Eternity and a Day

The most celebrated of Greek filmmakers, the great Theo Angelopoulos is one of a handful of surviving directors whose work continues the best traditions of a radical European art cinema. He is a master stylist in the best sense, which is to say that his use of long takes or sequence shots and elaborate camera movements are essential to his films’ meanings and not mere displays of ‘technique’. Past and present, myth and reality, political history and personal quests are all woven together in Angelopoulos’ leisurely unfolding epics, which are wholly cinematic in design and humanist in outlook. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, Eternity and a Day is a beautiful, elegiac study of a voyage undertaken by an ageing Greek writer, Alexander (Bruno Ganz), who is suffering from a terminal illness. Reading an old letter reminds Alexander of his dead wife, whom he feels he neglected in pursuit of his literary career. As he embarks on a strange journey in which past and present events coexist, the film develops into a tender and mournful meditation on personal memory, the travails of romantic love and the observer status of the artist.
(1998. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby stereo SR. 132 mins.)

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