Eternity and a Day. Directed by Theo Angelopoulos, 1998. Watched May 15, 2012.
ETERNITY AND A DAY reminded me greatly of Andrzej Zulawski’s 1989 MY NIGHTS ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN YOUR DAYS and not because of Zulawski’s style of Hysterical Excess. It was the idea that two European directors have decided to tell stories about men who are reaching their end of days while still searching for an escape from forgetting or being forgot. Wandering in their own ways as men put out to pasture, Angelopoulos’ famous Greek writer heads towards the water’s edge and revisits a grand house on the shore; Zulawski’s computer programmer heads toward the beach and revisits a huge hotel full of fantasy. Returning to places that they know, both of these stories are about men going senile and in turn, completely mis-remembering their time spent with the women they love.
In search of help along the way, Angelopoulos’ hero saves a small Albanian boy from certain slavery; Zulawski’s hero is given salvation from a dead dwarf doorman. They look to their younger (or smaller) selves — and not their women — to see them through the impending fog. The men are too young for death but as their cognizant existences wane they stand so able-bodied, so nimble. As a nod to memory — or the loss thereof — both directors bend the lines between fiction and reality as they ponder what it might be like to lose your mind while the body walks on.
#13 selected by Kevin Lennox via Facebook.