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52nd edition

A Caixa

Fortnight 1994, Feature film, 1 h 36

Synopsis

The film “A Caixa” is a parable-like adaptation of Prista Monteiro’s play. The action concentrate on the stairs of a deprived neighborhood and recounts the final mishap of an old blind man, who was already once stolen his casket – his official working tool. His daughter, overwhelmed by houseold chores, exhausts herself ironing linen for customers. Her own man, a workless outcast – like his friends – lives off the blind man’s casket and his wife’s work. Friends and neighbors are all envious of the old man’s casket, now stolen for the second time. The affair sparks off a violent dispute which turns into a tragedy. By irony of fate, it will eventually free the young woman from the family burden, and…

Director

Manoel De Oliveira

De Oliveira was born in Portugal in 1908 and started his career as an actor. In 1931, he made his first short film « Douro, ainal Fluvial », which scandalized the portuguese press. Misunderstood in his country, he encountered many difficulties to pursue his carrer as a filmmaker. He made his first full length feature in 1941: « Aniki-Bobo », a neorealist movie. The poor reception of the film forced Manoel de Oliveira to abandon other film projects for 14 years. In 1956, he directed « Le peintre et la ville », which revolutionized documentary field. In 1971, he made his third full length film, « Le Passé et le Présent »; « Francisca » was shown at The Directors’ Fortnight, as well as « Le Val Abraham », in 1993. In 1995, he directed « The Convent », starring Catherine Deneuve and John Malkovich, adapted, once again, from a novel by Agustina Bessa-Luís. He received the prestigious Prize Robert Bresson in 2004. Manoel De Oliveira died on the 2nd of April 2015, at 106. He directed more than 50 films, fictions and documentaries. Find his selective filmography on the right side of the page.

Beatriz Batarda
Diogo Doria
Felipe Cochofel
Glicinia Quartin
Isabel Ruth
Luis Miguel Cintra
Ruy de Carvalho
Sofia Alves

Screenplay
Manoel de Oliveira, d’après la pièce de Prista Monteiro

Image
Mario Barroso

Sound
Jean Paul Mugel, Jean-François Auger

Editing
Manoel de Oliveira, Valérie Loiseleux

Set decoration
Isabel Branco

Production : Madragoa Filmes, Lisbone, Portugal Vente à l’étranger : Mercure Distribution, Paris, France

Title in Original Version : La Cassette