Combustible Celluloid
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With: João Carreira, Carloto Cotta, Ana Cristina De Oliveira, Nuno Gil, Teresa Madruga
Written by: João Pedro Rodrigues, Paulo Rebelo
Directed by: João Pedro Rodrigues
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Portuguese with English subtitles
Running Time: 98
Date: 05/18/2005

Two Drifters (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

The Skate Story

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Portuguese director Joao Pedro Rodrigues made his feature debut with the odd, sinister O Fantasma (made in 2000 and released in 2003), the tale of a gay garbage collector who seeks ever more dangerous forms of sex and finally decides to run around town in a rubber "phantom" suit. Rodrigues' intelligent, deadpan direction gave the audience little indication as to how to take it; the same goes for his new film, Two Drifters (originally entitled Odette), though the tone here is slightly more absurd and sometimes even sweet. That's thanks to the haunting Ana Cristina De Oliveira as Odette, who wears roller skates to her job as a supermarket clerk. Her neighbor, Pedro (João Carreira) -- whom she's never met -- dies in a car crash leaving behind a grieving boyfriend, Rui (Nuno Gil). While Rui deals with his loss through drinking and anonymous sex, Odette becomes obsessed with the absent Pedro, hurling herself on his grave and imaging that she's pregnant with his child. With a little more shaping, Two Drifters, which opens today at the Lumiere, could rank near Tsai Ming-liang's comedies of alienation.

DVD Details: Strand's DVD comes only with a theatrical trailer, as well as trailers for four other Strand releases: A Year Without Love, Lemming, Time to Leave and Stryker. There aren't even any subtitle options or 16x9 expansion. It's too bad because a more interesting DVD might have brought more viewers to this odd, wonderful little film.

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