Ulysses’ Gaze (1995)

THEODOROS ANGELOPOULOS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

Original title:  To Vlemma Tou Odyssea

Greece/France/Italy/Germany/United Kingdom/Federal Republic Of Yugoslavia/Bosnia and Herzegovina/Albania/Romania, 1995.  Greek Film Center, , , , La Sept Cinéma, Canal+, , , , , , Channel 4, Centre National de la Cinématographie, , , , .  Screenplay by Theodoros Angelopoulos, , , .  Cinematography by , .  Produced by Theodoros Angelopoulos, , , , Giorgio Silvagni.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Theo Angelopoulos’ death-defyingly slow meditation on art and inspiration runs a dangerous three hours but has too much beauty to not be worth watching. A filmmaker (Harvey Keitel) travels to Greece to find a few reels of film footage by a pair of brothers from the 1930s that are rumoured to still be in existence. His journey takes him all around the Balkans while he learns the family history of the brothers he is researching, memories of their lives and his past blending together, his interactions with a number of women (all played by ) taking the form of Ulysses’ odyssey.  Rich and memorable, but make sure you’re sitting comfortably and you have the opportunity for bathroom breaks, as Angelopoulos’ pacing makes Antonioni look like TV commercials, and the film’s least magical moments happen in the slightly overdrawn third act.

Cannes Film Festival Award:  Grand Jury Prize

European Film Award:  FIPRESCI Prize
Nomination:  Best European Film

Toronto International Film Festival:  1995

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