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102-year-old filmmaker’s flick coming to Wexner Center

“The Strange Case of Angelica” seems not to be the only strange case in this film’s saga. 

The film, showing at the Wexner Center tonight at 7 p.m., is a work of Manoel de Oliveira, a 102-year-old Portuguese filmmaker, a feat that makes him the oldest active filmmaker in the world, according to the Harvard Film Archive website. 

An official selection of the Cannes, Toronto and New York Film Festivals in 2010, the film chronicles a young photographer who experiences love in death. 

The film is set in the 1950s, and portrays the story of a young photographer named Isaac, played by Ricardo Trepa, who is hired by a family to photograph their deceased daughter Angelica, played by Pilar Lopez de Ayala, who comes to life only through the lens of Isaac. 

“Despite his age, his films are quite vital,” said Chris Stults, assistant film/video curator at the Wexner Center. “They feel outside of time in a way other contemporary films don’t. His sense of history feels much more authentic, even in the rhythms of film.”

De Oliveira originally hails from Portugal, where he currently lives. He is the only living filmmaker who started making films in the silent era, working through many different changes in his decades in the film industry, Stults said. 

A number of de Oliveira’s films have been shown at the Wexner Center over the years. 

“He is a filmmaker that our regular audience is going to be familiar with,” Stults said.

Some students are looking forward to the film.

“I really enjoy the genre of foreign films, and judging by Oliveira’s prior films that I have seen, I am looking forward to seeing this film at the Wex this week,” said Rae Berent, fourth-year in art at Ohio State. 

There have been limited screenings of the film since its release last December in New York City, and Wexner Center officials are pleased to provide one of the screening sites.

“We want students to see the Wexner as a movie theatre in their own backyard, that shows some of the best international and independent films, such as ‘The Strange Case of Angelica,'” said Karen Simonian, Director of Media and Public Relations at the Wexner Center.

After the film shows Thursday evening, there will be only one more American screening, set to take place in California. 

Tickets for the show are $5 for members and $7 for the general public and can be purchased at the box office. 

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