Thursday, April 2, 2015

Manoel de Oliveira RIP

The great (and persistent!) Portuguese film director Manoel de Oliveira has passed away at age 106:

Manoel de Oliveira - Obituary

Although his last new feature was completed in 2012, there is still one to be released:

His 1982 film Memories and Confessions has yet to be seen. Autobiographical in content, it was shelved at the director’s request, to be released only after his death.

Of Oliveira's copious output, I've only seen two films: his original opera on film The Cannibals (1988), which I really liked, and I'm Going Home (2001), which I thought was passable.

Oliveira picked up the pace of his directing considerably after the age of 70:

Features made in his ​30s - 1
40s - 0
50s - 1
60s - 2
70s - 6
80s - 9
90s - 10
100s - 3

In film, I think ths pattern is unique, although it has an interesting parallel in music, the symphonies of the Britrish composer Havergal Brian (1876-1971):

Symphonies composed in his 50s - 4
60s - 1
70s - 6
80s - 13
90s - 8

This web-page has pictures from 31 of Oliveira's features (excepting "Memories and Confessions"), and from his first documentary short in 1931 as well: 

The Oldest Active Film Director in the World

At least three film directors lived longer than Oliveira, George Abbott (1887-1995), Miguel Morayta (1907-2013), and Minoru Inuzuka (1901-2007), although none of those worked deep into old age. The closest parallel to Oliveira is perhaps Kaneto Shindo, who died at age 100 and made three features in his 90s, the last at age 98. Other centenarian directors are:

Richard L. Bare (1913- ) (the creator of Green Acres!)
Carlo Ludivico Bragoglio (1894-1998)
Jean Delannoy (1908-2008)
Risto Orko (1899-2001)
Irving Rapper (1898-1999)
Tang Xiaodan (1910-2012)
Gosta Werner (1908-2009)

Manoel de Oliveira (Contemporary Film Directors)

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