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I don't think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.” José Saramago’s Blindness can be viewed as an allegory for a world where we see but in fact neglect what is around us. It is a human condition, unquestionable a disease that in contemporary time has only agravated. After an uprising, folks find out the asylum has been abandoned by the army who was until then responsible for it and they're able to leave. Realizing that what they went through in quarantine was only a detail in the huge landscape, now we follow our protagonists as they wander through the city in search of better conditions: water, food, clothes, a way to find their homes and their relatives. Wearing the new dress that she bought yesterday in a shop downtown, death goes to the concert. She is sitting alone in the box, and . . . she is looking at the cellist. Just before the lights went down, when the orchestra was waiting for the conductor to come, he noticed her. He wasn't the only musician to do so. Firstly, because she was alone in the box, which although not rare, wasn't that frequent an occurrence either. Secondly, because she was pretty . . . pretty in a very particular, indefinable way that couldn't be put into words, like a line of poetry whose ultimate meaning . . . continually escapes the translator. And finally, because her lone figure, there in the box, surrounded by emptiness and absence on every side, as if she inhabited a void, seemed to be the expression of the most absolute solitude." Saramago had married Ilda Reis, a typist turned engraver, in 1944 (they divorced in 1970). His debut novel, The Land of Sin, was published the same year, 1947, that his only child, Violante, was born. After a long gap, he began to publish poetry and plays in the 60s. But, jobless in 1976, he spent time in rural Alentejo, and returned to fiction. The Manual of Painting and Calligraphy is, says Carlos Reis, "very autobiographical. Saramago thinks the revolution failed. Yet it was thanks to that failure, when he was fired, that he had to write to survive. It was his only option."

An outdoor performance adaptation by the Polish group Teatr KTO, was first presented in June 2010. It has since been performed at a number of venues, including the Old College Quad of the University of Edinburgh during the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Douglas Silva as an onlooker. Silva has previously acted in many Meirelles films, including the 2002 film City of God. Tens of Thousands of Blind Americans Object to the Movie 'Blindness' ". American Council of the Blind. 2008-09-29. Archived from the original on 2008-10-07 . Retrieved 2008-10-01.


I read the book and watched the film. I didn't find Saramago's style easy to read. Extremely long sentences, endless paragraphs and an idiosyncratic grammar made me have to concentrate on the reading more than the subject matter. It was worth it, but written in standard English I think I would have enjoyed it more. The film was a good, standard, Hollywood film meaning it appeals to the masses, has pretty people and no depth and has been designed to make money. I quite enjoyed it, but am glad I read the book first. M-am întrebat de ce a ales autorul să pună dialogurile în text, de ce a renunțat adeseori la semnele de punctuație, de ce alineatele sînt foarte rare... Lectura devine astfel mai dificilă, unii renunță pur și simplu să termine romanul. Bănuiesc că Saramago știa bine asta. Nu este, cred, un simplu procedeu „poetic”, o găselniță grafică, lipsită de sens. Vă amintiți, cred, de poetul e. m. cummings, care a minusculat totul, și versurile, și numele propriu. An allegory of the breakdown of civilisation, Blindness is also the story of those who finally start resisting raw violence and brutal force, and of those who see through the darkness. However, even as the blind spell breaks, and people are regaining their vision, the world is changed forever. Blindness has become a real threat, a terrifying possibility lurking underneath everyday worries. If it can happen once, it can happen again. And who knows when? You may be waiting at a traffic light, and all of a sudden, life goes white...

Siegel, Tatiana (2007-06-12). "3 succumb to 'Blindness' at Focus Int'l". The Hollywood Reporter. The Nielsen Company. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30 . Retrieved 2007-06-18. This fiction's strangeness must accentuate by the Portuguese writer's particular syntax in which the comma is queen. a b "The screen jury at the Cannes Film Festival, 2008". Screen International. Archived from the original on March 18, 2009 . Retrieved 2008-06-12. aşa e lumea făcută, încît adevărul trebuie să se deghizeze de multe ori în minciună ca să-şi atingă scopurile”;The one person who remains seeing through the whole catastrophe realises in the end that people might not actually have been literally blind at all: But without doubt it's a brilliantly told story, a fascinating study into human failings, if you allow for the vicarious witnessing of the horror of human degradation to be called fascinating. In-between Saramago manages to create comedy out of tragedy. This is not a new phenomenon in literature but Saramago's treatment has been so light and deadpan that you could deny he ever meant to be ironically humorous in its telling. The doctor's wife is an educated woman in her late 40s; a childless woman who's married to an ophthalmologist and seems to be both his intellectual and emotional equal. They're a “power couple,” so to speak, the types of pillars of society that have the mayor over for dinner. A man with a handgun appoints himself "king" of his ward, and takes control of the food deliveries, first demanding the other wards' valuables, and then for the women to have sex with their men. In an effort to obtain necessities, several women reluctantly submit to being raped. One of the women is killed by her assailant, and the doctor's wife retaliates, killing the "king" with a pair of scissors. Independently, other raped women sneak to the dead king's ward and set it on fire, which rapidly engulfs the building, with many inmates dying in the ensuing chaos. The survivors who escape the building discover that the guards have abandoned their posts, and they venture out into the city. One could not miss the ostensible impact of Franz Kafka on the prose of Jose Saramago, as his characters take the strange and outlandishly unusual events to be perfectly normal. In the start of the story itself, the sudden blindness of “the first blind man” reminds me of The Metamorphosis in which Gregor Samsa wakes up one day to find himself transformed in to vermin, and which he accepts as an ordinary situation. Like Kafka used to throw his characters into absurd and outlandish circumstances, Saramago uses the settings of the novel to bring out the most extreme reactions from the characters. Likewise, we see that Saramago, similar to Albert Camus , uses the social disintegration of people to the extreme to study the fragility of our vices and virtues.

