Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl

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The first film by Portugal’s Manoel de Oliveira that actually feels his age (the director turned 100 last December), this awkward, hour-long adaptation of a minor short story by Ea de Quiers feels tired and totally divorced from the way modern lovers behave. An office worker stares across the alleyway at the title character, who languidly waves a fan to cool herself. Their flirtation is semihot, recounted after the fact on a train in an unrealistic “and then what happened?” flashback structure. The payoff (such as it is) involves an incidental theft of a piece of jewelry that could have come from any story. The movie’s inclusion in the fest can only be a sign of obeisance to a filmmaker of stature. It plays with “Get Your Ya-Yas Out!,” directed by Albert Maysles (among others), a batch of far-more-interesting footage from the Rolling Stones’ 1969 tour. Saturday, Sept 26 at 5:30pm—Joshua Rothkopf

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New York Film Festival 2009

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