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Manoel dans l'île des merveilles 1984
Description: Manuel is a young man who travels from long ago to the show and then to the future.
Released: N/A Director: N/A Writers: N/A Actors: Ruben de Freitas, Teresa Madruga, Fernando Heitor, Marco Paulo de Freitas Genres: Drama, Fantasy
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Manoel dans l'île des merveilles Reviews:

This Portuguese mini-series is extremely rare. There was a translated ver shown on Australian TV only once. If you can, test to search a copy of this broadcast. Its worth it.This three episode series comprises the journeys of a young boy. They every enjoy out like a fairy tale. The mood is very light and dreamy. The stories are nice and very unique. The first two episodes are fairly straight forward, but the third is quite difficult to understand. It doesn't really matter though, because the mood and the visuals are what makes the them so good.Its difficult to describe... the series is not action oriented, but it is quick paced. It left me with the feeling that, even though I had just watched it, I had heard these stories as a kid and were remembering them years later. This is definately worthwhile. If you ever receive a possibility to see Manoel on the Isle of Marvels, do it. Its a shame to allow this series fade into oblivion.


This review is for the full-length, 152 minute version, Manoel dans l'île des merveilles.Part 1, Les Destins de Manoel: Manoel is a 7-year old kid (the actor looks a tiny older) living on Madeira, an island west of Portugal. He lives with his mother and father and at the beginning of the movie they have suffered a robbery, the loss of the family jewels. Manoel doesn't really know how necessary this will be as he goes off to school; he hears a strange voice, guiding him and calling him, and he decides to skip school and visit a forbidden garden behind a gate. Walking through the door he enters a large launch zone and a feeling of mystery and oppressiveness is upon him and the viewer. He walks through a cave to a cliff above the coast and meets other young boy, apparently himself from the future, who says him the storyline of what he has done today and what the future will bring. This starts a string of episodes in which whether Manoel goes off with a hoary old seaman, search the jewels, answers few questions from his teacher in the right method – or doesn't do these things – changes the course of his and his family's life. Finally in an effort to avert catastrophe, it seems that his only choice is death for himself, but then… Part 2, Le pique-nique des rêves: Only on a particular mountain meadow can Manoel and his fellow school-children engage in a common dream, a dream that their teacher wishes to control so that they can achieve something the island needs, a hospital; but Manoel cannot receive to sleep and he screws up the dream, encountering a strange boy who is whacking a tree to receive wine from it. The tree is a relative, and the boy has control over his relatives who serve him as trees, and over the birds; he is apparently an immortal magician. He tricks Manoel into switching bodies with him through a coin that Manoel gives him, and Manoel instantly regrets the switch as he cannot function in the adult world. He tries to communicate with his parents, but they think him angry and the wizard supports to hold him away by attacking him with birds; Manoel finally steals into the house at night and finds the coin, and the wizard disappears after the switch. Manoel is sent to live with his aunt and cousins in a large old mansion some distance away at this point, as his mother dies suddenly (again – her death was the first which he went back in time to avert in the first episode). He is driven there by a Danish sailor who speaks English to him. His 2 male cousins, about his age, enjoy weird violent minigames and there are apparently ghosts; his older female cousin is a smoker and perhaps a rebel. We are also introduced to the world's woman chess champion, Marylina, a woman about Manoel's age who was eugenically bred and artificially born from a girl who was dead, a storyline which harks back to a storyline said by the old sailor in episode 1 of a shark-child. Manoel listens to her storyline on the radio, then plays an odd minigame on the roof of the house with his cousins as the sun is setting, in one of the most visually striking sequences of the film, and then… Part 3, La petite championne d'echecs: Part 3 seems to me more overtly theatrically/filmic than the first two episodes; at the beginning Manoel's aunt may evoke Norma Desmond, and the house that faded, grand movie-château, and there is even seemingly a William Holden type, though no one lies in the swimming pool, in fact at one mission Manoel flies above it, by magic. There is a sailor who visits the house, who may be a younger ver of the old seamen in part 1, or not; hand-shadow minigames are played by children and sailor. There is a striking stage where Manoel is pulled through a keyhole while listening to the adults; one of Manoel's cousins disappears and the aid of Marylina, the only person smart enough to solve the mystery, is enlisted. There is talk of mysteries and conspiracies, the Eiffel Turret and coca cola. A long stage in a nursery with the kids testing and just a tip of the erotic, childish and wonderful but then turning scary as the sailor returns, perhaps a villain; he is killed and we search out that he is but a doll. Adult Manoel, years later, walks through the empty mansion and sadly pronounces it smaller than he remembered it….and then 7-year-old Manoel is watching a group of children, much like his classmates from Episode 2, being led up a hill; this time they are dressed in uniforms and are telling their mother's name, "Mary" over and over.A movie celebrating the magic and the terrors of the childish imagination, obviously; firmly grounded in Ruiz's well-developed surrealistic world-view, which seems to derive in part from influences as diverse as Borges, H.G. Wells, Orson Welles, Jacques Rivette, Luis Buñuel, filtered through his own displacement and his pan-cultural history as a filmmaker and a person. 'Manoel' is a phantasmagoria of concepts about imagination, adulthood seen from childhood, destiny, the nature of play, performance, magic, voyages….it is very beautifully shot and evocative of a timeless, mystical zone outside of the globe we know, despite its obvious weak budget and 16mm format. Ruiz is a master of sound as well as photo – his birds are as terrifying as Hitchcock's, and he also gets a unbelievable tons of melody from his usual composer, Jorge Arriagada – lullabies, lush Hollywood romantic symphonic, weird electronic scary melody reminiscent of "Dr. Who", and the lovely music-box lullabies that launch and close each segment.



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