Letters from Fontainhas - Three Films by Pedro Costa

Letters from Fontainhas - Three Films by Pedro Costa

DVD (Wide Screen and Full Frame / Subtitled)

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As issued by The Criterion Collection, this set brings together a trilogy of features helmed in the 1990s and 2000s by the Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa -- titles uniformly responsible for putting Costa on the map. All of the works in question are stark dramas, slow and understated ad extremis per Costa's style, and all deal with the desperation of those living in the dregs of society. Of this set, the 1997 Ossos tells of an initially suicidal young woman whose infant child gets snatched up by her ne'er-do-well boyfriend, prompting the mother to attempt to get the child back; the three-hour In Vanda's Room (2000) tells of an addict named Vanda who consumes vast quantities of drugs and sells vegetables to support herself; and the 2006 Colossal Youth resurrects characters from the prior two films, including Ventura from Ossos and Vanda from Vanda's Room, in its grim look at citizens struggling to survive in the slums of Casal Boba, Portugal. Bonus supplements include conversations between Costa and director Jean-Pierre Gorin about Ossos and Youth, Costa's video installation piece "Little Boy Male, Little Girl Female," photo galleries by Richard Dumas and Mariana Viegas, theatrical trailers for Youth and Room, and much more.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/30/2010
UPC: 0715515053013
Original Release: 0000
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Time: 10:23:00
Sales rank: 25,801

Special Features

Ossos, newly restored in high-definition, and In Vanda's Room and Colossal Youth remastered from the digital camera originals, all under the supervision of director Pedro Costa; New video conversations between Costa and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin about Ossos and Colossal Youth; New audio commentary for In Vanda's Room featuring Costa and Gorin; New selected-scene audio commentary for Colossal Youth with critic Cyril Neyrat and author-philosopher Jacques Rancière; Video interviews with critic João Bénard da Costa and cinematographer Emmanuel Machuel about Ossos; New video essay by artist Jeff Wall on Ossos; All Blossoms Again, a feature-length documentary on Costa, Colossal Youth, and the director's relationship to Fontainhas; Tarrafal and The Rabbit Hunters, two short films by Costa; "Little Boy Male, Little Girl Female," a video installation piece by Costa featuring outtakes from In Vanda's Room and Colossal Youth; Galleries of photos by Mariana Viegas and Richard Dumas; Theatrical trailers for In Vanda's Room and Colossal Youth; Plus: A booklet featuring essays by critics Cyril Neyrat, Ricardo Matos Cabo, Luc Sante, Thom Andersen, and Mark Peranson, as well as a reprint by film historian Bernard Eisenschitz

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa
1. Sharks [8:21]
2. Artitstic Works [12:22]
3. New Home [7:16]
4. House of the Departed [5:39]
5. Remembering [4:41]
1. Letter [4:18]
2. Working With Ventura [6:59]
3. The Hospital [4:04]
4. Process [3:38]
5. The Museum [4:28]
6. Variations [4:18]
7. Nuno [2:02]
8. The Revolutionary Song [4:50]
9. Fontainhas [14:24]
10. In Vanda's Room [4:20]
11. On Set [5:52]
12. House of the Departed [6:25]
13. Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? [3:34]
14. Finishing [4:58]
Disc #2 -- Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa
1. Sharks [3:32]
2. The Wrong Door [2:13]
3. Left Behind [3:46]
4. Vanda's Room [6:58]
5. Cards [3:53]
6. Lento [1:26]
7. Peace Offering [1:34]
8. Too Small [3:22]
9. Painful Delivery [10:40]
10. Holiday [3:19]
11. The Letter [1:18]
12. Artistic Works [7:25]
13. Winning Hand [9:57]
14. "All Right?" [7:14]
15. Father and Daughter [6:19]
16. Nhurro [6:20]
17. In the Pit [2:21]
18. New Home [9:22]
19. Family [9:39]
20. Still Suffering [2:55]
21. Paolo [:06]
22. Coup D'Etat [6:28]
23. House of the Departed [3:45]
24. Lento Responds [5:44]
25. More Surgery [4:42]
26. Electricity [6:47]
27. Mourning [4:20]
28. Out of Tune [3:36]
29. Remembering [2:58]
30. Beatriz [6:01]
Disc #3 -- Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa
1. Vanda's Room [5:24]
2. Pango [3:51]
3. Noise [5:08]
4. Rounds [4:32]
5. Cleaning Up [5:29]
6. Yarn [2:17]
7. Inside/Outside [3:47]
8. Antique Boat [3:31]
9. Bad Guys [4:03]
10. Amusements [5:08]
11. Afternoon Activities [5:56]
12. Insufficent Supplies [4:36]
13. Paola [2:02]
14. Conflict [3:37]
15. Yuran [6:14]
16. Carla's Crime [3:29]
17. Abuse [3:07]
18. Hospital Memories [4:28]
19. Hematomas [3:18]
20. Nela [3:37]
21. Preparing to Leave [5:40]
22. Obsessed [3:33]
23. Problems [7:31]
24. Asthma [2:06]
25. Yogurt and Birds [3:16]
26. Geny and Julius [3:47]
27. Drifting [6:10]
28. Eclipse [4:30]
29. Respect [2:59]
30. "My Mother Wants..." [4:11]
31. Flowers [4:28]
32. "The Life We Want" [10:57]
33. Houses [5:12]
34. Moving [1:59]
35. Nhurro's Gone [2:59]
36. "The Basket" [5:27]
37. Demolition [2:38]
38. Parsing Puffs [4:28]
39. What Remains [5:00]
1. Sound Mix [5:24]
2. Tricks [3:51]
3. From Ossos to In Vanda's Room [5:08]
4. A Decision to Stay [4:32]
5. The Time to Start [5:29]
6. Shooting In the Room [2:17]
7. Girls vs Boys [3:47]
8. Some Nick Ray [3:31]
9. The Secret [4:03]
10. Emmanuel Machuel [5:08]
11. Good-Byes [5:56]
12. The Light, Part 1 [4:36]
13. The Light, Part 2 [2:02]
14. Portraiture [3:37]
15. A New Studio [6:14]
16. Expanded Universe [3:29]
17. One Thing at a Time [3:07]
18. Archiving [4:28]
19. Memory [3:18]
20. Mobility [3:37]
21. Politics of Cinema [5:40]
22. Documenting Sensibilities [3:33]
23. Process, Part 1 [7:31]
24. Process, Part 2 [2:06]
25. Geny, Part 1 [3:16]
26. Geny, Part 2 [3:47]
27. Working With Time [6:10]
28. Eclipse [4:30]
29. Editing [2:59]
30. Structure [4:11]
31. A Break For Straub and Huillet [4:28]
32. Beginnings and Endings/Confronting Poverty [10:57]
33. One Form [5:12]
34. Warhol [1:59]
35. The Turning Point [2:59]
36. Separations [5:27]
37. Final Music [2:38]
38. Gratitude [4:28]
39. Breath [5:00]
Disc #4 -- Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa
1. Clotilde [5:46]
2. Tina [4:50]
3. New Family [7:39]
4. The Baby [7:57]
5. Help [5:25]
6. Eduardo [3:39]
7. Work [2:38]
8. Questions [4:26]
9. Evil Eye [3:08]
10. A Plea For Tina [6:01]
11. Bereft [3:06]
12. Abandonment [4:44]
13. Maura [2:16]
14. Waiting [2:54]
15. Mothers [7:58]
16. For Sale [5:45]
17. Home Visit [7:51]
18. Trapped [4:06]
19. Family [7:35]

