Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Original title: Inquietude
Portugal/France/Spain/Switzerland, 1998. Gemini Films, Instituto Português da Arte Cinematográfica e Audiovisual, Light Night, Madragoa Filmes, Radiotelevisão Portuguesa, Wanda Films. Screenplay by Manoel de Oliveira, based on the stories Mae de Um Rio by Agustina Bessa-Luis, Os Imortais by Prista Monteiro, and Suzy by Antonio Patricio. Cinematography by Renato Berta. Produced by Paulo Branco. Production Design by Isabel Branco. Costume Design by Isabel Branco. Film Editing by Valerie Loiseleux. Toronto International Film Festival 1998.
Three stories are strung together by director Manoel de Oliveira: the first concerns a famous scientist who is trying to get his equally famous son to commit suicide because only in tragic death is true immortality achieved. The second is about two men who talk endlessly (and I mean endlessly) about a prostitute they both love, who herself gives long monologues about the very nature of wallpaper (maybe I wasn’t paying very close attention by that point). The third installment, about an unhappy woman in a peasant village who seeks out the help of a Greek hermetic witch and learns a lesson about dissatisfaction, is by far the most interesting tale and the only one that is actually a story. Not one of the Portuguese auteur’s strongest works.