Manoel de Oliveira’s death in 2015, at age 106, deprived the cinema of one of its living legends and one of its most prolific, surprising working artists. Oliveira’s rate of production famously soared in the last decades of his life, but it was the four films he made in Portugal between 1972 and 1981, when he had already entered his sixties, that established his international reputation. Literary adaptations that sprawled in length but kept a coiled focus, moved austerely but pulsed with sensual energy, drew on 19th-century theatrical conventions but relied just as heavily on self-reflexive meta-gestures, the films in Oliveira’s Tetralogy of Frustrated Love—presented here in very rarely screened 35mm prints—signaled the arrival of a one-of-a-kind cinematic voice.

Organized by Dennis Lim and Florence Almozini. Special thanks to the Cinemateca Portuguesa and Pedro Costa.