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O Ornitólogo (2016)

O Ornitólogo (2016)

Paul HamyJoão Pedro RodriguesXelo CagiaoHan Wen
João Pedro Rodrigues


O Ornitólogo (2016) is a Portuguese,English,Mandarin,Mirandese,Latin movie. João Pedro Rodrigues has directed this movie. Paul Hamy,João Pedro Rodrigues,Xelo Cagiao,Han Wen are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2016. O Ornitólogo (2016) is considered one of the best Adventure,Drama,Mystery movie in India and around the world.

Fernando is a 35-year-old ornithologist. He decides to go down a river in a kayak, hoping to find extremely rare black storks. Distracted by the beauty of the landscape, Fernando is soon thrown overboard by the current, and his motionless, bloody body reaches the riverbank.

O Ornitólogo (2016) Reviews

  • Birdman, or How to Make an Audience Not Care What Your Movie Is About


    You can't watch "The Ornithologist" as a traditional movie. You have to instead approach it as you would a poem, just opening yourself up to sensations and images to see what they might say to you. I can and have really enjoyed this kind of movie watching -- I'm thinking of a film like "Last Year at Marienbad" or any number of David Lynch's movies. But they have to be done extremely well to work, and "The Ornithologist" just isn't. The motifs in this film are largely either sexual or religious/spiritual. A bird watcher finds himself lost in the wilderness when his canoe capsizes. He's captured by two fellow hikers who intend to castrate him as part of some strange ritual, but he escapes. He comes across some random dude and has sex with him on the beach before stabbing him. He comes across some other dudes dressed like birds and engaging in some kind of midnight bacchanalia. Toward the end, the actor playing this man is replaced by the actual film's director. Along the way, the director shows shot after shot of birds when he seemingly has nothing else to do or say, and sometimes we even get shots of the protagonist from the birds' perspectives. Of course one will be tempted to impose meaning on all of this randomness and will probably be frustrated by the film's resistance to making that task easy. I was fine just going along for the ride, but once I realized this film wasn't saying much to me, I gave up on it and stopped caring much about anything happening on screen. It doesn't help that I'm not a remotely religious person, and that the strong religious themes in the movie meant nothing to me. Perhaps someone who is more interested in the big questions surrounding God and faith would find more to enjoy, but I'll never know. Grade: D

  • Totally mesmerizing and completely baffling


    When I came out of The Ornithologist I was totally perplexed and unsure of what I had just seen. At one point I thought it was a film about one man's descent into madness, at another I thought it was a tale of the mystery and spirituality of nature and the unknown, a film about loneliness and despair, then I thought maybe it was a character study of queerness and male sexuality. For all I know this film could be all of these things or none of them whatsoever. Because I don't want to spoil anything - and because I can't describe what happens in this film without sounding like a lunatic, I'll say this: the film follows a solitary Ornithologist who gets lost in the forest and the increasingly strange things that happen to him as he tries to find his way home. Funnily enough, The Ornithologist plays almost like a parody of an art-house film - and like most art-house, this is not a film for everyone. Consider yourself warned. In terms of its structure, the unfolding of its narrative as well as the way it uses images and sounds to unnerve and to hypnotize you - this is either going to infuriate or bewitch viewers. I can happily say that I was completely bewitched. I fell under its spell, it got under my skin in a way that I cannot describe and I couldn't stop thinking about it after I saw it. I am under no illusion that I understand most of what I saw, but watching it I could tell that this is exactly the film that director João Pedro Rodrigues wanted to make - it makes no compromises for anybody. The Ornithologist is daring and strange - there are so many unanswered questions, and I couldn't possibly explain to you what it's about or what happens without sounding certifiably insane, but I am so fine with that - I was completely mesmerized. Give it a chance; you might hate it with every fiber of your being or you might love it and be as enchanted by it as I was.

  • Truly Awful - Surreal without Sense


    A mash-up of "Dead Man," "Swiss Army Man," and "Birdman," with none of the charm of those films, in the end this never-explained mystery seemed more like "Blair Witch, now in Color!" Viewers familiar with the biblical story of St. Anthony might find a plot where I found none - What I saw was a series of improbable/nonsensical events, thrown in a blender, with a dash of male and female nudity to get the sheep into the theater. The only aspect I found interesting, was the combination of timeless elements (lost in the forest, the struggle for survival) with timely influences like cellphones and lots of plastic water bottles. Adding to the confusion: despite losing most of his supplies, his food and his meds, the lead character doesn't seem very interested in rescue. He receives text messages on his phone but never tries to reply, ignores a helicopter overhead, and turns down an offer by a group of topless women to literally call him a ride. Is our protagonist, a self-avowed atheist, trying for a spiritual journey? This viewer was left in the dark. In the final shot we have returned to the city, but have our lead characters (now a couple) survived, died, or transformed? The end credits clearly offer a clue, but it only made the movie more mysterious - and less palatable - to me.

