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Tabu [Blu-ray]

17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Teresa Madruga, Laura Soveral, Ana Moreira
  • Directors: Miguel Gomes
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Subtitled
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: New Wave Films
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Jan. 2013
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009K5693I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,797 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

After Our Beloved Month of August, Miguel Gomes returns with Tabu, an engaging, provocative and poetic film set both in Portugal and in an un-named African location.

Bearing the same title as F. W. Murnau s classic Tabu (1931), shot in black and white and taking place at least partly in a distant land, Gomes third feature film is divided in two distinctive yet complementary storylines.

Whilst the first part, shot in 35mm and in the present time, portrays a society wallowing in nostalgia, the second part, shot in 16mm, goes back in time and plays with history, sound, the concept of linear narration, as well as the ideas of melodrama, slapstick, passion and tragedy. Both parts feature Aurora at two different stages of her life: an older Aurora regrets a past long gone while a younger Aurora dreams of a more passionate life. A virtuoso film, Tabu also offers a reflection on Europe s colonial past.

EXTRAS
A Christmas Inventory (short film)
31 Means Trouble (short film)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alan Pavelin VINE VOICE on 4 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD
Apart from anything else, this extraordinary Portuguese film is stunning to look at, black-and-white in Academy ratio with the second half as a silent movie with added sounds and voice-over commentary (comparison with The Artist would not come amiss). In the first half, set in present-day Lisbon, a depressed middle-aged woman called Pilar is trying to cope with her dying demented friend Aurora. Aurora indicates that she would like to contact a long-lost male friend called Ventura, also living in Lisbon but at an unknown address. After Aurora dies, Pilar tracks down Ventura, who proceeds to tell her the story we see in the second half, where he and Aurora had an illicit love affair in the 1960s in an unnamed colony in Africa. On watching the film a second time, various ramblings of the elderly Aurora make sense, in the light of the dramatic events of part 2 (which can be enjoyed as a short silent movie on its own). Oh, and there's lots of shots of crocodiles, both baby and grown-up (also relevant to the story).
Disc 2 consists of two short films by Gomes, of little interest as far as I could see. And there are no "extras" worth speaking of. But those deficiencies are fully compensated for by the fascinating and extraordinary Tabu.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Xenophon on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD
Tabu is quite simply an exceptional love film of love and loss, tragic and humane, realistic and moving. What at first seems like a film about an elderly lady in modern-day Lisbon suffering from dementia and trying to hold on to the last scraps of her memory about her previous life, turns out to be a story about naive, youthful love in exotic climates.

Not wanting to give much more away, I end here. Tabu is a most see film that brings a refreshing twist to the age-old theme of love.
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Format: DVD
`Tabu' is Portugese film-maker Miguel Gomes' third film, at its heart is a story about dreams, love and old age. `Tabu' is set in two parts, one that is current in Lisbon, Portugal and one in the past in Mozambique, Africa.

At the centre of both parts of the film is Aurora (Laura Soveral), an elderly woman living in Lisbon whose neglectful daughter has left her in the care of her African maid, Santa (Isabel Muñoz Cardoso). Self-absorbed and disenchanted with life, Aurora is unfortunate to have her fathers gambling habit and regularly blows her monthly allowance at the casino. Having no money to get home, her neighbour Pilar (Teresa Madruga) and Santa pick her up, Aurora explaining that a dream made her believe she'd get lucky. Ill-health forces her to ask Pilar to find an old flame, Ventura (Henrique Espiríto Santo), and his recollections of their love affair in Mozambique become the film's second part.

As `Tabu' moves into the past, it switches from 35mm to 16mm film, gaining hazier tones to match the fading memories. Many of the supposedly random moments and puzzling events in part one of Aurora's life soon fit into place perfectly as all is soon revealed. The 50 years or so younger and more egotistical Aurora (Ana Moreira) is married to plantation owner (Ivo Müller), she embarks in a doomed romance with the young Ventura (Carloto Cotta). The second part of this film is unusual, only music, the ambient sounds of Africa, and the older Ventura's narration can be heard, never the characters' voices.

Initially `Tabu' is quirky and intriguing, but its playful sense of mystery and ambition becomes annoying the longer the narration carries the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Atkinson on 10 Aug. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
I'll admit I struggled at first to get in to this but from about a third of the way through I started to enjoy it more.
While the first half is, I would say not as strong as the second it is an enjoyable nonetheless and you can see why things are as they are when the second half plays out. The English dialogue parts are a little strange and seemingly contrived and awkwardly delivered but it doesn't detract.
The second half is the story of Aurora narrated by the lover seen throughout the second part. There is no audible dialogue only the background sounds of the waterfall and gun shots etc, I suspect to give an element of uncertainty for the viewer as if being recalled from memory. You only have clips of narration and the images to build the story of what is being said for yourself.
It is essentially a tragic love story and while I wouldn't normally choose that genre to watch this a different slant on how to make one. I'm in two minds as to whether audible speech in the second part would be better for it but we'll never know so I'll enjoy it on face value and say that it is worth watching, even if it is a touch on the long side.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jenn. on 31 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A strangely haunting, atmospheric and disturbing film about obsession. This film demonstrates how the destructiveness of obsessive-compulsive thinking can take hold in one's own life, and through us, lives of others, both in the present and the future. In this case, the obsession changed its focus from sexual obsession to gambling, the latter conducted as if in a dream.
The crocodile represents the symbolic aspects of both repetitively returning to something familiar, alongside an omnipresent self-destructiveness and threat. The creature is there, half submerged, representing the conscious and the unconscious aspects of the behaviour of the protagonists: particularly the female lead.
If ever there was an argument for Freud's theory of the unconscious in the sense that what is not consciously known, and therefore an aspect of the 'unthought known' can and will be acted out in another form, this is it.
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