Oliveira returned to the center of Portugal’s film scene in the 1960s with Acto da Primavera, a work that marks a significant change in the director’s trajectory and that initiates some of the cinematic strategies that he would develop more fully in later films. In Acto da Primavera, Oliveira offers a version of a popular representation of the Passion of Christ, enacted by members of a rural community in northern Portugal, derived from the Auto da Paixão de Jesus Cristo (1559), by Francisco Vaz de Guimarães.
The lives of the affluent residents of an exclusive town in the French countryside converge at a chateau owned by Marie-Agnes de Bayonette, a feisty, physically disabled woman, and maintained by her elderly cousin, Solange. When de Bayonette dies suddenly, cultures and personalities clash as an international cast of characters — including real estate vultures, bargain hunters and numerous distant cousins — descend upon the chateau.
Each night in Paris, hundreds of men and women anonymously use telephone lines that date from the German Occupation and are no longer listed to talk to each other, to love each other. These people, shipwrecked lovers, are dying to love, to escape the abyss of solitude.
Quebec, the 1830s and 1840s. As she attends the bedside of Jérôme, her second husband, Élisabeth recalls her youth, her marriage to her first husband, Antoine, life in remote Kamouraska where he is seigneur, their love dissolving in his mental illness and cruelties, her falling in love with an American physician, Georges Nelson, and the aftermath of Antoine’s violent death.
The familiar conflicts of a film director planning to make a movie about his life and the confrontation he has with his wife, an actress who was turned down for such project in which she wanted to play herself.
Sweden in 1782. A young nobleman, named Jacob returns from France to his home and cherished sister Charlotte who is engaged to Baron Alsameden. The siblings close relationship becomes incestuous and with fear that the disclosure of Charlotte’s pregnancy will make society view them as libertines, the lovers ultimately choose to part, Jacob decides to leave the country and Charlotte if left to marry the Baron.
A love triangle through the four seasons. A young woman, living in a relationship, falls in love with a married man. If someone had told her that she in a few months should be the man’s mistress, she would become aggrieved and indignant. She was certainly not a woman who would mess with married men.
Tells a story of a Pakistani boy’s experience and obsession with death and the Zoroastrian rituals of purification and regeneration. Shows how he develops into a young revolutionary and confronts love, religious conflict, and his own death.