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Your Hidden Smile: The Films of Pedro Costa

Your Hidden Smile: The Films of Pedro Costa

6 - 14 December 2008

The Australian Cinémathèque presents a special retrospective focus on Portuguese director Pedro Costa, recognised as one of the most unique voices in contemporary filmmaking.  Capturing the lives of marginalised people, often centring on migrants living in the slums of Lisbon, Costa's films are transcendent through the beauty of his images and closeness achieved in his characterisation.

6 Bagatelas 2001 Ages 18+

6 Bagatelas 2001 Ages 18+

Sat 6 Dec 3.00pm (with The Blood) / Cinema A

VIDEO, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, DOLBY, 18 MINUTES, PORTUGAL, FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTORS: PEDRO COSTA, THIERRY LOUNAS / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JEANNE LAPOIRIE / EDITORS: DOMINIQUE AUVRAY, PATRICIA SARAMAGO / PRODUCTION CO: ARTE, CONTRACOSTA PRODUÇÕES, AMIP, INSTITUT NATIONAL DE L'AUDIOVISUEL / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘A collection of six unused scenes from Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?, this short  is highlighted by the charming sight of the Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet performing mundane tasks at home.’ Harvard Film Archive

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O Sangue (The Blood) 1989 Ages 18+

O Sangue (The Blood) 1989 Ages 18+

Sat 6 Dec 3.00pm (with 6 Bagatelas) / Cinema A

35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, DOLBY SR, 95 MINUTES, PORTUGAL, PORTUGUESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: PEDRO COSTA / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: ACÁCIO DE ALMEIDA, ELSO ROQUE, MARTIN SCHÄFER / EDITOR: MANUELA VIEGAS / PRODUCTION CO: FUNDAÇÃO CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN, INSTITUTO PORTUGUÊS DE CINEMA, RADIOTELEVISÃO PORTUGUESA, TROPICO FILMES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘Pedro Costa's auspicious debut demonstrates his love and knowledge of classical Hollywood and European art cinema. With echoes of Nicholas Ray, Robert Bresson and FW Murnau, Costa explores the plight of two brothers and a young kindergarten teacher being pursued by some unseemly characters, including the boys' nefarious uncle. Unlike his later neorealist works, The Blood is a lushly stylized romantic fable.’ Harvard Film Archive

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No Quarto da Vanda (In Vanda’s Room) 2000 Ages 18+

No Quarto da Vanda (In Vanda’s Room) 2000 Ages 18+

Sun 7 Dec 1.00pm / Cinema A

35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY SR, 178 MINUTES, PORTUGAL/GERMANY/ITALY/SWITZERLAND, PORTUGUESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER: PEDRO COSTA / EDITORS: DOMINIQUE AUVRAY, PATRICIA SARAMAGO / PRODUCTION CO: CONTRACOSTA PRODUÇÕES, INSTITUTO PORTUGUÊS DA ARTE CINEMATOGRÁFICA E AUDIOVISUAL, PANDORA FILMPRODUKTION, TELEVISIONE SVIZZERA ITALIANA, VENTURA FILM, ZWEITES DEUTSCHES FERNSEHEN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘Vanda Duarte plays herself in the second film in the Fontaínhas trilogy. She stars with her sister Lena, portraying two drug-addicted women who spend their days smoking crack while their building is being demolished. Despite the harsh circumstance, Costa manages to infuse the film with humour and humanity as he watches the young women bicker with their mother about housekeeping.’ Harvard Film Archive

Tout Refleurit: Pedro Costa, Cinéaste (All Blossoms Again: Pedro Costa, Director) 2006 Ages 18+

Tout Refleurit: Pedro Costa, Cinéaste (All Blossoms Again: Pedro Costa, Director) 2006 Ages 18+

Wed 10 Dec 4.00pm / Cinema A

35MM, COLOUR, SOUND, 78 MINUTES, FRANCE, FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: AURÉLIEN GERBAULT / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: QUALIA FILMS

‘This portrait of Pedro Costa follows him during the shooting and editing of Colossal Youth. Mirroring the observational style of Costa’s portrait of filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?, this work captures Costa at work in the editing room, musing over the aesthetics, demands, and “truth” of filmmaking. Filmmaking has been idolized for too long, he insists; for him it is merely a job, a shift to put in from day to day. A visit to the old Fontaínhas neighbourhood, setting of three of his major works, finds only ruins and memories, a stark reminder that cinema, for all its fictions, can still serve as a testament to what once existed.’ Jason Sanders, Pacific Film Archive

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Tarrafal 2007 Ages 18+

Tarrafal 2007 Ages 18+

Wed 10 Dec 6.00pm (with Down to Earth) / Cinema A

35MM, COLOUR, SOUND, 16 MINUTES, PORTUGAL, PORTUGUESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/CINEMATOGRAPHER: PEDRO COSTA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘Pedro Costa returns to the island of Fogo, the homeland of Colossal Youth's Ventura, where he previously filmed Casa de Lava. He considers the Tarrafal prison where political dissidents were tortured and killed for nearly forty years.’ Harvard Film Archive

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Casa De Lava (Down to Earth) 1995 Ages 18+

Casa De Lava (Down to Earth) 1995 Ages 18+

Wed 10 Dec 6.00pm (with Tarrafal) / Cinema A

35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY SR, 110 MINUTES, PORTUGAL/FRANCE/GERMANY, PORTUGUESE AND KABUVERDIANU (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: PEDRO COSTA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: EMMANUEL MACHUEL / EDITOR: DOMINIQUE AUVRAY / PRODUCTION CO: MADRAGOA FILMES, GÉMINI FILMS, PANDORA FILMPRODUKTION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘As a volcano restlessly stirs on the Cape Verdean island of Fogo, a young Portuguese nurse agrees to transport an injured migrant worker home from Lisbon and deliver medical supplies to battle a cholera epidemic on the island. A work of rare beauty and poise, Casa de Lava is the first feature in which Costa focused on the people of Cape Verde who would populate most of his subsequent feature films.’ Harvard Film Archive

