The Satin Slipper | Chicago Reader

The Satin Slipper

Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira's seven-hour adaptation of French symbolist poet/playwright Paul Claudel's marathon theater piece. The action of the drama spans four continents and involves half the history of 16th-century Europe and the New World, with metaphysical preoccupations that play directly into Oliveira's own perennial themes of unattainable perfection and graillike striving (Francisca, Doomed Love). As rigorous as any symbolist and just as concerned with surfaces, at once lapidary and nonrevealing, the octogenarian Portuguese has established himself as one of the most innovative formalists in the contemporary film world.

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