Anxiety

“The three-part Inquiétude combines the works of three authors, a one-act play and two stories, into an existential parable with every part welded into a single perfect shape. It begins as a lunatic stage farce in which an elderly father argues that his elderly son should commit suicide. This becomes an ironic, philosophical tale about an aristocratic dandy attending the farce, and finally morphs into a fairy tale told by a friend of the dandy. The theme of existential identity links the three works, and Oliveira's stately, reflective style fuses them into a seamless and luminous visual poem. Oliveira refuses the conventional pose of the old master looking back on his life and career with equanimity; Inquiétude, a masterpiece with irreverent wit, ironic bite, and anger over the vagaries of self-definition, has the decanted authority of Carl Dreyer's Gertrud and the imaginative splendor of The Arabian Nights” (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader).

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