0721 and I bought it from Portuguese FNAC.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:00 pm 
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I'm portuguese, so any questions about portuguese editions, ask away and i'll try my best ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:56 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am
Manoel de Oliveira´s new short film, Paineís de Sao Vicente de Fora - Visao Poética (16 mins), has been shown at the Venice Film Festival. According to a post on ImdB, it´s going to be an extra on the forthcoming R1 DVD of Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl.

Oliveira, looking spry, interviewed in Venice (no subs) + brief clips from the short film:

http://www.rtp.pt/noticias/?t=Ultimo-fi ... 73943&tm=4


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:07 pm
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The short is based in one of the most famous portuguese paitings, Painés de S. Vincente de Fora, on display at the National Museum of Ancient Art

http://3d.culturaonline.pt/Content/Comm ... 01ae3a3edd.

On the bar in the left bottom corner, select Painés de S. Vincente to see the paiting.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:36 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am
Oliveira´s Rite of Spring (1963), now restored and showing at the 2010 London Film Festival:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/films/treasur ... hives/1087


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:41 am 
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And it's in New York as well. I'm really hoping this bodes well for some kind of video release (Criterion's first Oliveira?).


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:30 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am
Manoel de Oliveira wants his last film to be based on Águstina Bessa-Luis novel A Ronda Da Noite but plans to do other films before that one. Article in Portuguese.

Recent TV interview in Portuguese re: Day of Despair.

Recently on MdO´s Wikipedia page:

"Manoel de Oliveira was chosen to give the welcoming speech at Pope Benedict XVI's meeting with representatives of the Portuguese cultural world on 12 May 2010 at the Belém Cultural Center. In the speech, titled "Religion and Art", he said that morality and art may well have derived from the religious attempt at "a explanation of the existence of human beings" with regard to their "concrete insertion in the Cosmos". The arts "have always been strictly linked to religions" and Christianity has been "prodigal in artistic expressions".[6] In an interview published the day before, Oliveira, who was raised a Catholic, said that, "doubts or not, the religious aspect of life has always accompanied me," and added, "All my films are religious."[7]

For the full welcoming speech in English, go here (= footnote 6).

Footnote 7 refers to a now-dead link (on the Wikipedia page) to an interview in Portuguese:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:36 am 
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That information about his self-selected "last film" is interesting, especially, as alluded to in the article, its basis being the self-selected last novel of his perennial collaborator Agustina Bessa-Luis (whose work remains absurdly and almost completely untranslated into English). For these two towering artists to be able to bow out with such controlled grace, more or less in tandem, would be truly remarkable and deserved. I wonder if he's considered shooting it and then shelving it. Of course he's already done that once, with 1982's Memories and Confessions which was the memoir film he composed at age 74 but which has never been screened under his direct instruction, to be unveiled only after his death (his circumspection regarding this piece is evidence enough of the Catholic in him and must seem, especially given what it's likely to contain, utterly incomprehensible to most in an age of casual, weightless confessions).

Oliveira's been talking about doing Ronda da Noite for a few years now but I get the impression feels an obligation to finish the trilogy of Agustina adaptations he began first. He seems to have an evident disinterest in the last book of that series and I almost wish, at this point, he'd just forget about if he isn't particularly inspired by it for whatever reason and simply concentrate on what is left. There is plenty. Presently there's his adaptation of Machado's classic short story Missa do Galo and then I know he's expressed an interest in a version of Dorian Gray. And, most enticingly, there's his proposed Don Quixote in the style of the Gustave Moreau paintings (which I assume would look something akin to the last act of Mon Cas should he do it). Still, the subject matter of Ronda da Noite, given its focus on the limits of the image, the edges of the canvas as it were, seems more than fitting as a capstone to his career. I hope it will be so.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:00 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am
Oliveira's first two films, Douro, faina Fluvial and Aniki Bobó, have been restored by Lusomundo, a Portuguese film/DVD company. Theatrical reissue (both films show together) timed for O´s 102nd birthday followed by DVD release featuring three versions (one silent, two with music) of Douro, faina Fluvial.


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