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Ulysses' Gaze (1995)

Cast: Harvey Keitel, Maia Morgenstern, Erland Josephson, more...
Director: Theo Angelopoulos
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Drama, Politics and Social Issues, Quest, Road Movies
Running Time: 173 min.
Languages: English, Greek
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, this drama centers on the Balkan conflict as viewed through the eyes of a filmmaker named A (Harvey Keitel). Director Theo Angelopoulos wrote the screenplay, drawing from personal experiences. A is a Greek émigré director who returns to his homeland after 35 years in the U.S., ostensibly to screen his latest film, which is so controversial that it attracts religious protests. In fact, A's real purpose is to search for three reels of undeveloped film that may be the first ever shot by pioneer Balkan filmmakers the Manakis brothers, who documented simple circa-1900 peasant life. A's Homeric journey includes flashbacks into past historical events. He travels by taxi to Albania, where he enlists the help of a film archivist (Maia Morgenstern, who plays all four female roles). She joins him on a train ride to Bucharest, Romania. An extensive flashback chronicles A's childhood under Communism in Bucharest. His next stop is Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, where he is directed to Sarajevo. Angelopoulos mixes scenes shot during the actual Balkan war with historic re-enactments and dreamscapes to examine the role of the artist in political upheaval. ~ Michael Betzold, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

a beautiful poetic movie, not your kind of American film by HXin November 7, 2004 - 7:46 AM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
You have to be relexed and patient when you watch Theo's movies that don't have the fast speed of hollywood movies. The performance is impressive and intensive, the music is exceptionally beautiful and powerful.... the whole movies has this unique poetic rhythm that is very touching.... well, another thing, have some history knowledge of Greece and Balkan States....

not what I was hoping by nate September 18, 2004 - 10:23 AM PDT
0 out of 2 members found this review helpful
It's possible this is a good film, but I didn't manage to finish it so I'm not sure. I'm pretty doubtful, though. I gave up about an hour in (two hours to go!), when the stern reference librarian inexplicably began passionately kissing the main character on a train, after previously inexplicably refusing to speak to him.

Overall, it felt like a bad made for TV movie. The scenery shots of the Greco-Albanian border were nice, but the stilted dialogue (still wondering if this was maybe a dubbed version?) and overplayed scenes (oh, the villagers are storming the streets with their torches again) were too much for me. Yuch.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.61)
18 Votes
add to list New List

Trip to Greece
Make suggestions, please! I'm travelling to Greece in May. Here's some movies I'm watching to get me in the mood.
Two-stepping away from the original...
This is really a list by AKrizman, too, who took a Daily 5 and, appropriately, doubled it.

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