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Written and directed by Pedro Costa
Horse Money is an elusive entity, a picture of eerie dreamscapes and squalid urban degradation devoid of earthly logic. Our unknowing guide is a retired brick layer named Ventura, acting as a cipher for the displaced souls of the Cape Verdean immigrants, consorting us through a saprogenic world. Director Pedro Costa crafts a hallucinatory, soul-searching labyrinth out of the squalor and grime of the Lisbon slums, known to locals as Fontainhas. It’s almost soporific in its unending calmness, but it (mostly) avoids pretensions. Ventura drifts in a solipsistic daze through various scenes of displaced landscape and artifice. He does various non-activities with unvarying detachment: he meets his estranged ex-wife, and tries to make a call on a broken phone, and uses a urinal in a derelict bathroom, and visits a doctor. Each event is visually striking, yet completely uneventful (though »
- Greg Cwik
The New York Film Festival kicks off this evening, though not with Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner (that comes next weekend), even though I couldn’t resist leading off this year’s round-up with this glorious sunburst of a poster for that film’s German release.
Keyart doesn’t seem to have been created yet for some of the newest films like Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden, the Safdies’ Heaven Knows What, Pedro Costa’s Horse Money, Eugene Green’s La Sapienza, Nick Broomfield’s Tales of the Grim Sleeper, and Oren Moverman’s Time Out of Mind, but I have managed to find posters for the other 23 films in the Main Slate of the Festival. Some are repeats from my Cannes Competition round-up earlier this year, though I have tried to find newer designs if possible (like that striking Saint Laurent). Posters are presented »
- Adrian Curry
Because most of the films screening at the 52nd New York Film Festival (September 26 through October 12) have seen their world premieres earlier in the year, we're able to post an index to all our entries on critical reaction to these titles so far. Now we can look forward to a fresh round of reviews of new work by the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Cronenberg, Olivier Assayas, Abel Ferrara, Mike Leigh, Hong Sang-soo, Abderrahmane Sissako, Mia Hansen-Løve, Pedro Costa, Joshua Oppenheimer—the list goes on. » - David Hudson »
We're mourning the loss of Peter von Bagh along with countless others in the world cinema community. Many are sharing past articles on or by von Bagh. Here's Jonathan Rosenbaum's piece on the man, and his extraordinary film Helsinki, Forever:
"We’ve met at various times in Paris, London, New York, Southern California, Chicago, Helsinki, Sodankylä, and Bologna — and probably in other places as well, although these are the ones I currently remember. The first times were in Paris in the early 1970s, when he looked me up, and it must have been either in San Diego in 1977 or 1978 or in Santa Barbara between 1983 and 1987 that he convinced me to buy a multiregional Vcr. Most likely it was the latter, where I was mainly bored out of my wits apart from my pastime of taping movies from cable TV, and Peter maintained that if we started swapping films through the mail, »
From October 8 to 19, the 43rd edition of the Festival du nouveau cinéma will run. This year’s lineup of 380 films (152 features and 228 shorts from 55 countries) includes 40 world premieres, 51 North American premieres and 41 Canadian premieres. The festival opens with the English language debut of Philippe Falardeau, The Good Lie and closes with the feature documentary The Salt of the Earth co-directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.
Always balancing the best of local and world cinema, this year’s line-up features favourites of the festival circuit including a number of key world premieres. Some key releases include, Félix and Meira (winner of best Canadian feature at Tiff), Adieu au langage (Jean- Luc Godard), Horse Money (Pedro Costa), Hard to Be a God (Aleksey German), Jauja (Lisandro Alonso), Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg), P’tit Quinquin (Bruno Dumont), Wild (Jean-Marc Vallee), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour »
- Justine Smith
The new issue of Cinema Scope features articles on Harun Farocki, Xavier Dolan, David Lynch, Eugène Green and Michael Snow and interviews with Pedro Costa, Simone Rapisarda Casanova and Peter von Bagh and more. Also in today's roundup of news and views: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky on Dan Sallitt's The Unspeakable Act, Jordan Cronk on Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets, Howard Hampton on Eraserhead, David Cairns on Segundo de Chomón, Sierra Pettengill on Roberto Rossellini's Roma città aperta—and more. » - David Hudson »
Below you will find our total coverage of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, including a round up on experimental short films, reviews, and the festival-spanning dialog between our two main critics at Tiff. More interviews will be added to the index as they are published.