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Letters from Fontainhas - Three Films by Pedro Costa 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
BNrippedmeoff More than 1 year ago
I ordered this from B&N only because it was half-price. I usually order through Amazon but I couldn't pass up the deal. Big mistake. I WILL NEVER ORDER FROM THIS HORRIBLE COMPANY AGAIN! The item was shipped not in a box, not in an envelope - but a piece of cardboard (very thin) folded over and taped on both ends. My dog could have packaged this better. My newspaper comes with more protection. It was pretty much completely destroyed (mind you, this is a box set made of cardboard as well) and after calling B&N for a replacement I have been getting the runaround for days - how long will this go on? Weeks? Months? Will I ever get a replacement? Barnes and Noble is pretty much refusing to give me a replacement and my emails and calls are worthless. I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and so far - nothing. Barnes and Noble - I can't wait until you go out of business. I hate you. BTW the films are great.
jameshewey More than 1 year ago
Anyone at least marginally interested in "arthouse" cinema ( maybe more accurately for our age "Film festival" cinema) has at least heard of Pedro Costa. Sadly for many, access to his influential and critically lauded films has proven difficult and in some cases inpossible. Thanks, Criterion, for finally making comercially available Costa's Fontainhas films. In Vanda's Room and Colossal Youth are on just about every major critical list of top films of the last decade, and irregardless of how arbitrary such lists may be, the constant appearance of Costa's two films still bespeaks of their enormous influence. With the exception of Ossos, which still carries the trappings of a traditional narrative, In Vanda's Room and Colossal Youth break with any conventional form and instead offer a series of scenes that straddle the line between fiction and nonfiction, creating for the viewer an indelible impression of both the characters and the crumbling slum that is Fontainhas. For some, the somber pace and for the most part static camera (as well as the rambling conversations and monologues; particularly Vanda's in Collosal Youth) will prove sleep-inducing. For others, the "ugliness" of the settings and the explicit drug use may prove off-putting. What can be said: this is a cinema that moves in the opposite direction to the current trends in mainstream cinema. This is not hyperkinetic fantasy, nor is it sentimental drama, and those expecting such will be bored. Pedro Costa is not interested in seducing viewers with escapist fare or tinkering with our heartstrings. This is not a trip to the carnival or a stop at the soapbox. Pedro opens you up the way that an afternoon at an exceptional art gallery or a museum does: one may not always like what one sees, but one cannot help but be moved,inspired or provoked by what is on display. The Fontainhas trilogy are a tonic for the generous viewer, bracing and invigorating. Pedro Costa doesn't draw you in, he opens the doors so that you can see. He doesn't pull you along, he invites you to stay and have a look around. He will not bludgeon you with his opinions, but his films will provoke thought. And the images are stunning: during some scenes,I was saddened when Costa's camera moved away- I wanted more time with the shot. Criterion does an exceptional job with this box set and everything is top notch: the picture quality, the subtitling and the special features are all exceptional. This set is well worth owning. It's amazing stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago