His prolific work rate saw him become a regular at Europe’s leading film festivals and be embraced by cineastes, particularly in France.
The Convent (1995), one of his better-known films, starred John Malkovich as an American professor determined to prove that Shakespeare was Spanish.
Malkovich and his co-star, Catherine Deneuve, would work with de Oliveira again on 2001’s I’m Going Home and 2003’s A Talking Picture.
The director’s other films included Belle Toujours, a 2006 follow-up to Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour that caught up with its prostitute heroine.
His later work often dealt with melancholy bourgeois characters and had a stylistic formality that involved long takes and static camerawork.
“I think of film as a synthesis of all art forms,” he once wrote. “I try to balance the four fundamental pillars of film: image, word, sound and music.”
The director left instructions that Memories and Confessions, a 1982 film about a house in which he used to live, only be released after his death.