Archive of films Belle toujours / Belle toujours

Portugal / France
2006, 70 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2007

An eerie setting is created for the story of a chance meeting between two ageing friends; the man naively believes he can settle old scores with the woman who once proudly rejected him. Living international film legend, Portuguese Oliveira, in his intimate drama with its malicious undertones, follows on deftly from Buñuel’s Belle de jour.


The latest film by soon-to-be centenarian Oliveira could be described as post-modernist, an intellectual little piece combining Buñuelesque malevolence and absurdity, while reflecting on the unswerving logic of human life. In the director’s fanciful vision, Buñuel’s aged heroine from Belle de jour runs across an old friend of her husband’s. At one point he had yearned terribly for her, but though she gave herself most freely to her various lovers, she rejected him. After a number of attempts at avoiding an encounter, she finally gives in and has dinner him. Both hope they may yet uncover the mysteries of the other. Michel Piccoli and Bulle Ogier bring into the film an inner strength and the nostalgia of old age; the enclosed elegant interiors are reminiscent of the bizarrely claustrophobic worlds depicted in numerous Buñuel films.

About the director

Manoel de Oliveira (b. 1908, Oporto) first entered the world of film in 1931 with the screening of a documentary about river labourers. After several more documentaries he debuted in 1941 with the Neo-Realist feature Aniki-Bobo, after which he turned his attention to other things. From the early 1970s he caused a stir with his loose tetralogy examining emotional (particularly romantic) frustration (1971–81). He won a Golden Lion in Venice for The Satin Slipper (1985), and in 2005 the French President named him Commander of the Legion of Honour for his life’s work. In his films he gradually sought to create a staged reality with emphasis on the performance of strong actors (Michel Piccoli, Irene Papas, Catherine Deneuve). His later works to be screened at Karlovy Vary include Party (1996) and, three years ago, Abraham Valley (1993), inspired by the novel Madame Bovary.


4, rue de Miromesnil, 75008, Paris
Tel: +33 1 581 834 90
Fax: +33 1 452 599 70

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Screenplay: Manoel de Oliveira
Dir. of Photography: Sabine Lancelin
Editor: Valerie Loiseleux
Producer: Miguel Cadilhe, Serge Lalou
Production: Filbox Produções, Les Film d’Ici
Cast: Michel Piccoli, Bulle Ogier, Ricardo Trepa, Leonor Baldaque
Contact: Onoma

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