Ulysses' Gaze (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Ulysses' Gaze Photos

Movie Info

Winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, this drama centers on the Balkan conflict as viewed through the eyes of a filmmaker named A (Harvey Keitel). Director Theo Angelopoulos wrote the screenplay, drawing from personal experiences. A is a Greek émigré director who returns to his homeland after 35 years in the U.S., ostensibly to screen his latest film, which is so controversial that it attracts religious protests. In fact, A's real purpose is to search for three reels of undeveloped film that may be the first ever shot by pioneer Balkan filmmakers the Manakis brothers, who documented simple circa-1900 peasant life. A's Homeric journey includes flashbacks into past historical events. He travels by taxi to Albania, where he enlists the help of a film archivist (Maia Morgenstern, who plays all four female roles). She joins him on a train ride to Bucharest, Romania. An extensive flashback chronicles A's childhood under Communism in Bucharest. His next stop is Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, where he is directed to Sarajevo. Angelopoulos mixes scenes shot during the actual Balkan war with historic re-enactments and dreamscapes to examine the role of the artist in political upheaval. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi
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Critic Reviews for Ulysses' Gaze

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (5)

Magisterially filmed, this movie demands at almost every instant to be regarded as a masterpiece, though for me it's too full of itself and its own virtue. Still, I can't deny it's an experience worth having.

Full Review… | November 15, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Constructed from long elegant takes, and moving fluidly between naturalism and tableaux-like theatricality, it's a mesmerising work of arresting beauty and impressive emotional power.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The overall effect is genuinely entrancing, with a sense of tragic inevitability that gives meaning to the film's maddeningly attenuated rhythms.

August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

This grim travelogue through a landscape of despair lacks internal power. It feels labored and portentous.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

What arrogance and self-importance this film reveals.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Modernist stylization has its place in narrative film, but in this case less would have meant much more.

Full Review… | November 15, 2007
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for Ulysses' Gaze

Angelopoulos' film is lyrically evocative but painfully self-important and pretentious. If you looked up in a reference book why most American's hate foreign films you would probably see pictures of Ulysses' Gaze staring back at you.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

I think any cinephile, even a minor one like me, needs to watch this. Very unhurried in its approach. The story is told mainly through visuals and you need to soak those visuals in. I plan to buy this since I know one viewing is scratching the surface.

Jared Halsell
Jared Halsell

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