Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl

An extended anecdote by 101-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira. It's creaky but charming, says Steve Rose

  1. Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl (Singularidades De Uma Rapariga Loura)
  2. Production year: 2009
  3. Countries: Portugal, Rest of the world
  4. Cert (UK): U
  5. Runtime: 63 mins
  6. Directors: Manoel de Oliveira
  7. Cast: Catarina Wallenstein, Caterina Wallenstein, Diogo Doria, Ricardo Trepa

It is not possible to assess this film without mentioning the fact that it is the work of 101-year-old Portuguese auteur Manoel de Oliveira. If it was the debut of a young film-maker, it would never be getting a release; it's not even feature-length. Taken as an extended anecdote, though, this creaky tale of masculine obsession is not without its charms – in a Luis Buñuel-on-anti-depressants sort of way. The creakiness is, at least, deliberate. It is adapted from a story by 19th-century writer Eça de Quieroz, but set in the present day. A young man working for his uncle becomes entranced by the titular beauty, who seductively fans herself at the window opposite his Lisbon office. But the course of his infatuation is barred by concerns about his financial position, and the consent of his uncle. There are few dramatic peaks or troughs along the way, but the ending comes like a sharp punchline – a warning, or perhaps a reassurance, that even when you get to the age of 100, life is no less mysterious.

barred : hamowany, powstrzymywany

consent : zgoda, przyzwolenie

creakiness : zgrzytliwość

creaky : zgrzytliwy

deliberate : umyślny

entranced : oczarowany

extended : przedłużony

infatuation : zauroczenie

masculine : męski

punchline : puenta

reassurance : zapewnienie

seductively : uwodzicielsko

trough : dołek; peaks and troughs: upadki i wzloty

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