Image

MONDAY, 02/18/2013 — “GOD’S COMEDY” (1995), directed by João César Monteiro —

João de Deus is the manager of an ice-cream shop owned by an ex-prostitute, Paraíso dos Gelados (Ice-Cream Paradise). Through a unmoved desire of perfection, he seeks, through cleansing and purity to attain heaven. The surrounding world, however, does not comply with his decaying vision of lust and decay as a way of achieving his purpose.
Dryly comic, disturbing and deservedly honored with the Venice Film Festival’s Silver Lion when it was released, God’s Comedy is one of the most flagrantly perverse films you’re likely to see.

Advertisements

2 responses to “MONDAY, 02/18/2013 — “GOD’S COMEDY” (1995), directed by João César Monteiro —

  1. TOTALLY TRANSGRESSIVE !
    CULTURALLY PUZZLING !!
    REPULSIVE !!
    Beautifully filmed in real slow time, and dimly lit with natural light which forces you to try-to-see what it is happening on the screen and to figure out who these deceptively simple characters are…
    witness the opening scenes at the gelato parlor, the phone call behind the weighting scale, the scenes at night during his walk thru the neighborhood and in front of his house, etcetera…
    the sets are as provincial as the city of lisboa would allow, with touches of ingenuity showing a lack of modernity and technology in every day life as if it was happening in rural areas in the 1950’s…
    the main character=played by the writer/director=Joao Cesar Monteiro is an undistinguished, non-attractive, un-charismatic, older,frail and sick looking man representing the antithesis of a “leading man” …
    and yet, the beautiful nubile and very young girls that work under his management allow sexuaL intimacy with easy abandon (??!!)= that defies all logic and cultural accuracy with the Catholic mores that have been reigning in Portugal now for centuries…
    even the real time passes very slowly in everything they do; from washing their hands to eating or serving gelato…
    at the gelato parlor= their claim to fame as having the best gelato in Europe featuring newly found flavors= seems to be fake, since the parlor is usually empty and the clientele drops by one at the time and there are no waiting crowds outside to try their delicious products and flavors…
    get the picture ??…
    IT is TOTALLY SURREAL…and a totally transgressive film in the treatment of the subjects, situations and the images that are presented as every day life like the daily entries of pubic hair and notations in the collector’s book, the butcher shop with the prolongued takes of freshly killed animals, the gelato factory with the workers breaking and handling the eggs one by one while dancing the samba, the business presentation to a french ice cream tycoon while addresing the audience with a political speech, etcetera…
    Senhor Monteiro follows the path of Salvador Dali, Bunuel, John Waters, Jorge Polaco and all the other film directors and artists that have dared to expose their darkest parts of their imaginative minds to their audience…
    by creating their own symphony, with a slow tempo that never bores and always manages to disquiet the viewer…
    it is not a film for the faint-of-heart or to enhance your mood and shake your head in approval, but the thesis proposes to expose taboo subjects with very real and oniric imagery and to injected it with enough lyricism-by having amazing spoken quotes and cryptic dialogue throughout the film- that will convert these taboo subjects in a work of art…
    and in many ways this film it is a work of art that- at least for me -requires a second viewing now that i know what i know and i’m interested in knowing more…

    to be continued… ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s