Tall Stories (1988) - full transcript

My name is Miguel.

When I was a kid I was good at school,
until I hit the fourth grade.

Then I discovered there was a way
of spending time without holding books.

My mother did not agree with this.

My first punishment was to spend
my vacation at Aunt Martha's hotel,

where nothing ever happens.

I was thinking about what pictures to watch,
and how to discover the charms of mathematics.

Getting past the village,
I felt the smell of the sea.

The place seemed smaller.

I thought I was not a child anymore,

so I could descend the stairs steps
two at a time, if I should wish.

How are you, Mr. Michael, all right?

Yeah, yeah, thanks.
Please, can you summon my aunt?

Wait a minute, son.

I come now.

Your mother has so many problems in her head,
yet she didn't come for a vacation.

But what happened to last year child?

You're really tall now.

You can take care of yourself.

Get settled and let's put
a telegram telling you arrived fine.

That we agreed with your mother.

I promised to call her, but she said
it would be cheaper this way.

I felt it in the air:

is it because of your grades?

-Then you were sent here to study?

Let's not talk about sad things.

You really hungry?

No. I'm not hunger.

-Do not want to eat anything?

You look hungry, drink a glass of milk.

Help yourself what you want from the kitchen.

But sit down.

Do not move and I'll bring you something.

I'll serve dinner at 7:30.

You know, we eat later.

-Do not forget your manners.
-No. Thanks.

Do not forget to wait a while
before going to sea.

I'll bring towels.

You're in good company,
Mrs Marta. Who is this kid?

My nephew, my sister's son.

-Ah, yes, yes.
-But sit down, Mrs. Camilla.

I'll sit for a moment, just a moment.

A cigarette?

No, I'll rather have mine,
thank you very much. Just light it.

Then, you're in Vacacions?


You got good grades?

So and so.

So and so, how?

All wrong, half right, how?

Some of them in the middle,
the other ones positive.

Two positive, three, four, three?


Then, what do you want to study?


Doctor? Lawyer?


Then you have no life plan?

I have.

Not thinking about the future?


*, want to be?

It's not your business, put it off.



These are not proper ways to talk to the lady.

Sorry, Dona Camila.

For the love of God, new people in these times.

Want chocolate?

Excuse me, ma'am.

He wants chocolate.

Have a chocolate.

Save a bit for me.

I didn't study the first night.
I kept to my room, so no one knew.

It was best to avoid my aunt.

Good morning. Sleep well?

Your aunt says it's time to get up.

Don't be a lazybones.
Breakfast is ready.

Come on, I've got all the rooms to do.

Your aunt wants you to fetch
newspapers for the guests.

Hello. Remember me?

You're Mana's nephew, I know.
Where are you going?

-To buy the papers.
-It's quicker this way.

What have you been up to since
we last met?

I'm at school.

I'd rather be here.

-Let's inspect Estevao's orchard.
-Where is he?

Gone to market. Apples taste best
on market day.

-Want an apple?
-That's a good one.

Hang on, that isn't ripe.
-I'll eat it anyway.

You'll be sick. Let's look at
the pears.

-My father knew your aunt.
-Where is he now?

Somewhere or other.

How old are you?

Old enough to have done
military service.

How was it?

Just four walls...

...everyone dressed alike,
nothing but orders all day.

I wanted to see the world in the navy.

Why didn't you?

I did - in the galley.

Right bastards they were.

Want to see a peasant?

"Make this peasant sit without
bending the page"

Make him sit?

Look at Miguel. He's too old to be
playing with seven year-olds.

He's going to grow up handsome.
Leave him be for now.

It's true, we treat him like a
grown-up, but he's only young.

I'm glad he's playing.

I had no adolescence. I went from
girl to woman.

Adolescence was a luxury.

People sent their girls to the beach
with maids of the same age.

Not me, though. I'll tell you about it
one day.

Miguel, are you staying indoors
all day? Come on!

I'm mending the fan. Come and see.

Hey Miguel. How's it going?

It needs new brushes. Have you got any?

What kind of brushes?

-I'm going fishing.
-In a boat?

I can't stay here. Your aunt doesn't
like me. Coming?

Watch out for the rocks.

A fisherman knows.

I can tell you where the rocks are.

-Maybe I know, too.
-Tell me, then.

Where the waves scramble.

Scramble? Only eggs scramble.

It's the smell. You can smell the rocks.

We'll go out a bit; sit in the stern.

It's rough today.

Only just here.

