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8.5
/10
406 Ratings

Limite

Directed by Mário Peixoto
Brazil, 1931
Avant-Garde, Silent, Drama

Synopsis

In a drifting small boat, two women and a man recalls their recent past. One of the women escaped from the prison; the other one was desperate; and the man had lost his lover. They have no further strength or desire to live and have reached the limit of their existences.

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Limite Directed by Mário Peixoto
From there it’s even more special: I first saw Mario Peixoto’s Limite (1931) on PBS in the Seventies, and, as far as I know, this weird avant-garde Brazilian silent hasn’t shown up anywhere within reach since. It’s certainly never been released or home-videoed, and yet here it is (thanks, Marty), a brooding, abstracted tale of romantic failure and intertwining lives envisioned as a web of close-ups, ellipses, seething symbols, and scorched Brazilian sun.
August 08, 2017
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Like Greed (1924), Citizen Kane (1941), A Brighter Summer Day (1991), or Hard to Be a God (2013), it is a rare cult film that lives up to its mythology, a singular work born out of peculiar insularity. When seen today, the film still seems to open doors to cinematic territories that remain vastly unexplored. This historical missing link can really be understood only through this prism, a legacy of decay, missed connections, and passionate reinvention.
May 31, 2017
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The film constructs a rhythmic approach to time and space that stands alongside the finest efforts of Abel Gance, Jean Epstein, and Sergei Eisenstein… Close-ups and canted framings govern nearly every scene, as does an unforgettable arrangement of music, featuring Igor Stravinsky and Erik Satie, among others. The recurring image of a woman bound by handcuffs and staring into the camera belongs among the greatest emblems in all of silent cinema.
May 31, 2017
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