Watch: Tabu 2012 123movies, Full Movie Online – A restless retired woman teams up with her deceased neighbor’s maid to seek out a man who has a secret connection to her past life as a farm owner at the foothill of Mount Tabu in Africa..
Plot: Lisbon, Portugal, 2010. Pilar, a pious woman devoted to social causes, maintains a peculiar relationship with her neighbor Aurora, a temperamental old woman obsessed with gambling who lives tormented by a mysterious past.
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A film like no other. Unmissable
This is a tough film to discuss in 500 words. It’s so multifaceted, textural and moody. I’ll try my hardest, but from the off, I must suggest that you just experience Tabu for yourself. You may have a different experience or opinion to me, you may feel the exact same. Either way, you won’t regret it.
Borrowing the name, two-part structure and love affair-plus-colonisation premise from F.W. Murnau’s 1931 classic, Miguel Gomes’ Tabu is a film of unmistakable vintage. But it’s magnificently subversive too. With one foot in the past, one in the future and a head orbiting in it’s own artistic universe, it’s a little thing of beguiling beauty.
Tabu opens with a tragicomic prologue centring around an exasperated explorer trekking through the harsh jungles of Southern Africa. Through Gomes’ voice-over narration, we learn that he is distraught over the death of his wife some years ago, and this lost adventure will be his last. No crocodile tears on display, but there is an ominous little croc that lingers through the sequence – and the rest of the film – with cold, mournful eyes. In a word, stunning.
From here, we begin with the chapter “A LOST PARADISE”. In something that resembles a present day Lisbon, we meet our leading lady Aurora (Laura Soveral). A compulsive gambler whose memories are slipping away from her, yet images of hairy monkeys and African farmers still manage to pervade her dreams. Whilst she tries to recall her youth with altruistic next-door-neighbour Pilar (Teresa Madruga) and Santa (Isabel Cardoso), a black woman whom Aurora often woefully calls a housemaid/tyrannous witch, the fatalism of the prologue suggests that Aurora will only be able to relive her glory days in the afterlife.
Cue part 2, “PARADISE”. Told through vivid flashbacks and narration from former lover Gian- Luca Venture, we’re finally made aware of Aurora’s past once lost. Married to a wealthy farmer in the idyllic rural setting of Mozambique, Aurora embarks on a fiery affair with the devilishly handsome nomad Ventura, after her eager pet crocodile crossed the forbidden line into his neighbouring garden. It’s a time of lost innocence and furtive whispers, so Gomes decides to strip away all forms of diegetic sound, leaving just the bodies and faces of incredible actors Ana Moreira and Carloto Cotta to express this simple, enduring love.
Like Leos Carax’s comeback success Holy Motors, Tabu is a film entrenched in film history and scholarly technique (unsurprising considering that they both started out as film critics). But Gomes goes one step further. Filmed in intoxicating black & white by cinematographer Rui Poças, Tabu is beautifully photographed; from the alarmingly stark opening image of a sweaty explorer looking lost in an African jungle, to the final image of a baby crocodile turning away from the camera and crawling out of frame. In an inspired touch, the two halves are filmed in different film stocks – the first in familiar 35mm, and the second in exquisitely old-fashioned 16mm. They mingle together to create a film with a perennial quality, existing as a piece of cinematic artifice but with a modern, reflexive twist.
Similarly, the sound construction is unnervingly good. Mixing the deadened silence with ambient sounds, poetic narration and a Portuguese rendition of “Be My Little Baby” (made famous by The Ronettes) the composite sonisphere speaks for the unspoken, tabooed love to exceptionally powerful effect.
Because the film’s aesthetic is so dazzling, it’s easy to lose track of the whimsical storyline. Based on diary entries and private letters, it has a very nostalgic feel, similar to Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil. Just like that film, Tabu isn’t a perfect movie, there’s pacing issues and Gomes seems to be wrestling with three separate endings. But there’s enough moments of unforgettable virtuosity, grace and intellect to make Tabu unmissable.
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A KVIFF viewing, the third feature-length work from Portuguese director Miguel Gomes, which was among the contenders for the Golden Bear in Berlin earlier this year, and wound up winning the FIPRESCI Prize and Alfred Bauer Award.
The film is entirely in Black & White, which has a deceiving anachronism effect and injects an appeasing vigor to enliven the storyline. With being equally divided into two parts, the first half is the contemporary story between a middle-aged woman, Pillar and her senior neighbor Aurora (who is live alone with her black servant Santa, and strongly believes her estranged daughter and Santa are plotting against her); the second half is completely B&W silent, with an elaborate voice-over from Aurora’s former lover Ventura, revealing a secret history about he and Aurora’s love affair back in Africa half an century ago. It is a distinctively interesting composition, which contributes a pleasant illusion that we were watching a double-feature.
But by comparison, the first part is more austere and compelling while the second part is basically about a superfluously hackneyed liaison between a married woman and a romantic womanizer, the only worthiness is that it is between two white people in Africa, and if one intends to get some in-depth probe about the continent and its people, the film could hardly suffices this curiosity.
Between the female correlation in the first part, Pilar has a manifest momentum to propel the storyline, and ruefully there will not be a third paragraph to recount her story out of the lightly over-hyped second part, her story behind might own more worth to be revisited and explored. Teresa Madruga and Laura Soveral are spellbinding during their screen time, if only the second half could be reinterpreted in another way, the film could have been a fabulous essay about love, aging and mystery behind everyone’s usual representation.
Original Language pt
Runtime 1 hr 58 min (118 min), 1 hr 50 min (110 min) (Taiwan)
Rated Not Rated
Genre Drama, Romance
Director Miguel Gomes
Writer Miguel Gomes, Mariana Ricardo
Actors Telmo Churro, Miguel Gomes, Hortêncílio Aquina
Country Portugal, Germany, Brazil, France, Spain
Awards 20 wins & 46 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio 1.37 : 1
Film Length 3,540 m (Portugal, 35 mm)
Negative Format 16 mm
Cinematographic Process Super 16
Printed Film Format 35 mm (blow-up)