Archived Events, Film



Special Event: Stick around for a post-screening discussion with director Pedro Costa!

The Harvard Film Archive frequently adds serious value to its already indispensable offerings by hosting conversations with film luminaries of all kinds. This October alone will see visits from a half-dozen very notables, including such directors as Lisandro Alonso, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Peter Davis, and tonight’s guest, Portugal’s Pedro Costa.

Costa, an almost unanimously beloved cinephile-darling, will be on hand to share and discuss his latest work, HORSE MONEY. Screening in Cambridge one day before it receives its official US premiere tomorrow at the New York Film Festival (the chip on my shoulder just got a little lighter, thanks), HORSE MONEY garnered Costa the Best Director award at August’s Locarno Film Festival.

Acquired for wider distribution on our fair to middling shores just a few days ago, HORSE MONEY turns the “Fontainhas Trilogy” — as its been called, after the slum on the fringes of Lisbon in which it’s largely set, since the 2006 release of COLOSSAL YOUTH (preceded by IN VANDA’S ROOM (2000) and 1997’s OSSOS) — into a tetralogy. The film follows, or stumbles into, several characters from the earlier films — down-and-out, mostly Cape Verdean immigrants played by non-actors — as they navigate a somehow lushly austere landscape crowded with memories, ghosts, and dreams (which may or may not refer to different things). First among equals is the elderly Cape Verdean Ventura, who, reprising his role from COLOSSAL YOUTH, is simultaneously enigmatic, pathetic, and regal. The living dead have rarely cut so dignified a figure.

Cinema’s own ghosts (and zombies) are ever-present here, both in the rigorously stylized compositions, which call to mind Bresson, Tarr, or an Antonioni with inverted class concerns, and in the long, static, patience-trying monologues, delivered with a flatness of affect that recalls the stiff soliloquies found in later Straub-Huillet. But Costa has long-since made Fontainhas his own territory, and tonight’s opportunity to join him on his latest foray there — more literally than usual, even — is something you won’t want to miss.

Given the apparent unavailability of a HORSE MONEY clip, here’s a trailer for Costa’s previous film, COLOSSAL YOUTH, set in and among the same place and people:

10/6 // 7PM
103 minutes
$12 (special event pricing)

Harvard Film Archive
Carpenter Center
24 Quincy St.
Cambridge, MA

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