In April 2000, we introduced our audience to the films of Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien. At the time, Hou was virtually unknown to American film audiences as international film festivals were likely the only opportunity to see one of his films. That year, however, the Village Voice’s poll of 60 international film critics named him the best director of the past decade and two of his films – Flowers of Shanghai and The Puppetmaster – were named as two of the best 15 films of the 1990s. Our retrospective was a great opportunity for a crash course in Hou’s cinema, and we’ve screened more recent films such as Millennium Mambo and Three Times in the years that followed (one hopes his most recent film Voyage du ballon rouge will make its way to a Columbus screen if not the Wexner screen).
This month, we present our audience with an opportunity similar to that provided by the Hou series with our retrospective of Portuguese director Pedro Costa. As Hou was then, Costa is virtually unknown to American audiences but the critical attention his most recent film Colossal Youth has attracted is helping to change that. After causing a stir at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, the film finally received screenings in the U.S. during 2007. It was named the 8th best film of 2007 by Indiewire.com’s poll of more than 100 North American film critics and Costa was named the 7th best director of the year. Click here for the poll.
Our retrospective begins on Thursday, February 7 with a double-feature of two of Costa’s early films, O Sangue (1989) and Ossos (1997). On Friday, we’re very excited to have Pedro Costa here to introduce and discuss Colossal Youth. I highly encourage our audience to take advantage of this rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s great contemporary filmmakers discuss his work. The series continues throughout the month and the full schedule is available on our website’s film page.
Finally, L.A. Weekly’s Scott Foundas provides a nice overview of Costa’s career. Hope to see you at Colossal Youth on Friday! -- David Filipi, Curator, Film/Video