Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl (image 1)

De Oliveira celebrates his 100th birthday with a blithe shaggy dog story that shows his storytelling at its simplest and most pleasurable... a perfectly formed miniature.

Jonathan Romney, Screendaily

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl 2009

Singularidades de uma rapariga loura

Directed by Manoel de Oliveira

Cinema’s centenarian Manoel de Oliveira (born 1908) transposes a 19th-century tale of romantic pursuit to 21st-century Lisbon, retaining, to rich and strange effect, every anachronistic detail of courtship and social convention.

France / Portugal / Spain In Portuguese with English subtitles
63 minutes 35mm

Producers

François d'Artemare
,
Maria João Mayer
,
Luis Miñarro

Screenplay

Manoel de Oliveira. Based on the short story by Eça de Queirós

Photography

Sabine Lancelin

Editors

Manoel de Oliveira
,
Catherine Krassovsky

Production designer

Christian Marti

Costume designer

Adelaide Trêpa

With

Ricardo Trêpa (Macário)
,
Catarina Wallenstein (Luísa Vilaça)
,
Diogo Dória (Macário's uncle)
,
Júlia Buisel (Doña Vilaça)
,
Leonor Silveira (woman in train)
,
Filipe Vargas (the friend)

Festivals

Berlin, Karlovy Vary 2009

Elsewhere

Cinema's centenarian Manoel de Oliveira (born 1908) transposes a 19th-century tale of romantic pursuit to 21st-century Lisbon, retaining, to rich and strange effect, every anachronistic detail of courtship and social convention. A young clerk spies the eponymous blond beauty at her balcony from his office directly across the street. His subsequent pursuit of her is an affair of tests, challenges and surprising discoveries. — BG

“Actorly stiffness and precise diction in opulently lit and exquisitely framed shots are a powerful measure of the forcefulness of belief of these characters, as well as the underlying depth and richness of such simple drama within such strict social mores... Pure as rain water and just as lacking in pretension... the film is as deliciously droll about its romantic quest as the light rustle and the subtle transparency of the layers of curtains covering the young girl's window are simmering and sensual.” — Daniel Kasman, The Auteurs