Lots of rocks, too.

It's time you learned something.

It's the dead season now.

But come August, we get
plenty of foreign girls.

Stay and have fun.

Watch what you're doing to my boat!

What happens with the foreign girls?

Well, they come looking for us.

You won't find the likes of us
anywhere else in Europe.

They all want a trip in the boat.

So you take them, it's fabulous.

Tons of fish here.

The water looks great, too.

You're crazy, you're scaring off
the fish.

What's got into you? Get out of there.

Look at this big one.

Half dead and ready for eating.

-Want to learn?
-About the boat?

Boat? I'm talking about foreign girls.

In a boat or any other way,
for that matter...

...look out for yourself.

See those rocks over there?

Forget the boat.

Once, over there, I saw a girl
sheltering from the wind.


She fancied me.

So I went over and threw a bit of sand
on her legs.

She loved it.

She spoke a funny language.
I can handle languages.

I sang her a couple of songs,
talked a bit of rubbish.


-Well what?
-You haven't said anything.

Well, you can imagine...

...it's not every day they see
a guy like me.

It's a big one!

Want to clean it?
Take a firm grip on it.

Slit its throat.

Come on, or it will get away.
It's suffering.

I don't want to.

Go on, or you'll get a ducking.

I thought you were asleep.

Just resting, before I have to work.

The water is still warm.

You're blocking my sun.

I went fishing with Joao.

We caught lots.

He told me about foreign girls.
Were you here last Summer?

No, I came this year. What did he say?

Nothing much. We went out a long way,
we anchored the boat, we swam.

Your nose is peeling. Remind me
to give you some cream.

Don't forget your studies.

You were out all day.

I know what I'm doing.

I'm responsible for you
while you are here.

Say where you're going.

I was fishing. I could hardly
swim home.

You could have chosen
a better companion.

Joao's great. He taught me a lot.

You needn't take my word for it:
ask Luisa.

Miguel, I know you think that
studying doesn't matter...

...but if you don't study, you'll
end up washing dishes, like me.

Look at people when they talk to you.

Pretend to be interested, at least.

You'd better go and work now.

Hear me?

-No coffee for me?
-Children don't drink coffee.

He's as stubborn as I am.

Let's dance. I'll teach you.

It's easy.

What a clodhopper. Come on, it's easy.

Don't hop around.

How clumsy.

I said I couldn't.

What size shoes do you take?

You're so rough. Relax.
Listen to the music.

My love, my only love:

I can't live without you.

I want to tell you how much I want you.

I remember the first time...

I wouldn't get to sleep.

I turned on the light, took a book,
to get all this out of my mind.

Eh, Miguel!

Nothing special, here every day is the same.

What you done the last night?

Last night? Last night I was tired.

I stayed home. Watched a film.

Go. You have a boat at your orders,
if you want to go to the sea.

You got crazy, or what?

Go and wash your hands.

-What's happened to you?

Lunch is getting cold.

Doctor Fernando's arrived.

He used to stay here with his wife.

He hasn't been here for eight years;
they're divirced, how strange.

They seemed to get on so well.
He's aged a lot.

You mustn't bother him:
he needs a rest.

I'll get the main course.

What a hostile face.

Let's see who laughs first.

-What is it?
-You'll see.

Are you still angry?

Brushes for the fan!

Where did you get them?

Never you mind. Just mend it.

As good as new.

Have you seen that car?

The white M.G.?

It's the new guest's.

His wife left him. He's gone dotty.

How about a drive?

I've mended it. I'll show you.

How can you tell if someone likes you?

Dogs and cats are lucky;
they needn't worry.

My friends play at being in love;
they're silly.

I know when I like someone, but how
do I know when someone truly likes me?

You want to understand people?

Sure, but what I'd really like...

...is my aunt to stop being nasty
about Joao, so we're all friends.

Most of all, not to do maths-
and I wish holidays never ended.

Stop it! If I don't work, I don't eat.

That night, I went to Luisa's room.
She wasn't there, of course.

I went to look in the kitchen.

Did I frighten you? You're still up?

I fancied a sandwich. I was hungry.

I thought I heard a bat.

Or a thief.

But it was a refridgerator rat.
Miguel, isn't it?

I made night raids, too.

My mother locked all the food away...

...but I always found the key.

I was a jam expert.
I always got through.

Happy days.

But now I'm just an insomniac.

This room is restful.
You can hear the sea.

Sorry to disturb you.
See you tomorrow.

