The world’s oldest living moviemaker


When referring to the Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, it is now — and has been for some time — customary to affix the phrase “world’s oldest active filmmaker.” The operative word is “active.” Mr. Oliveira, who turns 100 in December, has made at least one movie a year since 1990 (when he was 82). His late-career surge, a gratifyingly long goodbye, defies preconceptions of what an artist’s twilight period should be. Mr. Oliveira’s undaunted productivity is remarkable, as is the undimmed creative vigor of his films.

John Malkovich, like Catherine Deneuve, has appeared in Mr. de Oliveira’s movies. “I don’t know if a career like his will ever be possible again,” Mr. Malkovich says.

The cultural critic Edward Said, in his writings on “late style,” identified two versions of “artistic lateness.” One produces crowning glories, models of “harmony and resolution” in which a lifetime of knowledge and mastery are serenely evident. The other is an altogether more restless sensibility, the province of artists who go anything but gently into that good night, turning out works of “intransigence, difficulty and unresolved contradiction.”

(Source: New York Times)

Directors, Filmmaking

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