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(aka "Magic Mirror" )

 

directed by Manoel de Oliveira
Portugal 2005

 

Luciano (Riccardo Trepa, the director's grandson) is released from prison and his cleric brother arranges for him to work for Alfreda (Leonor Silveira), a wealthy young woman who wants Luciano to accompany her on a pilgrimage to the holy sites in the Middle East (something she has done many times before) in order to have a vision of the Virgin Mary (and invite her to tea). All around her are people who encourage her mania including soliciting priests, an English professor of religion (Michel Piccoli) who suggests that the Virgin Mary was actually a wealthy woman (like Alfreda), and a forger (Luis Miguel Cintra) who offers a supernatural solution to Alfreda's ambition. Only her childhood friend Queta (Adelaide Teixeira) and Luciano want to disabuse Alfreda of her obsession; but Luciano with the help of a piano tuner/counterfeiter takes extraordinary steps to do it. The film is peopled with actors who have become de Oliveira stock players (Trepa co-starred in BELLE TOUJOURS with supporting actor Piccoli who starred in PARTY and I'M GOING HOME with Baldaque, Cintra co-starred with Silveira in ABRAHAM'S VALLEY and O CONVENTO with Duarte de Alameida who here plays Alfreda's much older husband) who all give good performances though none really stand out. Frequent de Oliveira cinematographer Renato Berta provides stately cinematography largely consisting of static though beautifully composed group shots and long takes.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 9 March 2006 (Portugal)

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DVD Review: Paris Films - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Paris Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 2:11:48 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.72:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Portuguese/English/Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo); Brazilian Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo)
Subtitles Portuguese, English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paris Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.72:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (4:3; 1.66:1; 1:08)
• Synopsis
• Cast/Crew List
• Unskippable start-up trailers for DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
• Trailers for DE GRIEZELBUS (4:3; 1:47), ANTONIO GUERRIERO DI DIO (4:3; 1:35),
• MOSCOW ZERO (4:3; 1:53), SUNFLOWER (4:3; 2:20), CAFUNDO (4:3; 2:18), THE GRUDGE 2
• (4:3; 2:26), RED PASSPORT (4:3; 0:32), and THE WAR WITHIN (4:3; 1:55)

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 15

 

Comments

Released theatrically by the now-defunct New Yorker Films, MAGIC MIRROR never received a domestic home video release. The dual-layer image on this Brazilian import is standards converted from PAL. There are two Portuguese stereo tracks; one in 'Portugal' Portuguese (Michel Piccoli plays a Brit and speaks heavily-accented English and Marisa Parades speaks Spanish although all of the Portuguese characters seem to fully comprehend and respond in Portuguese) and a 'Brazilian' Portuguese DUB. Although dual-layer, the image looks somewhat drab and noisy in darker scenes (the trailer image looks worse) but this is the only English-friendly release.

 

There are extremely annoying unskippable trailers for the dire-looking American DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and more trailers in the extras section. Portuguese distributor Lusomundo released a pricey 22-disc De Oliveira boxed set some time ago and that release reportedly has English subtitles.

NOTE: Michael tells us in email: "For the record, and probably you have been told this countless times already, if anyone asks you about the Oliveira MAGIC MIRROR which is so tantalising yet expensive (postage to Australia is $40 alone) in the list this time, the version of that film in the massive Oliveira Portuguese box has no English subtitles. Same as BELLE TOUJOURS which of course is available separately in the US with subtitles. In that same Portuguese set the copy of A CAIXA has no sound with any of the soundtrack options available on DVD players - sound for the menu setup at the start of the disc but the film is silent erroneously. Every copy of this disc in this set that I have heard about is the same. " (thanks Michael!)

  - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Paris Films

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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