Sunday, February 7, 2016

Limite (1931)

Limite (Brazilian Portuguese: [lĩˈmitʃi], meaning "Limit" or "Border") is a film by Brazilian director and writer Mário Peixoto (1908–92), filmed in 1930 and first screened in 1931.
Sometimes cited as the greatest of all Brazilian films, this 120-minute silent experimental feature by novelist Peixoto, who never completed another film, was seen by Orson Welles and won the admiration of everyone from Sergei Eisenstein to Georges Sadoul to Walter Salles.

Plot and analysis

A man and two women lost at sea in a rowboat. Their pasts are conveyed in flashbacks throughout the film. The unusual structure has kept the film in the margins of most film histories, where it has been known mainly as a provocative and legendary cult film.
For Peixoto, the experience offered by Limite cannot be adequately captured by language, but was made to be felt. Therefore, the audience is left with images of a synthetic and pure language of cinema. According to the director, his film is meticulously precise as invisible wheels of a clock, where long shots are surrounded and linked by shorter ones as in a planetary system.
Peixoto characterizes Limite as a 'desperate scream' aiming for resonance instead of comprehension. The movie shows without words and without analysis. The film projects itself as a tuning fork, a pitch, a resonance of time itself, capturing the flow between past and present, object details and contingence as if it had always existed in the living and in the inanimate, or detaching itself tacitly from them. Since Limite is more of a state than an analysis, characters and narrative lines emerge, followed by a probing camera exploring angels, details, possibilities of access and fixation, only then to fade out back into the unknown, a visual stream with certain densifications or illustrations within the continues flow of time. According to Peixoto, all these poetic transpositions find despair and impossibilities; a luminous pain which unfolds in rhythm and coordinates the images of rare precision and structure.

Preservation status

The film has been restored, with the latest restored version to have its American premiere in Brooklyn, New York in November 2010.




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