Our Beloved Month of August
Time Out rating:
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says
Tue Jan 26 2010As dazzling feats of narrative acrobatics go, this ingeniously self-reflexive second feature from maverick writer-director Miguel Gomes stands in a league of its own. It opens as a warm, gently freewheeling documentary on the cultural pastimes of rural Portugal that zeroes in on the touring duties of various MOR folk bands. Rambling anecdotes and shots of glowing pastoral vistas are splintered with fictionalised vignettes that observe the film’s dithering crew at work.
The natural response to the material is that it exists simply to offer a sincere and splendidly poetic chronicle of the rustic textures of Portuguese life, until just over the mid-point when – out of the blue – the close-knit members of one particular band usher the film from reality into fiction, and a brooding family drama plays out across the landscape we’ve just been introduced to. Recalling the provocative docu-fictions of Abbas Kiarostami and Jia Zhangke, ‘Our Beloved Month of August’ offers meta-textual manna for adventurous cinemagoers while remaining exhilaratingly true to its sunny, provincial roots.
Author: David Jenkins