Prolific Brazilian helmer Julio Bressane has won a cult following with his eccentric, bright films full of music and light. After very personal biopics of singer Mario Reis and St. Jerome, he turns, in “Days of Nietzsche in Turin,” to the German philosopher’s sojourn in Italy in 1888, when he wrote his last great works. Patient viewers willing to make the leap will find this an intimate, original portrait of a genius breaking under inner pressure. Though darker and less exhilarating than Bressane’s recent films, pic is a recognizable variation on their experimental, intuitive style, striking images and unexpected soundtracks. After festival journeys, it should wend its way toward university students and educational TV outlets.
Behind a bushy, squirrel-tail mustache, Fernando Eiras creates a highly convincing Friedrich Nietzsche without uttering a word of dialogue. An offscreen voice reads from Nietzsche’s travel diaries, written as he wandered around Turin, admired its architecture, went to the opera and generally lived life fully. Gradually his human face falls away, and he loses himself in his own ideas. Film culminates in a truly frightening scene of madness, leaving a feeling of pity and awe.