With Top 10 season upon us, I’m slowly beginning to whittle down a year’s worth of viewing into some sort of order. And while I have a lot to see before I can actually finalize my list — my screening diary for the next week is a veritable pileup of supposed awards fare, nearly as dense as a festival schedule — I’ll need to see an improbable amount of four-star films between then and now for “Tabu” not to land in its upper reaches.
Since the Berlinale 10 months ago, you’ve heard me badgering on about Portuguese director Miguel Gomes’s semi-silent wonder — part postmodern comedy, part rapturous colonial-era love story — with a range of artistic reference points that ranges from F.W. Murnau to Phil Spector. I’m far from alone in my enthusiasm: it landed at #2 on Sight & Sound’s Best of 2012 critics’ poll last weekend. It hits US screens in a few weeks, but I only recently latched onto this US trailer from Adopt Films (in which, I’m chuffed to say, I’m one of the critics quoted.)
The trailer does a good job of conveying the visual and sonic seductiveness of a hard-to-market film; if you’re even a little intrigued, “Tabu” will reward your interest tenfold. It opens at New York’s Film Forum on Boxing Day — making for an appropriate post-Christmas palate cleanser — before travelling to other states over the next three months.
Incidentally, though they’re relative rookies, Adopt Films boast a pretty impressive slate this year. They purchased particularly wisely at Berlin, snapping up another two of my festival favorites, Christian Petzold’s “Barbara” and Ursula Meier’s “Sister,” as well as the Tavianis’ Golden Bear winner “Caesar Must Die” — all three of which are now in the foreign-language Oscar race. “Tabu,” sadly, isn’t (Portugal opted for “Blood of My Blood” instead, which I’m told is a respectable choice), but it’ll find its reward on many a Top 10 list to come.
Check out the trailer below — are you sold? Perhaps you’ve already seen it? Chime in below.