Porto of My Childhood (2001, Manoel de Oliveira)

“It is really inelegant for a man to let himself grow old.” A late film to be sure, an old man looking back at his debut from 70 years ago, remembering his young life. How was anyone supposed to know that Oliveira, in his 90s, would make ten more features after this?

Sometimes it’s a fun story of artistic discovery, but there’s a rueful thread of disappointment since all these good times took place with his friends, all artists, exiled and dead. Some old film clips and photographs, as expected. The movie centers around a series of real-time scenes: an opening overture with the camera behind the conductor… a drive through the streets at night… a poem… a song.

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