"...a tragic fairy tale drenched in otherworldly visual splendor." - Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
I had to watch this film twice.The first to feel, the second to reflect. Only then could I voice any reaction to it. In this moving sepia photogravure, that looks at the same time like "old master" painting. Everything emerges from a delicious darkness into wierdly glaring brights, through a layer of middle light "The forest within the forest" Presented in the visual language of dreams. Intensely beautiful, imbued with"The quivering matter of life itself".As the piano tuner says, "It feels like I'm living in someone elses imagination". What you are seeing is a filmed dream. If this is not a paranormal experience, it's the closest thing to it. A DREAM OPERA.
Obsessed alienist Dr. Droz murders and resurrects diva Malvina to sing in a climactic opera on his private island where he builds musical automata and enslaves patients in his living imagination. The completely amoral egoist will do anything to realize his idolized performance, as people in previous times would strike the eyes from birds to improve their singing. He fetishizes her voice, imagining her larynx as a quivering vulva violated by the phallus of his music. When Dr. Droz hires master piano tuner Felisberto to prepare his devices for the Gotterdammerung, the tuner falls in love with heartbroken and half-dead Malvina, who mistakes him for her fiance. The surreal days preparing the machines are as beautiful as the dreams: Close-ups and fragments of ghostly gears, mechanisms and puppets; Blue contorted, cadaverous limbs and faces; Lilies with crawling, tentacle roots; Longing ocean vistas regarded through mourning veils; Unnamed and unknowable things existing only in someone's imagination. These desaturated images are lit with blinding backlight or are barely visible slivers on otherwise pitch scenes before an exquisitely dense soundtrack of whispers, arias and Portuguese. Watch this in a very dark, quiet room. Beautiful and tragic.
where am i_no idea i'm lost in some space i don't understand_a really beautiful film_so surreal & dream like
Meeting the work of the Quay brothers for the first time is a remarkable experience. I think I need to have several exposures to different of their works to be able to say much. And even then, silent appreciation may end up being the best was to live in their world. Perhaps there's no need for understanding to know that something beautiful is going on. The territory is in part one I have been obsessed with for years (automatons and their keepers) and I'm probably over-obsessed with this aspect on first exposure. Again, it's probably important to fall back on the fact that some poems and paintings can be beautiful and moving while always remaining incomprehensible.
This shows great understanding of how some very strange real world machinations work. That makes it truly frightening, and relevant, and for many, it could be triggering. Yet, what a beautiful way to approach living in a world in which such identity stealing manipulations can be a heavy subject? The movie honors the seriousness of it but the film is intensely beautiful the whole way through, as all of theirs are.
rad..top notch for everything..very very opaque
A moving film of love that is shown a in stunning and dreamy visuals. The many forms of love are represented in this film.
An enchantingly beatiful film that transports the viewer into the secret world of believable fantasy..There are so many magical moments in the fast moving plot several viewings, for me,were needed ,but, well worth the time. This film stands alone in the world of artistic filmaking..