The Letter (1999)
aka La Lettre First screened in May 2020
Director: Manoel de Oliveira. Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Pedro Abrunhosa, Antoine Chappey, Leonor Silveira, Françoise Fabian, Maria João Pires, Anny Romand, Luís Miguel Cintra, Stanislas Merhar, Claude Lévèque, Marcel Terroux, Jean-Loup Wolff. Screenplay: Manoel de Oliveira (inspired by the book The Princess of Clèves by Madame de La Fayette). Twitter Capsule:
Strange, spare story, blending cultural and literary conventions of 17th-century source with modern idioms and affects.
Oliveira contrasts but also blurs his antique inspiration with his contemporary moment. Chamber drama and arena rock in an odd pas-de-deux.
Doesn't fully shake the foundations of a certain kind of austere Europhile art cinema, but it's impressively idiosyncratic and moves unpredictably.