  • A meandering Queer riff on the St. Anthony of Padua legend . . .


    The distinct individualism of João Pedro Rodrigues' worldview is turned inward via an unflaggingly intriguing poetical riff on the life of St. Anthony of Padua in "The Ornithologist." While possibly the director's most accessible film to date, calling this visually striking work "accessible" doesn't mean most audiences will fully understand Rodrigues' delightfully meandering paths, nor appreciate his homoerotic, playfully blasphemous modernised hagiography. Religious conservatives will be as apoplectic as they were with Godard's "Hail Mary," but art-house lovers, including those not always in sync with the "To Die Like a Man" helm-er's style should find much pleasure, even if they're perplexed by what it all means. Narratively, the film gets even more bizarre. A Latin-speaking Amazon (performance artist Juliane Elting, whose stage moniker pays fantastic tribute to Julian Eltinge) calls Fernando by the name Anthony, and by the time he meets Jesus' identical twin brother, Thomas, actor Hamy has been replaced by director Rodrigues. Visually, "The Ornithologist" is Rodrigues' most classically shot film, and the first entirely lenses outdoors. Regular collaborator Rui Poças brings out the richness of the forest and river canyon in all its natural splendours, at times almost hinting at a European version of the sylvan spirit of Thai magical realism rather than the lurid spectacle of the director's "The Last Time I Saw Macao." Unsurprisingly given both the title and the director's academic training, avian scenes are lovingly realised and a constant source of wonder.

  • Where are the storks, anyway?


    A staunch queer cinema visionary and nonconformist, Portuguese filmmaker João Pedro Rodrigues' fifth feature beguilingly takes a leap of faith onto a religious theme, a pilgrimage to Saint Anthony of Padua, conspicuously transcribing its story into the existential trials and tribulations of our titular ornithologist Fernando (Hamy), which is also St. Anthony's birth name, stranded in a modern-day Portuguese waterway and forests. Fernando, an atheist from the word go, embarks on his stork-scouting journey with gusto and alacrity, and the implication that it is not his first sortie in the area makes his adventure quite up his alley. Few background information is purveyed, other than he is under medication and has a male lover who is caring for him. Contrasting Fernando's bird-watching/telescopic angle with different bird's-eye views, it is the modus operandi brings home a numinous frisson of watching and simultaneously being watched, literally sublimates the nature's gaze with a plethora of wild feathered friends hovering around incessantly through the film. When Fernando's kayak is upset during the rapids, the story starts to take shape into a multi-layered religious mythology through Fernando's various real/surreal encounters, garnished with sexual innuendos (undressed and tied- up by two young Chinese female God-bothers, a sadomasochistic position enticing one's fantasy; the urolagnia experience in the darkness among a contingent of masqueraded roarers), and an in- the-buff dalliance with a deaf-mute shepherd boy named Jesus (Cagiao), which ends in manslaughter, a startling incident but concocted with blasé wantonness. Conceivably, when one liquidates Jesus, there is nothing but a road to redemption beckons him, Fernando must carry on his mythical transmogrification into a pious St. Antony by dint of his self- inflicted ritual for absolution (that is where symbolic tunnel, tableaux vivants and inscrutable gestures abound), consummated by being dispatched by the alter ego of Jesus, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, if credits must be given to Rodrigues' wheeze of contemplating a grand mythos within an entrancing temporal sphere, his didactic exegesis is less a merit to be reckoned with. Leading actor Paul Hamy credibly shoulders on a role which requires boldness and physical exertion, instils his open-faced earthiness into the overlaying mystique and alone-in-the-woods background, which successfully retains Fernando in the cynosure, even when narrative longueur inevitably lurks. Tellingly, the film renders a captivating landscape to those eyes yearning for natural's majestic design, whether it is the picturesque on the surface or the uncanny residing in the deep, also the foley artists (Nuno Carvalho and Martin Delzescaux) ply their own distinctive aural intrusion to that latter effect: eerie, preternatural and strident. In the end of the day, THE ORNITHOLOGIST is another contrived fable trying to mythicize religion in order to elicit a sense of meta-sanctity of our own existence, but the fruition thuddingly slumps between artsy-fartsy and nonplussing, on top of that, where are the storks, anyway?


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