O convento (Manoel de Oliveira 1995)
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Added: 6 years ago
[scene opens with Helene and Baltar walking through the woods together]
BALTAR: [translated] Look at those branches. They are huge arms ... defending darkness from the sun's prehistoric threat. From a time when good and evil were indistinguishable.
HELENE: [translated] They are now.
BALTAR: [translated] Now it is even better. People are willfully evil.
HELENE: [translated] Are you?
BALTAR: [translated] Me? I love you.
[he reaches out to brush her hair, but she pulls away]
HELENE: [translated] Don't forget, you promised to tell me this forest's secrets.
BALTAR: [translated] Well ... Look. Back there, in the middle of the forest.
[he stares off camera]
BALTAR: [translated] There lies an abyss of instincts.
[she walks up behind him and looks]
BALTAR: [translated] It bewitches anyone who comes near. Look how enticing everything is.
[she moves in for a closer look]
BALTAR: [translated] It is powerful and dangerous.
HELENE: [translated] Dangerous? Why?
BALTAR: [translated] Because of the abyss.
HELENE: [translated] The abyss?
BALTAR: [translated] The abyss there. It devours unsullied instincts.
BALTAR: [translated] No one returns from there. Only I know the way.
[she starts walking down the path towards the middle of the forest, then stops and looks back at him]
HELENE: [translated] I have never met a man as seductive as you ... with such powers. You have touched my heart deeply. I am so attracted to you, that I could follow you wherever you wished.
BALTAR: [translated] Oh, Helene ...
HELENE: [translated] But first, I want proof of your sincerity.
BALTAR: [translated] For you, I will do anything.
HELENE: [translated] Then avenge me.
BALTAR: [translated] Avenge you?
HELENE: [translated] Yes. On that fool, Piedade.
BALTAR: [translated] Piedade ... Why Piedade? She is innocent. I am keeping her for some terrible sin. Is that not enough?
HELENE: [translated] No. That is exactly what I want to avoid ... She must not fall into my husband's arms.
BALTAR: [translated] You love him.
HELENE: [translated] No, Baltar. It is not love. Merely pride ... You know how women are. Bring me proof, I shall be yours.
BALTAR: [translated] Say the word. I'll obey.
HELENE: [translated] Bring Piedade here, that she may fall.
BALTAR: [translated] Here? I'll do it ... for you.
The Convent (Portuguese: O Convento) is a 1995 film by Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, starring Catherine Deneuve and John Malkovich and based on the novel As Terras Do Risco by Agustina Bessa-Luis.
The journey of Michael Padovic, a professor from the U.S.A, who arrives with his wife, Helene, at a Portuguese convent where he expects to find the documents needed to prove his theory: Shakespeare was born in Spain, not in England, and was Jewish. The main characters arrive at the convent where they are greeted by an enigmatic stranger who refers to himself as Baltar; he is the keeper of the convent. Other characters include a fisherman, the beautiful librarian who is attracted to Dr. Padovic's work, and an elderly man who goes by the name of Balthazar.
Catherine Deneuve as Helene
John Malkovich as Michael Padovic
Luis Miguel Cintra as Baltar
Leonor Silveira as Piedade
Duarte de Almeida as Baltazar
Heloisa Miranda as Berta
Gilberto Goncalves as Fisherman
The story centers on the unconventional American professor, Michael Padovic, and his stunningly beautiful wife, Helene, who journey to an eerie Portuguese convent to prove that Shakespeare was, in reality, a Jewish Spaniard. They journey to the spooky old convent of Arrabida where they are housed by the sophisticated, but rather creepy guardian of the monastery, Baltar, who immediately seems attracted to Helene. In order to spend more time with her, Baltar arranges for Michael to spend all his time in the convent's great library; he is assisted by a beautiful young librarian. It is the wicked Baltar who tries to tempt Michael (in the way that Mephistopheles tempted Faust) into becoming immortal through his research and writing.
The Convent [O convento] (1995, Portugal/France). John Malkovich as American professor Michael Padovic goes to an old convent in Portugal to research his thesis that Shakespeare was born in Spain. His wife Helene (played by Catherine Deneuve) thinks he is spending too much time with a young, beautiful librarian (Leonor Silveira as Piedade).