Monday, June 11, 2007

Pedro Costa One-Stop



I'm in the middle of a Pedro Costa retrospective at Cinematheque Ontario. To make it a little more convenient for people searching for writings on his films on the Internet now and in the future, I thought I'd collect those links here in a one-stop post.

-- The most detailed Costa overview I've seen so far is by James Quandt in the Sept 2006 issue of Artforum. Unfortunately, it's not online but a reduced and revised version serves as the introductory essay for the retrospective.

-- At Rouge: A lengthy, thoughtful, amazing lecture that Costa gave to film students in Japan called "A Closed Door That Leaves Us Guessing"; and an essay on him by the Japanese film critic Shigehiko Hasumi.

-- A collection of Costa posts at Andy Rector's blog, Kinoslang.

-- Tag Gallagher's "Straub Anti-Straub" in the current issue of Senses of Cinema.

-- A collection of writings, many of them on blogs, in no particular order: Mark Peranson's Cannes '06 report in Cinema Scope; Dave McDougall at Chained to the Cinémathèque; Darren Hughes at Long Pauses; Acquarello at Strictly Film School; Michael Sicinski's TIFF '06 report at Greencine; Doug Cummings at Film Journey; Daniel Kasman at d+kaz; Jason Anderson in Toronto's Eye Weekly; Dave Kehr on Casa De Lava; Tom Charity's Vancouver '06 report at Greencine; Ruy Gardnier at A_Film_By; and my own post on Costa from last summer.

-- UPDATE: See Michael Guillen's Pedro Costa Next Stop post from several months later.

-- In addition to these online pieces, let me strongly recommend: Mark Peranson's interview with Costa in the summer '06 issue of Cinema Scope (issue #27); and Thom Andersen's essay in the Mar/Apr '07 issue Film Comment.

If you can think of anything I may have missed, either online or print, could you please consider adding them in the comments? Thanks much!


* * *

A busy/fun weekend, socially and cinema-wise. On Saturday, I met up with three Toronto cinephiles and Cinema Scope and Reverse Shot writers, Andrew Tracy, Adam Nayman and Travis Hoover, for beers and a pub meal before the screening of Pedro Costa’s film In Vanda’s Room. Yesterday I returned to Toronto, saw Costa’s first feature, O Sangue, and had the chance to spend the evening with him. Except for Andy Rector’s, Pedro didn’t know of any other filmblogs and asked if I could send him a link to this post; I promised him I would. The retrospective continues, and I’ll return to Toronto mid-week for his short films, the documentary on Straub/Huillet, and their film Sicilia!.


* * *

Worrying news: It appears that the British Film Institute (BFI) is negotiating to outsource its book-publishing arm, an important outlet for the publication of scholarly writing on film. What’s more, the authors of those books have had no voice in the negotiations or decision-making process. Pam Cook (author of The Cinema Book) has set up a blog to track these developments. Among other things, the blog contains a letter to the Guardian by numerous writer/scholars, and a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the proposed outsourcing. This is troubling news for film culture worldwide…


* * *

Ousmane Sembène, 1923-2007.

33 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

Thanks for the plug and the links girish. I'm so jealous of you and other cinephiles who are within reach of the Costa retro, but it looks like it may be traveling and I hope it makes it to NYC soon.

June 11, 2007 5:25 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Hi Daniel--Yes, it's traveling, and I think it'll be in NYC in August...

June 11, 2007 6:42 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Oh and I meant to mention in my post but forgot: Cinematheque Ontario has announced a comprehensive Philippe Garrel retrospective for the fall.

June 11, 2007 6:57 PM  
Blogger Sachin G. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 11, 2007 8:01 PM  
Blogger Sachin G. said...

Hey Girish,

I seriously considered flying to Toronto just to watch these films at the Cinematheque but it didn't pan out. I have read both the Cinema Scope & Film Comment article and that has just increased my desire to see any film from Pedro. Although, I believe it was your blog post about Pedro from last year that caught my eye :) So overdue thanks to you for that, and also for a fresh new set of links this time around.

Enjoy the rest of his films :) While my wait for his work continues...

June 11, 2007 8:02 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Sachin, I'm sure you'll get them before too long. They're headed roughly in your direction--I think they're playing in Vancouver starting next week...

June 11, 2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Starting next Monday, at Vancity Theatre!

Girish I also owe you for the blog entry you wrote last year. Your captivating description ignited my aggressive interest. After I watched Casa de Lava on the French DVD, I decided that I would see all of Pedro's films.

June 11, 2007 9:21 PM  
Blogger cineboy said...

For me, an interesting coincidence with Sembène. I wrote about Black Girl here a while back. Just recently I watched Xala. Both films I had seen over 20 years ago and wanted to watch them again. 2 days ago I thought about writing a post on Xala, but didn't. And then I find out Sembène's just died. He was a truly great and important filmmaker.

June 11, 2007 9:21 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks, Frank and Tucker.

Frank--Perhaps you'll blog your reactions to the films; I look forward to reading them.

Tucker--Sembene is one of the few filmmakers whose films I've seen only in the theater, not on DVD (usually it's the other way around). Years later, they are still strong in my memory...

