Understanding the iconoclastic work of a lifelong cinematic pioneer
With a career spanning over seventy years, Portuguese film director Manoel de Oliveira may be the oldest active filmmaker in the world today. Known for his distinctive formal techniques and philosophical treatment of themes such as frustrated love, nationhood, evil, and divine grace, the director’s work has run consistently against the mainstream. Focusing primarily on his feature films, Randal Johnson navigates Oliveira’s massive oeuvre, locating his work within the broader context of Portuguese and European cinema. He also examines multiple aspects of Oliveira’s conception of film language, ranging from early concerns with cinematic specificity to hybrid discourses suggesting a tenuous line between film and theater on the one hand, and between fiction and documentary on the other.
A volume in the series Contemporary Film Directors, edited by James Naremore