Amor Omnia: love is all. These words are spoken by Gertrud, the eponymous heroine of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s last film, when this courageous woman, who in her own words has been forgotten by the world, is called on at her home by her old friend Axel, who has come from Paris for what is his last visit. They are like an infinite echo to all the other moments in this masterpiece by Dreyer, and inevitably bring to mind the famous line from The Eclogues, that singular poem by Publius Vergilius Maro.
Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amori
Love conquers all, so we too shall yield to love
Amor Omnia is freely inspired by Virgil’s Eclogues and incorporates the original text. It is an acousmatic work insofar as the image is sometimes deliberately hidden, but also a cinematic work in the sense that it is written with sounds and images. When the words are heard the black screen, that essential filmic surface, appears as it does in the film Branca de Neve (Snow White) by Joao César Monteiro, who once told an interviewer: “Manoel de Oliveira wanted to make a film that was totally black, whereas I made a grey one. The way is therefore open.”
The language of this work will be Latin. It will be subtitled with French from Paul Valéry’s verse translation, published by Gallimard in 1956.