Critic's Corner
Desson Howe - Weekend section, "It feels labored and portentous."

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'Ulysses' Gaze'

Greek filmmaker Theodoros Angelopoulos is one of a dying breed: a visionary filmmaker with a masterful sense of visual and thematic composition. Unfortunately, this winner of the 1995 Grand Jury prize at Cannes (thatís the runner-up award), which stars Harvey Keitel, isnít the best way to appreciate what heís capable of. In the three-hour epic, a Greek filmmaker called A. (an out-of-place Keitel) returns from exile in America to find three missing film reels. The treasured reels, reportedly made by two famous Greek filmmakers during the countryís silent era, amount to A.ís Holy Grail. And his journey to find them -- through the war-shattered Balkans by train, automobile and foot -- is an existential odyssey. Visually, as always, the directorís work (photographed by Yorgos Arvanitis) is stunning. But this grim travelogue through a landscape of despair lacks internal power. It feels labored and portentous. -- Desson Howe
Rated NR
Director: Theodoros Angelopoulos
Cast: Harvey Keitel
Running Time: 3 hours
Filmography: Harvey Keitel