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ECCENTRICITIES OF A BLONDE-HAIRED GIRL

Director: MANOEL DE OLIVEIRA

65 minutes| Portugal-Spain-France| 2009| Subtitled (Portuguese dialogue)| Colour| D-Cinema


Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira brings new meaning to the word ‘veteran’. That he made his latest film at the age of 101 is, however, no guarantee of quality. What’s even more remarkable is the deliciously concise assurance with which he delivers this piquant vignette of romantic infatuation and its unexpected after-effects. Adapted from a story by Eça de Queiroz, the nineteenth-century realist writer some consider the equal of Dickens, it follows the misadventures of a humble clerk (Ricardo Trêpa, the director’s grandson) who falls hopelessly for the young woman cooling herself with a Chinese fan in the window opposite his office but remains forbidden by a domineering guardian from pursuing his affections. Although set in the present day, the story unfolds with a courtly old-world elegance as it deftly balances passion and enigma. In Catarina Wallenstein it also boasts a heroine with the sly, somewhat mysterious allure of Lisbon itself. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

IFI IRISH SHORTS
This screening includes Jane Lee’s IFB-funded short animated film, Revelations, a simply-drawn tale of opening up and shutting down. 4 minutes, 2007, Colour.

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