The Pelvis of J.W.

A philosophical comedy with serious religious overtones about God, Lucifer and John Wayne, this new epic from Portuguese director Joao Cesar Monteiro is as wildly original as his previous movies. Pic could provide the launching pad for a retrospective of the idiosyncratic oeuvre of a filmmaker whose unique sensibility has been acknowledged in Europe but is almost totally unfamiliar in the U.S. Defying any recognizable trends in the international cinema today, Monteiro's eccentric universe unfolds like a cross between a long dream and an intellectual dissertation. "The Pelvis of J.W." is probably more demanding and less intriguing than either "Recollections of the Yellow House" (1989) or "God's Comedy" (1995), movies that won prizes in Venice and at other festivals.

With:
With: Joao Cesar Monteiro, Pierre Clementi, Hughes Quester.

The new film centers on two male characters: Jean de Dieu and Henrique (played by Monteiro), who are acting in Strindberg’s play “The Inferno,” in which de Dieu plays Lucifer and Henrique plays God. Offstage, de Dieu is the director of the play and Henrique an adventurous sailor who considers John Wayne’s sexy swagger to be nothing short of divinity.

De Dieu introduces Henrique to an author who writes a scenario in which the two men meet another mythical character, Ariane (symbol of liberty). As the two walk leisurely around town, a certain verbal rivalry between them becomes manifest.

Monteiro displays droll humor in playing on the public’s notions of — and anxieties concerning — God and Lucifer. Cerebral conversations about various topics, ranging from the most obscure to the most mundane, are often interrupted by irreverent, illogical moments and gentle humor.

Monteiro creates a distinctive world with technical assuredness and emotional control. As a stylist, he favors single, extended takes — the first sequence is an awesome theatrical tableau — avoiding close-ups as much as possible. For mainstream American moviegoers, the movie runs the risk of appearing too symbolic and pretentious, but for cinephiles, it represents a stimulating philosophical journey through some of Western civilization’s sacred ideas. Boasting one of modern cinema’s most creative and sophisticated minds, Monteiro belongs to a league of his own.

The Pelvis of J.W.

Portuguese - French

Production: A Euripide/Fabrica de Imagens production. Produced by Jose Mazeda, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, Frederic Sichler. Executive producer, Joao Fonseca. Directed, written by Joao Cesar Monteiro

Crew: Camera (color), Mario Barroso; editor, Carla Bogalheiro; production design, Nelson Fonseca, Jorge Spencer. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival, Sept. 10, 1997. Running time: 145 MIN.

With: With: Joao Cesar Monteiro, Pierre Clementi, Hughes Quester.

More Film

  • Durban Fest Fetes South African Women

    Durban Fest Fetes South African Women With Diverse Line-Up

    The new film centers on two male characters: Jean de Dieu and Henrique (played by Monteiro), who are acting in Strindberg’s play “The Inferno,” in which de Dieu plays Lucifer and Henrique plays God. Offstage, de Dieu is the director of the play and Henrique an adventurous sailor who considers John Wayne’s sexy swagger to […]

  • Predator Comic-Con panel

    'The Predator' Teases Battling Aliens at Gory Comic-Con Panel

    The new film centers on two male characters: Jean de Dieu and Henrique (played by Monteiro), who are acting in Strindberg’s play “The Inferno,” in which de Dieu plays Lucifer and Henrique plays God. Offstage, de Dieu is the director of the play and Henrique an adventurous sailor who considers John Wayne’s sexy swagger to […]

  • Durban FilmMart, CaribbeanTales Push Co-Productions for

    Durban FilmMart, CaribbeanTales Push Co-Prod Opportunities for Women of Color

    The new film centers on two male characters: Jean de Dieu and Henrique (played by Monteiro), who are acting in Strindberg’s play “The Inferno,” in which de Dieu plays Lucifer and Henrique plays God. Offstage, de Dieu is the director of the play and Henrique an adventurous sailor who considers John Wayne’s sexy swagger to […]

  • New Line Comic Con

    Everything We Saw From 'It 2' During New Line's Scare Diego Comic-Con Presentation

    The new film centers on two male characters: Jean de Dieu and Henrique (played by Monteiro), who are acting in Strindberg’s play “The Inferno,” in which de Dieu plays Lucifer and Henrique plays God. Offstage, de Dieu is the director of the play and Henrique an adventurous sailor who considers John Wayne’s sexy swagger to […]

  • Lin Manuel MirandaVanity Fair Oscar Party,

    Lin-Manuel Miranda to Make Directorial Debut With 'Tick, Tick...Boom!'

    The new film centers on two male characters: Jean de Dieu and Henrique (played by Monteiro), who are acting in Strindberg’s play “The Inferno,” in which de Dieu plays Lucifer and Henrique plays God. Offstage, de Dieu is the director of the play and Henrique an adventurous sailor who considers John Wayne’s sexy swagger to […]

  • Mark Duplass

    Mark Duplass Apologizes for 'Disaster' Tweet Praising Ben Shapiro

    The new film centers on two male characters: Jean de Dieu and Henrique (played by Monteiro), who are acting in Strindberg’s play “The Inferno,” in which de Dieu plays Lucifer and Henrique plays God. Offstage, de Dieu is the director of the play and Henrique an adventurous sailor who considers John Wayne’s sexy swagger to […]

  • Enter The Dragon Bruce Lee

    How Bruce Lee's Star Rose in the U.S. After His Death

    The new film centers on two male characters: Jean de Dieu and Henrique (played by Monteiro), who are acting in Strindberg’s play “The Inferno,” in which de Dieu plays Lucifer and Henrique plays God. Offstage, de Dieu is the director of the play and Henrique an adventurous sailor who considers John Wayne’s sexy swagger to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content