Saturday, June 19, 2010


Bones.  PF/FR/DK 1997. PC: Madragoa Filmes / Gemini Films / Zentropa Productions / IPACA / RTP / Eurimages. P: Paolo Branco. D+SC: Pedro Costa. DP: Emmanuel Machuel. PD: Zé Branco. Cost: Isabel Favila. S: Henri Maïoff, Gérard Rousseau. ED: Jackie Bastide. CAST: Vanda Duarte, Nuno Vaz, Mariya Lipkina, Isabel Ruth, Ines de Medeiros, Miguel Sermão, Berta Susana Teixeira. 94 min. A Cinemateca Portuguesa print with English subtitles, in the presence of Pedro Costa, viewed at the Sodankylä School (Midnight Sun Film Festival), 19 June 2010.

An excellent all-photochemical print.

Pedro Costa introduced the first film of his Fontainhas cycle: "this one is easy", "it's still a film film", "it's a metaphorical film, elliptical, yet there is still too much poetry in this film, too much about myself".

A view of despair among young outsiders in the Fontainhas slum district of Lisbon. No narrative, no exposition, no psychology. Just pure, charged images. Costa, himself, stressed the importance of Emmanuel Machuel, Bresson's cinematographer. I watched 45 minutes of the film, which has to be revisited with a full presence of mind. Today, The Merry Widow music as played by Maud Nelissen's orchestra yesterday kept swelling in my mind.

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