Eternity And A Day

on May 28, 1999 by Ed Scheid
Director Theo Angelopoulos' last film, "Ulysses' Gaze," won the runner-up Special Jury Grand Prize at Cannes in 1995. This year, he received the top prize, the Palme d'Or, for this drama in which the protagonist, Alexander ("Wings of Desire's" Bruno Ganz), finds a letter from his dead wife which causes him to reflect on his past and on his solitary life. As in many of Angelopoulos' prior films, past and present are often combined in the same shot. In contrast to his current loneliness, Alexander remembers the crowded and happy social events when his vibrant wife (Isabelle Renauld) was still alive.
   The film contains many beautifully shot scenes that emphasize Alexander's sense of solitude; however, the director has given the film a lethargic pace. The plot is rambling without much dramatic incident, save for Alexander meeting and trying to help a young Albanian refugee. Alexander remains too remote a character to sustain interest through this overlong film. Starring Bruno Ganz. Directed by Theo Angelopoulos. Written by Theo Angelopoulos, Tonio Guerra, Petros Markaris and Giorgio Silvagni. A Paradis Films production. An Artistic License release. Drama. Greek-language; subtitled. Running time: 140 min.
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