Mind you don't break the nets.

Want to know about the doctor?

Everyone thinks he's only
interested in books, but...

-He took you for a car ride?
-That's all you think about.

Last night I was hungry,
I went downstairs...

...and found him looking a the sea,
smoking - he called me over.

I couldn't believe it.
He gave me a cigarette.

-What brand?
-I don't know. He lit it.

He said he goes for a spin every
night, just driving around.

I bet I know where.

He doesn't get back until dawn.
He was there when I woke up.

So what? Leave him alone.

A boat's coming in.

It's my uncle.

Miguel, fed up?

Cheer up, life is beautiful.
The sea is beautiful.

You're ugly, but so what?
I've news for you.

I couldn't care less!

Watch it! I've got a surprise for you.

I have a guest coming for dinner.

I'm going to the market myself.

I'll get something special.

There's coconut cake to follow.
I hope that's alright.

Good evening. I'm dining with Doctor
Fernando... if you don't mind.

It's kind of you to invite me.

I'm grateful for your company.

I'm exhausted.

I gather things are explosive
in this area.

Explosive? Well...

There's plenty of easy money
to be had.


It's just a game.

The rich get richer,
the rest get bitter.

It's no secret.


Can I get you anything?

Good evening.

This is a special occasion.

We need bread and butter and cheese...

The cheese is excellent here.

And don't forget the olives.

-Do you know her?
-By sight - or it wouldn't be fun.

Any other girl would have
sorted you out.

Where do you live?

May I have a cigarette?

They're foreign.

What a different taste.

I used to live in the village.

Then my father got some money
and built a really nice villa...

...with a garden, a porch...
perhaps you know it.

The one with a statue in the garden?

Quite a house.

I thought we'd seen the last of you.

Here we are: cheese, butter...

He likes to tease you.


An American woman...

...offered a lot to rent the house.

She didn't get it, but she got
me instead.

She got the best of the bargain.

I won't be a moment.

Miguel, how are you?

You should have started;
it will get cold.

My father left me some land,
so I get by all right.

You must come to the house
and have a drink, relax.

-You have a great car.
-Fancy a drive?

You're not joking?

It's a long time since I was here.

You mean it? Can I bring a friend?

We'll go to the fair. It's great fun.

I'll tell you, you look like a writer.

Don't laugh; my life would make
a great book.

-What are you doing?
-Working, can't you see?

You're pretending, you can't fool me.

This is for my drawing class.

The doctor has invited us for a drive.

Stop pretending to study.
Get a sweater and let's go.

You'll learn how a man behaves.

We're going to the fair. You can
dance with pretty girls.

May I come in?

-What was your friend saying?
-Boys' talk.

Nothing else?

Such as?

What's the plan?

Why don't you ask him?

I'm asking you.

I don't answer silly questions.

Get stuffed.

You fell for it. Want to dance?

Speak up, or I won't dance
with you again.

I'll dance with Joao, then.

Mind they don't leave you behind.
Don't catch cold.

I can drive, if you like.
You can trust me.

I've driven since I was twelve.

Not without a driving licence.

I'd have one if I liked,
but I haven't the time.

I've driven the truck for years.

I was stopped once, but I was lucky.

I had my brother's licence with my
photograph on it. It worked.

You can't fool everyone
like you fool the police.

Yes, but life's no fun if you don't
break the law.

Don't you do forbidden things, doctor?

I like taking risks.

Right, Miguel? We love taking risks.

Hear, Miguel, stay with the guy, I'll go for a while.

Then, Miguel, *?

If Joao isn't here for holydays, **

You'll surely have other friends around.

Me, Joao, Luisa.

Luisa, *?

No, *


It has nothing to do with that, we're just friends.

Ah, my father.


Your father * ?

He says I'll end up as barman in the
in my local hostel and he'd come and say:

"I'll have a chiled Beer...

...and a coffee, lad"

Is that what you want?

I'd like to be a disc-jockey
or a raing driver.

-Rather different careers.
-They're both fun.

-Not needing schoolwork.
-Could be

There's more to a job than fun.

It's an important decision, isn't it?

By all means follow your interests,
but to good purpose

Your father may seem boring, but he
cares about you if he's not indifferent.

I know.

Take every opportunity.

Make the most of your ccuriosity
to develop your knowledge.

A job is a serious matter, like a
relationship between two people.

At first, it's exciting.

Then you'll find that you have
different outlooks and opinions.

You go your separate ways.

