The Saragossa Manuscript (1999)
as Capt. Alfons van Worden
as Don Avadoro
as Dona Rebeca Uzeda
as Pascheco's Father
as Don Gaspar Soarez
as Princess Emina
as Princess Zibelda
as van Worden's Father
as van Worden's Mother
as Envoy of the Holy Inquisition
as Don Pedro Velasquez
as Don Lopez Soarez
Critic Reviews for The Saragossa Manuscript
This three-hour swirl of Polish phantasmagoria, from 1965, is an epic piece of japery; it celebrates visions and magic by means of labyrinthine storytelling.
The director's eye for baroque black-and-white imagery puts him behind only Bava and Welles, while the film's sharp social satire gives heft to its ambition.
By any standard, a long strange trip.
Infus[es] a similar unearthly cadenceo the swashbuckling genre that Jodorowski did to the western with El Topo.
These trials suggest a goofy, sprawling, all-purpose allegory so overstuffed with symbolism that it plays as a kind of epic spoof of the form.
Has reaches the epitome of his dazzling talent for warping cinematic time in this three hour epic, a giddy, almost unclassifiable work with elements from such disparate genre works as "The Brides of Dracula" to swashbucklers and European sex farces.
Audience Reviews for The Saragossa Manuscript
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.
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 Buñuel, 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.
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!
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