a b Renzetti, Elizabeth (2008-04-16). "Why the director of Blindness likes test screenings". The Globe and Mail. Toronto: CTVglobemedia . Retrieved 2016-06-30. Theme: Existence, Uncertainty, and Autonomy; Good, Evil, and Moral Conscience; Biological Needs and Human Society Blindness was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2008 as a Special Presentation. [31] The film also opened at the Atlantic Film Festival on September 11, 2008, [32] and had its North American theatrical release on October 3, 2008. [ citation needed] It also premiered in Japan at the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 19, 2008, before releasing theatrically on November 22. [33] [34] Critical reception [ edit ] Stephen Garrett of Esquire complimented Meirelles' unconventional style: "Meirelles [honors] the material by using elegant, artful camera compositions, beguiling sound design and deft touches of digital effects to accentuate the authenticity of his cataclysmic landscape." Despite the praise, Garrett wrote that Meirelles' talent at portraying real-life injustice in City of God and The Constant Gardener did not suit him for directing the "heightened reality" of Saramago's social commentary. [42] As the world goes blind the wife of the doctor is left unaffected. She continues to help where she can, but is reluctant to let everyone know she can see. She would be a slave to the group if they ever found out she could still see. She breaks out with a group of people all identified by their past professions or by some other identifying marker. We never do learn any of their names as if their identities have escaped them with their loss of vision.In 2007 the Drama Desk Award Winning Godlight Theatre Company [4] staged the New York City theatrical premiere of Blindness [ citation needed] at 59E59 Theaters. This stage version was adapted and directed by Joe Tantalo. The First Blind Man was played by Mike Roche. [5] [6]

a b "Metacritic: 2008 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Archived from the original on January 2, 2009 . Retrieved January 11, 2009. I will finish this review with the plea in the epigraph for this thought-provoking eye-opening (no pun intended) book: "If you can see, look. If you can look, observe." Please, do. Let's try to look past our own blindness and actually see. People waiting at a traffic light. All of us can see that before our inner eyes, relive thousands of similar situations we have experienced ourselves, without ever giving them a moment of consideration. Thus starts Saramago's Blindness. But there is a disruption. One car is not following the rules all take for granted. The car doesn't move when the light switches to green. People are annoyed, frustrated, disturbed in their routines, but not worried: Julianne Moore as the Doctor's Wife, the only person immune to the epidemic of blindness. Her sight is kept a secret by her husband and others, though as time goes on, she feels isolated in being the only one with sight. [5] Moore described her character's responsibility: "Her biggest concern in the beginning is simply her husband. But her ability to see ultimately both isolates her and makes her into a leader." The director also gave Moore's character a wardrobe that would match the actor's skin and dyed blond hair, giving her the appearance of a "pale angel". [5]

The cast and crew included 700 extras who had to be trained to simulate blindness. Actor Christian Duurvoort from Meirelles' City of God led a series of workshops to coach the cast members. Duurvoort had researched the mannerisms of blind people to understand how they perceive the world and how they make their way through space. Duurvoort not only taught the extras mannerisms, but also to convey the emotional and psychological states of blind people. [9] One technique was reacting to others as a blind person, whose reactions are usually different from those of a sighted person. Meirelles described, "When you're talking to someone, you see a reaction. When you're blind, the response is much flatter. What's the point [in reacting]?" [23] Filmmaking style [ edit ] Director Fernando Meirelles alludes to Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 1568 painting The Parable of the Blind in the film Blindness. Dawtrey, Adam (2008-04-29). " 'Blindness' to open Cannes". Variety. Reed Business Information . Retrieved 2008-05-01. Third: Unfortunately, the only constant that the narrative voice does have is a meaninglessly verbose style. While I laud Nabokov for one sentence that appears to be a paragraph, that is only because that sentence is composed of so many beautiful parts (all punctuated correctly, no less) that work together to create an even more beautiful image. This writing is more akin to the wandering, rambling speech of Grandpa Simpson which, while hilarious on The Simpsons, has no place within this story. A city is hit by an epidemic of “white blindness” that spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations, and assaulting women. Update. I said I would never read another Saramago because of his writing style. I did though. All the Names and Death with Interruptions. Both brilliant. But I listened to them. I wouldn't have appreciated them as much if I'd had to struggle through Saramago's idiosyncratic writing style.

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