Juventude Em Marcha (Colossal Youth) 2006 Ages 18+

Juventude Em Marcha (Colossal Youth) 2006 Ages 18+

Fri 12 Dec 6.00pm / Cinema A

35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 155 MINUTES, PORTUGAL/FRANCE/SWEDEN, PORTUGUESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: PEDRO COSTA / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: PEDRO COSTA, LEONARDO SIMÕES / EDITOR: PEDRO MARQUES / PRODUCTION CO: VENTURA FILM, CONTRACOSTA PRODUÇÕES, LES FILMS DE L'ETRANGER, RADIOTELEVISÃO PORTUGUESA, UNLIMITED / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘No one composes images like Pedro Costa. Paradoxically, he is a minimalist who is not afraid to try anything, and consequently this film has divided audiences all around the world since its premiere in competition at Cannes. Costa has used the stories of the marginalised people he has befriended and who now appear in his films. Ventura, a Cape Verdean immigrant in Portugal, has had his apartment trashed by his wife (or a strange woman with her face) and spends his days moving between the fringe dwellers he calls his children, while negotiating to get one of the bare white-walled apartments that are replacing Lisbon’s slums. The long takes, low camera angles, intricate patches of light and shade in which the characters play out their deeply personal stories, construct a world that is larger than life even as it contains so little. This is not a film for the faint-hearted, as each shot in Costa’s world is an adventure which could lead anywhere.’ Adelaide Film Festival

Ne Change Rien 2005 Ages 18+

Ne Change Rien 2005 Ages 18+

Sat 13 Dec 3.00pm (with Bones) / Cinema A

VIDEO, COLOUR, SOUND, 13 MINUTES, PORTUGAL/FRANCE, FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/CINEMATOGRAPHER: PEDRO COSTA / EDITOR: PEDRO MARQUES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘In crisp black and white Pedro Costa's camera is captivated by the enigmatic French actress Jeanne Balibar, first in her dressing room, then strikingly placed in space performing on stage a song inspired by Jean-Luc Godard.’ Melbourne Cinémathèque 

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Ossos (Bones) 1997 Ages 18+

Ossos (Bones) 1997 Ages 18+

Sat 13 Dec 3.00pm (with Ne Change Rein) / Cinema A

35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY SR, 94 MINUTES, PORTUGAL/FRANCE/DENMARK, PORTUGUESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: PEDRO COSTA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: EMMANUEL MACHUEL / EDITOR: JACKIE BASTIDE / PRODUCTION CO: GÉMINI FILMS, INSTITUTO PORTUGUÊS DA ARTE CINEMATOGRÁFICA E AUDIOVISUAL, MADRAGOA FILMES, RADIOTELEVISÃO PORTUGUESA, ZENTROPA ENTERTAINMENTS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘The first in a trilogy of films which explores life in the shantytown of Las Fontaínhas, Bones tackles the hardship of teenage pregnancy in this impoverished setting. A young mother struggles with her new responsibilities while the baby's equally naïve father exploits the child as a prop in order to beg for money on the streets of Lisbon. The film is noted for the introduction of Costa's muse, Vanda Duarte, who provides one of its brighter notes as the young mother's confidant.’ Harvard Film Archive

The Rabbit Hunters 2007 Ages 18+

The Rabbit Hunters 2007 Ages 18+

Sun 14 Dec 1.00pm (with Where Lies Your Hidden Smile) / Cinema A

DIGITAL VIDEO, COLOUR, 23 MINUTES, PORTUGAL / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER: PEDRO COSTA / EDITOR: PATRICIA SARAMAGO / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘The camera in this companion piece to Tarrafal follows Colossal Youth's Ventura and his homeless friend Alfredo as they drift through a neighbourhood that kindles memories and arresting stories.’ Melbourne Cinémathèque

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Où gît votre sourire enfoui? (Where Lies Your Hidden Smile?) 2001 Ages 18+

Où gît votre sourire enfoui? (Where Lies Your Hidden Smile?) 2001 Ages 18+

Sun 14 Dec 1.00pm / Cinema A

35MM, COLOUR, SOUND, 109 MINUTES, FRANCE/PORTUGAL, FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: PEDRO COSTA / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: PEDRO COSTA, JEANNE LAPOIRIE / EDITORS: DOMINIQUE AUVRAY, PATRICIA SARAMAGO / PRODUCTION CO: AMIP, CONTRACOSTA PRODUÇÕES, ARTE, INSTITUT NATIONAL DE L'AUDIOVISUEL / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PEDRO COSTA

‘This film portrait presents an extraordinary look into the creative process of filmmaking through a case study of long-time collaborators Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, who are carefully observed at work reediting their recent feature Sicilia! as they teach a group of students at the National Studio of Contemporary Arts in Tourcoing. Costa meticulously records the dialectic, argumentative mode the filmmakers use to reach decisions about each cut. In a remarkable sequence, the two filmmakers have a standoff in virtual darkness (Huillet having switched off the Moviola that provides much of the illumination for Costa’s shooting). Equally compelling is the documentation of Straub’s close commentary on techniques from such diverse influences as Chaplin and Eisenstein. This remarkable documentary, an episode from the landmark series “Cinema of our Time,” is a brilliant examination of the art of editing and a meditation on the aesthetic and political implications of film technique.’ Harvard Film Archive