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We should all be so lucky as to have a career like his.
Manoel de Oliveira, the oldest living active filmmaker, with a career that spanned nine decades from the silent era to the present, has died. He was 106. News of Oliveira’s death was confirmed on the website for the city of Porto, Portugal, where the director was born in 1908.
As impressive as his longevity was, Oliveira is most highly regarded as the dean of Portuguese cinema and the filmmaker most responsible for heightening the prestige of his country’s film culture on the world stage.
His work drew considerable accolades — he received no fewer than 12 career achievement prizes from major film festivals, including a career Venice Golden Lion and a special jury prize (for 1991’s “The Divine Comedy”) as well as a Cannes jury prize for his 1999 film “The Letter” — but distribution of Oliveira’s films, especially in the U.S., was relatively limited given his well-honed practice of adapting highly literary texts, often directing actors for extreme theatrical effect and giving the spoken word equal status with the image.
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