June 12, 2007 6:34 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Zach really makes me want to see Otto Preminger's Daisy Kenyon...

June 12, 2007 6:48 AM  
Blogger girish said...

There is also a great conversation between Pedro Costa and Thom Andersen on Straub/Huillet in Cinema Scope, winter '07 (issue #29).

June 12, 2007 8:41 AM  
Blogger Sachin G. said...

Thanks Girish, Frank. Now I have some planning to figure out if I can indeed go to Vancouver for this great chance.

June 12, 2007 11:15 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Oh you're welcome, Sachin.

Dan Sallitt revisits The Thing From Another World:

"This time around, I was struck by how political the film was, and how completely the politics were a function of form. Hawks and his scriptwriters (Charles Lederer and the uncredited Ben Hecht) conceive the movie as a struggle for supremacy between two genres: the fairly new 50s sci-fi genre, and the adventure/action genre that his protagonists improvise. In the movie's rendering, the sci-fi genre is intrinsically liberal: the scientists are consumed with the wonder of extraterrestrial life, think only of making a mutually enriching contact. But the protagonists are soldiers whose instincts, even before the Thing's agenda is clear, are conservative: assume the worst, be armed, head off catastrophe."

June 12, 2007 5:29 PM  
Blogger dave said...

I read Zach on Daisy Kenyon just after Danny Kasman told me I needed to see it; luckily I get another chance at MoMA next Monday.

I am also anxiously awaiting the Costa retro here in New York... hopefully it doesn't occur while I'm in Portugal! I;m also curious - any idea what will play at the Garrel retrospective?

June 13, 2007 11:13 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Dave, I've heard that the Garrel series includes all (or close to all) of his feature films...

June 13, 2007 11:20 AM  
Blogger Andy Rector said...

girish,
Great work putting together this Costa resource center (and thanks for the inclusion)!
I'll add that the interview with Costa by Cahiers du cinema is bursting with insight. It's viewable online for nothing here: http://www.cahiersducinema.com/article995.html

peace,
andy

June 13, 2007 3:18 PM  
Blogger HarryTuttle said...

David "GreenCine" Hudson is interviewed on the state of online journalism and cites Girish Shambu as the inevitable hub of the cinephile community! Way to go. ;)
Podcast at Cinematical (via Maya)

June 13, 2007 3:24 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thank you, Andy & Harry!

June 13, 2007 3:41 PM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

Yay Girish! ... does Hudson pronounce your name correctly? (In my mind I've had the stress on the wrong syllable, if so.)

June 13, 2007 11:37 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks, Tuwa! Actually, you're right, the stress in my last name is more on the first syllable than the second, but even within India, there are numerous 'equally correct' variants of pronounciation, depending on which state/language you're working within...

June 14, 2007 7:01 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Off to Toronto in a few minutes. Darren's flying in from Tennessee. Today, we'll catch the Costa shorts, the Straub/Huillet documentary and Sicilia!. Tomorrow, hit some used bookshops, roam around the city, and revisit Johnny Guitar at the Cinematheque before I drive back home late tomorrow night.

June 14, 2007 8:15 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

Have a blast you two!! I'm so envious!

June 14, 2007 12:15 PM  
Blogger cineboy said...

have a great time!

June 14, 2007 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice site you have, have a look at http://www.badmovieknights.com/ when you get time ;)!

June 14, 2007 3:52 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Have a terrific weekend! I wished I'd found more time to talk to Darren about Colossal Youth when he was here in town. It was one of the most challenging films I've ever watched. I hope this retrospective tours to my neck of the woods.

Here is another reaction to the film at the SFIFF you may want to include in your collection of links.

June 14, 2007 4:45 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

And another.

June 14, 2007 6:30 PM  
Blogger Ryland Walker Knight said...

I'm with Brian. But mostly because I didn't get a chance to see Colossal Youth. And, if anything's been proven in my recent cinephilic activities, it's that all my trumpeting of theatrical experiences of films has been correct. (More explicit thoughts over at The House, today, on a different master.)

June 15, 2007 11:42 AM  
Blogger Campaspe said...

Girish, have a wonderful time! Darren and you should also try to hit Buffalo. My newcritics colleague cites it as a new home for the hipsters.

June 15, 2007 6:51 PM  
Blogger Peeping Tom said...

Here Portugal. What a marvelous blog this is; i just finded it when i was searching about the early films of Kiarostami.And i'm glad that, finally, Costa is being recognized beyond Portugal and France.

June 17, 2007 12:32 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Greetings and thank you, everyone, for the comments, links & wishes!

June 17, 2007 7:45 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Robert Koehler rank orders the 50 films he saw at Cannes. At #2 is Pedro Costa's new short, part of the omnibus film The State of the World.

June 17, 2007 10:27 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Michael Guillen has a most useful PEDRO COSTA NEXT STOP post.

March 01, 2008 6:46 AM  
Blogger José Oliveira said...

http://pedrocosta-heroi.blogspot.com/

March 14, 2008 4:08 PM  

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