Yellow is the color of my true love’s walls, and floors…

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Yellow is the color of my true love’s walls, and floors, and almost everything else in RECOLLECTIONS OF A YELLOW HOUSE, screening tomorrow and kicking off our 5 film tribute to cinema’s peverse poet laureate. Charlie Chaplin meets Dostoevksy’s Undergound Man in the figure of João de Deus, a natural-born tramp with a chip on his shoulder (and a thing for epaulets). This spindly, mangy hombre, with his cavernous cheeks and sunken eyes (oh yes, he is played by the writer-director Monteiro freakishly resembling both Woody Allen and Nosferatu!), his bedbugs and his mouth sores, is the curse of this landlady. What’s worse, he lusts after woman’s clarinet-playing daughter, both in and out of her marching-band uniform. Still, they share the same false pride and same wretched prison—not the boarding house but the body. With a dry humor reminiscent of the Czech New Wave and a visual sensuality that is distinctly Portugese, with dialogue and sound orchestrated to the touch of the image, Monteiro has given deadpan a new meaning. And he has created a picaresque tale for the antihero. By the end of the film, his João is a shell of his former shell and what is black humor has quietly metamorphosed into aggravated assault—not so much the tragedy as the persistance of a ridiculous man.  If you’re a Northwest Film Forum member the screening is free. Seriously don’t miss it!

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