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The Saragossa Manuscript Reviews

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Bob S

Super Reviewer

January 19, 2011
Great movie. Kinda sucky American DVD though. The aspect ratio looks wrong and no extras to speak of. This film has so much going on it practically cries out for a scholarly commentary.

Super Reviewer

July 10, 2008
a stupendous surrealist mindfuck of a movie based on what can only be a fantastic book by a complete madman...takes place in spain but filmed in polish and from there it only gets weirder. the intricate story structure folds back on itself multiple times, with characters including gypsies, bandits, moorish princesses and a kabbalist. i probably need to watch it again to get them all straight but i'm a sucker for films that begin with a magical book :) btw this film was made in 1965, not 1999!

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2010
Polish black and white film about Alfonso van Worden, captain in the Walloon Guard. What happens to him, and then what happens to other people, and then stories that turn into other stories ..... a bit like the Thousand and One Arabian Nights, except it only took me four consecutive evenings to get all the way through it - partly the 3 hour viewing time, partly the multiple plots requiring concentration, and mostly because I'm rubbish at remembering names and faces. Which is not to say its dull, it isn't, more to say my brain hurts easily.

According to Wikipedia, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Luis Bu˝uel, David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Harvey Keitel and Jerry Garcia have at various times described The Saragossa Manuscript as their favorite film. Bet their brans didn't hurt.

Super Reviewer

October 3, 2008
By the Elysian Fields and Hades,the photographic proportions of this film were highly jubilant!The farcical approach helps to create a Dionysian environment and at times,a zany comprehension of non-linear events,in which the ending is unimportant...Wojciech Has prefers to entice us,and sometimes lure us in the trap of hypnosis of a manuscript so enchanting,you'd think it was made for the pleasure of confusion and only...
October 4, 2007
Honestly, one of the best films I've ever seen. The narrative is always prepared to take you someplace else, regardless of whether you want to go.
Dave J
April 12, 2013
Friday, April 12, 2013

(1965) The Saragossa Manuscript
(In Spanish with English subtitles)

More than 2 hours long full of many analogies, which takes place during the Spanish revolution. One of the military men stumble onto a book and immediately he's glued to it, and the resistance fighters then break in with one of it's leaders finding himself being captivated by the book as well called the "Saragossa Manuscript" who alongside with the enemy both of them being involved with the book. the movie then fgoes into deep retelling of many mythical folk stories, some of them are in relation to the resistence leader who's doing the fighting. It is just a set-up for one of many somewhat morbid adventures of a particular person who happns to visit witches and ghosts.

3 out of 4 stars
Luc L.
January 20, 2013
A clever script. It's a story upon stories that meshes together. Well made but way overlong.
October 2, 2012
The Saragossa Manuscript may undoubtedly be called one of the greatest epics in the history of European cinema. It surrealistic fantasy-like substance, so wonderfully plotted into its genius story-within-a-story narrative, shows the life and adventures of a lonely soldier bound for Madrid, who one night stops at a deserted inn and meets two lovely Arabian girls. After a night spend with them, everything changes in his life, as he embarks a journey into the deepest corners of his own mind, and to the minds of the people he runs across close to the cursed mountains, where demons are supposed to appear and haunt all the passers-by. Every person, which Alfons meets, has a story to share, more or less humorous and intriguing, but curiously enlightening. Certainly, this is a narrative masterpiece, a film that is as groundbreaking as it is instructive. Even though there are so many tales told one after another, the viewer doesn't lost track of all the events. Later on, everything that's happened actually merges in an utmost unexpected way. The stellar cast, made up of Poland's greatest post-war actors, only enhances the whole amazingly eerie and dream-like experience. Full of symbolism and allusions, it grips you and doesn't let go for those three remarkable hours. Definitely worth a watch.
February 2, 2011
The discussion on movie club podcast sparked off enough interest in me to want to see this one ...
April 28, 2010
:confused: My apologies to everyone who also went to the IHR club's first event last Sunday expecting a sensual historical romance, but left chilled by zombies and a heavily arabesque or near Poe-scary plot. Just goes to show, never let a poster, dvd montage, or even the first fifteen minutes of the movie fool you lol.
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