Eternity And A Day

Eternity And A Day


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

An exquisite stillness infuses the perfect architecture of every image in Theo Angelopoulos' ode to a writer's life. Pity it's so long and so slow. Alexander is dying of cancer. This is his final day. Tomorrow, he goes into hospital for the last time.

"My only regret is that I never finished anything," he says. Even now, after years of effort, he has failed to complete a 19th century poem by a Greek depressive, who only spoke Italian.

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During his final day, he becomes involved through magic realism with moments from memory, visiting again his beautiful wife (Isabelle Renauld), realising that he has never known how to love, always escaping into a creative forest where artists stumble like blind horses. By chance, he finds himself helping an Albanian boy, an illegal immigrant, who has been kidnapped by a criminal gang. Such activity takes his mind off regret and the sadness of his own selfish existence. The film won top prize at Cannes last year. The quality of cinematography and performance of Austrian actor, Bruno Ganz, as the old man with dog, is indisputable.

Angelopoulos likes to linger. Every shot would benefit from a tighter edit. A grey figure against a grey sea under grey skies holds the attention briefly.

A man in pain, lonely as a stone, shadows the gaiety of his young wife in love. The hurt transfers to the audience. Even the dog looks miserable.

Reviewed on: 09 Jul 2007
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A writer with only a day to live finds himself helping an illegal immigrant.
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Director: Theodoros Angelopoulos

Writer: Theodoros Angelopoulos, Tonino Guerra, Petros Markaris

Starring: Bruno Ganz, Isabelle Renauld, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Achileas Skevis, Alexandra Ladikou, Despina Bebedelli, Helene Gerasimidou, Iris Chatziantoniou, Nikos Kouros, Alekos Oudinotis, Nikos Kolovos

Year: 1998

Runtime: 132 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: Germany, Greece, France, Italy, IMDb Germany section


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