But someone usually gets hurt;
often, it's very sad.

Sometimes people stay together
just because of possessions...

...children, or just out of fear.

It's much the same with a job.

What's the time? I think I dozed off.

Is Joao back?

Tell him I've gone to look for him.

This is no time for a youngster
to be hitch-hiking.

I went to the fair with friends.
They started smoking, so I left.

Very sensible. Are you at the hotel?

Yes, with my father.
My parents are divorced.

It happens. Sometimes it's better
that way.

They were fond of each other;
it was my sister's fault.

My sister Luisa is nineteen.

Girls nowadays... how was it
she made them divorce?

When she was about eleven,
father gave her a motor boat.

Mother wouldn't let her in it alone.

Once they brought the boat here.

Something was bound to happen.

She disobeyed them, went out alone
and fell overboard.

She lost both legs.

How horrible.

They'd still be together otherwise.

Your father has suffered.
I hope you're nice to him.

You seem to be clever.

This is very serious. We have
a reputation to consider.

That money must be found.
I swear it wasn't Miguel.

It was that fisherman, I know.
How awful for the doctor.

Stealing from a lady's handbag.

Are you sure she's looked everywhere?

You saw the bag at dinner, didn't you?

Not only money; a cigarette case too.

He won't get away with it:
I'll call the police.

for God's sake don't!

I'll tell you.

What do you know?

I know it wasn't him.

-Who then?

Repeat all that nonsense.

It was me.

-I'll search your room.
-It isn't there any more.

Pack your bags this very moment.

You're sacking me?

You've left me no choice. Just go!

It's me. Let me in.

I know about the money. My aunt says
she can't help you now.

Tell me the truth. I won't tell
anyone, I'm your friend.

I've nothing to say.

Don't leave. I must know the truth.

If you go, I'll go.

For ages I'd been waiting for this.
I knew I ought to do something.

But all I remember is col hands on
my neck and the smell of fried food.

-Does Joao live here?
-No, over there.

-Is Joao in?
-Not yet. Wait outside.

Eh Miguel, wake up. Just look at you.

It's you!

We waited for you last night.

The doctor wouldn't leave without you.

Where did you go?

Around and about: none of your business.

It certainly is. You abandoned us.

Skip it, I'm tired.

I'm not. We three went out together.
You're always doing this.

I feel sorry for you.

Did you rob the old lady?

What old lady?

Don't pretend you don't know.

My aunt's sacked Luisa because of it.

So what?

Tell the truth for once.

-Everyone knows it was her.
-They don't.

She confeessed didn't she?
It's nothing to do with me.

I'm sure it was you.

Always Joao, isn't it?
I'm always the bad guy.

Listen, I'm tired. I'm going to bed.

I couldn't steal if i tried.
So just skip it.

That'll do!

Cops and robbers?

It's not a game. There's been
a theft and you're the thief.

Calm down Miguel. The game's over.

Get this straight: I just went to
the hotel, ate...

...then I left.

I know it was you!

You don't, I'm not the thief.

Who was it, then?

Luisa confessed, you twit.
There's a reason for that.

I'm not so sure.

See? You're being unfair.

Give me the gun. It's dangerous.

It might go off. Give it to me,
or someone might get hurt.

I stiil don't know if you robbed her.

You do. You just won't admit it.

Listen, you're tired.

Go to bed. We'll talk later.

I wanted to see you.

I apologize. I should have
brought your nephew home.

It's alright, it doesn't matter.
We all make mistakes.

About Luisa? Everyone knows about it.

She gave me no option.

-She seemed so shy.
-Yes, but stubborn.

Why protect him? She knew
what he was like.

He's a good-for-nothing,
but he fooled everyone.

I should have done something.
Look what happened.

I could have told her enough
to convince her.

People have to learn for themselves.

You talked to Joao. What did you
make of him?

He was nice to Miguel.

-Is he still asleep?
-Like a babe.

Luckily, nothing happened to Miguel.

Are you upset?

I'll tell you something. Want to know
what happened?

-Promise you won't tell?
-I promise nothing.

Then I won't tell you.

Alright, I promise.

Swear it.

I stole the money.

That's a lie!

Want to know how?

No, I've had enough.

I happened to follow the lady
into the toilets.

She locked herself in
and left the bag outside.

It was begging to be taken.
What's wrong with that?

-That's a lie.
-Is it?

Then why did Luisa confess?

You are thick.

Hurry. Your aunt says you'll
miss the bus.