Pedro COSTA (1959, Portugal) studied History at Lisbon University and then worked as an assistant to Jorge Silva Melo, Vítor Gonçalves and João Botelho. He made his debut at the age of 30 with Blood, which marked the start of a striking and highly praised oeuvre about people on the fringes of society. Many of Costa’s films, including Bones and Colossal Youth, have been screened in Rotterdam. Cavalo Dinheiro was awarded the Leopard for Best Director in 2014, while his Vitalina Varela was awarded the Gold Leopard for Best Film in 2019, both at the Locarno Film Festival.
More info: Wikipedia, Pedro Costa
Pedro Costa at IFFR
Minimalist drama set in the Creole slum 'Estrella d'Africa' of Lisbon, by the maker of O Sangue.
No quarto da Vanda
Shot on digital video, a recording of the life of the drug addict Vanda Duarte, set in the few square metres of her room in Fontainhas, an immigrant district of Lisbon.
Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub, Cinéastes - où gît votre
Straub & Huillet talk to a group of students about their film Sicilia! The debate immediately turns into a lesson on film-making. Costa decided to make his portrait of these renowned film-makers during this workshop.
Parts from 'No Quarto da Vanda'
To make the film No Quarto da Vanda, Pedro Costa followed the life of drug addict Vanda Duarte with a digital camera for a whole year. The film is primarily set in Vanda's room, where she receives her friends and family and where she eats, deals, and shoots up. At the same time it presents the alternative, harsh life in the Fontaínhas neighborhood, an area of Lisbon where many immigrants live, and where Vanda's room is located. One of the characters in the film says: "Life has shown me nothing but contempt. Living in ghost houses other people left empty. I've lived in houses not even a witch would live in! But I've been in houses that were worth it. ... I've paid more for the things I didn't do than for the things I did do." Witte de With will be showing a selection of rushes newly compiled by Costa. Pedro Costa's films radically focus on life beyond the margins of society. Nonetheless they allow the dim light of tragedy to turn into radiance when it comes to the dignity and beauty of Costa's characters. Within a carefully chosen mise en scène and stark lighting he reveals a so-called "Forth World," where isolation and hopelessness are the only bridge between the inhabitants.
Juventude em marcha
About how beautiful sombreness and decay can be. The old Cape Verdean Ventura is sad about his wife Clotilde who ran away. He writes her a choking letter. The poverty stricken district of Fontaínhas in Lisbon is portrayed as an ominous backdrop. Connoisseurs deemed the film the real winner at Cannes.
Costa at his best. Reflection on the notorious Tarrafal prison on the Cape Verde Island where the protagonist of Colossal Youth was born.
Ne change rien
Intimate portrait shot in black & white of the French actress/singer Jeanne Balibar. In long, static shots, Pedro Costa manages to capture the creative process visually. He shows recording sessions, rehearsals and performances by the versatile Balibar.
O nosso homem
A heartening return to Pedro Costa’s painterly cinema of hope and hopelessness - we go rabbit hunting with Ventura, thinking of Cape Verde.
A layered omnibus film on the historic town of Guimarães in Northern Portugal, with contributions from maestros Costa, Erice and (local resident) Kaurismäki, and a final part from Manoel de Oliveira (104 years old).
As an expressionist baroque master, Costa continues on his wayward path. The film crawls, as it were, into the head of Ventura (also to be seen in Colossal Youth), who came to Lisbon as a young Cape Verdean for work and, in his latter days and plagued by Parkinson's, is pursued by ghosts from the past.
Locarno Golden Leopard winner portrays the lives of immigrants as a pitch-black vacuum. Life stands still and people wander, silently.