June 3, 2006


Tuesday, May 30, 2006 
9:05 PM
From GK(...)
To : Andy Rector
Subject :
could ebert sound like more of a dumbass?

From Ebert's last Cannes report:
"Sunday morning in the Hotel Splendid breakfast room, my favorite Cannes expert Pierre Rissient predicted that the big prize would shock everyone by going to “Colossal Youth,” by the Portuguese director Pedro Costa. Pierre is such a legend they are naming a theater after him at Telluride this year, but he was, to put it delicately, wrong. “Colossal Youth,” unseen by me, tells the story of a Lisbon worker whose wife leaves him, and he moves from a slum to a housing complex. Why didn’t I see it? Because Mary Corliss did. She is the wife of Time film critic Richard Corliss, who told me: 'Mary walked out after an hour because the movie made her feel like rats were fighting in her skull.'”

Tuesday, May 30, 2006,
9:06 PM, 
From : Andy Rector: 
Subject : Re: could ebert sound like more of a dumbass?:

real rigorous, not seeing a film based on the opinion of a bad critic's wife. What a horrifying image...rats fighting in her head... if thats what happens when a filmmaker respects you, you have other problems! Such reactions are deranged, not the films. One only has to ponder the rabidity of the sort of films that ease the minds of critics like Corliss or his wife to know what's healthy and what's not.

Now that's the second reference to "heads" and Pedro Costa films that I've heard. The difference being that Mary Corliss spoke of her own head and Manny (Farber) spoke of the film's head!

PEDRO COSTAIt's not a creation its a meeting. I make films because I meet certain people in certain places. (...) And I think that's important to show certain things like that, it's innocent enough...
We don't want to stop, we have things to do, things to work on. I think cinema's tools require us to make efforts; not everything is lost.

Nevertheless I think that I would do everything for cinema to be like it was in the past. It was an art which educated me, which trained me morally, politically, artistically, aesthetically. I learn so much from films and the way I put into practice my production.
When I say production I mean how to treat people. (...)

QUESTION: Do you expect the cinema viewer to make an effort watching your film?

PEDRO COSTA: Yes. But it's sort of an awareness. I'm not asking the cinema goer to suffer, I just want them to be sensitive and that's what worries me about being here (in Cannes). Perhaps people are not really paying suffient attention. And there should be some nervous tension.

from: http://www.festival-cannes.fr/films/fiche_film.php?langue=6002&partie=video&id_film=4360212&cmedia=18368840\

From the Archive of the Youth Brigade For the Import of the Films of Pedro Costa


Unknown said...

I would really like to read the interview in its entirety. Is it posted anywhere?

Andy Rector said...

Amy- Thanks for asking...
the Cannes website had this interview up, but now I don't see it there anymore. There are still some interesting quotes from Costa there: http://www.festival-cannes.fr/films/fiche_film.php?langue=6002&id_film=4360212

Here's a link to a video interview on the arte website, in french though: http://www.arte.tv/fr/Impression/1226080.html

For interviews in english, there are the lovely efforts of Cinemascope magazine. They've published an excellent long interview in issue #27; it's part one -- part two is yet to be published. Their latest issue, #29, also includes an interview with him about Straub/Huillet.

all the best,