Angelopoulos' leisurely pace and trademark long takes add up to a film guaranteed to please filmmakers nostalgic for the bygone glory days of European cinema.
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Angelopoulos returns to the same poetic terrain he explored in Ulysses' Gaze and Landscape in the Mist. In place of "action" and conventional narration, Eternity deals in philosophical ruminations, slippery shifts in time and long, hypnotic tracking shots that seem to whisper to us, "Slow down, observe. Listen."
This is not a masterpiece, but it contains moments of rare beauty and its contemplation of life, death, regret, and memory has a subtle power.
All things being relative, this is a dreamy, lulling film but also a more concise and straightforward one than the magnificently grandiose Ulysses' Gaze, the Angelopoulos opus that directly preceded it.
This rambling but beautiful feature by Theo Angelopoulos may seem like an anthology of 60s and 70s European art cinema: family nostalgia from Bergman and seaside frolics from Fellini; long, mesmerizing choreographed takes and camera movements from Jancso and Tarkovsky; haunting expressionist moods and visions from Antonioni.
If you can tune into its somber, hypnotic wavelength, you may be surprised at the raw emotional impact it delivers in key scenes, and at its ability to provoke your imagination long afterward.
Eternity And A Day occasionally lapses into navel-gazing ennui, and Ganz's reluctant kinship with the adorable moppet courts cliché, but Angelopoulos strings together so many haunting, exquisitely choreographed sequences that even his worst ideas are emotionally resonant.
Death doesn't knock in Theo Angelopoulos' Eternity and a Day; it raps softly, sitting patiently in the waiting room of its terminally ill poet's life until he's ready to let it in.