A darling of the festival circuit thanks to his delightful breakthrough feature Our Beloved Month of August, Portugal’s Miguel Gomes confirms his promise with this new release – among the most singular and captivating films you’ll see this year. Shot in gorgeous black and white, and in the vintage Academy format, it’s a rich, beguiling affair exploring the relationship between desire and fantasies – both cinematic and ideological. Starting off with a sombre modern-day portrait of a Lisbon civil rights lawyer worrying about her seemingly dotty old neighbour, halfway through it takes a stylistic leap, presenting memories of the old girl’s illicit colonial amours as a dream-like refraction of some vintage Hollywood jungle melodrama. Cannily working in a string of Phil Spector kitsch-pop ballads, it’s an unusual combination to say the least but one which affords all manner of scintillating connections, as it ponders the on-going psychological ripple-effect of a cultural and political legacy which refuses to stay in the past. Dazzling, provocative, and thrillingly original. (Notes supplied by IFI)
Tabu is released at the IFI and selected cinemas from 07 September 2012.