Between Fernando F. Croce and Daniel Kasman
Daniel Kasman on Pedro Costa's Horse Money, Peter Ho-Sun Chan's Dearest, Roy Andersson's A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Takashi Miike's Over Your Dead Body, and Sono Sion's Tokyo Tribe
Even when his choice of material has been suspect, Alejandro G. (formerly Gonzalez) Inarritu has never given us reason to doubt him as one of the most purely gifted filmmakers of his generation. For him, no less than for Michael Keaton, this ferociously inventive plunge into the corroded soul of American celebrity represents a career-reigniting comeback; for that wizardly cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, it’s the latest in a steady stream of digital long-take miracles, like “Black Swan” as directed by Max Ophuls. (Venice, Telluride, New York)
“From What Is Before”
The extreme length is inseparable from the power and conviction of Lav Diaz’s historical epic about the devastation of a small Filipino barrio amid the political and military unrest of the early 1970s. As a slow-burning study of social decay, this winner of Locarno’s Golden Leopard prize is both a thematic companion piece to Michael Haneke »
- Variety Staff
★★★★☆Since as far back as his third feature, 1997's Ossos, the work of auteur Pedro Costa has frequently explored the troubled Lisbon district of Fontainhas. In a loose trilogy he has chronicled the existential wanderings of impoverished immigrants, most recently in Colossal Youth (2006), which focused on the Cape Verdean Ventura. Costa is once again the subject of the director's latest film, Horse Money (2014), which moves at a brisker pace than previous outings but is unlikely to convert disbelievers. It's a singular and deeply resonant work that finds a mesmerising poetry amidst the chiaroscuro rubble of post-colonial Portugal, and was rightly rewarded with the Best Director prize at this year's Locarno Film Festival.
- CineVue UK
As this year’s Toronto Film Festival hits its midpoint, the headlines are that sales have been slow and that Oscar prognosticators are still looking for The One — that mythical, anointed cinematic being that will appear before them (like Neo in “The Matrix” or the giant mechanical claw in “Toy Story”) and reveal itself to be this year’s odds-on best picture favorite. Meanwhile, for those of us who care more about the art of movies than the hype and the business, this over-programmed, over-scheduled but nonetheless essential festival of festivals has (as usual) been an embarrassment of riches. Of course, those who stick to Toronto’s starry, red-carpeted world premieres (here, as at most North American fests, milquetoast sops to the deep-pocketed donor-sponsor crowd) are bound to go home disappointed, though at least one of those much-buzzed titles, Chris Rock’s outrageously funny “Top Five,” was »
- Scott Foundas, Justin Chang and Peter Debruge
What follows is a highly selective, unavoidably partial guide to the Wavelengths section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off today. Perhaps it seems that “selective” and “partial” are synonymous enough to produce redundancy when placed within the same sentence, and in most instances I would agree with this objection. In the first case, "selective," I will note that, of the 28 shorts and features that I was able to preview from the Wavelengths section (impeccably curated, as always, by the perspicacious Andréa Picard), I have chosen to highlight the fifteen that I personally found most aesthetically and intellectually bold, invigo(u)rating, troubling, critical-verbiage-thwarting, or otherwise worthy of hearty recommendation. This in no way implies that the other works were somehow lacking, only that I could not see my way through to them at this particular time and place. A different set of viewing circumstances (the ones you’re about to embark upon, »
- Michael Sicinski
Below you will find an index of all our coverage of the 67th Locarno Film Festival by Adam Cook, Marie-Pierre Duhamel, and Celluloid Liberation Front.
Web Exclusive: The World of Titanus by Carlo Chatrian
From What is Before by Lav Diaz
The Princess of France by Matías Piñeiro
Horse Money by Pedro Costa
Une jeune poète by Damien Manivel
Over Your Dead Body
Familiar faces. Indeed, it is so very good to see yours, one year later. The steadfastness of friends through this world and in this industry is for me always a surprise, and always touching, especially in light of the mutability of life and cinema.
Familiar faces...Ventura's: that's another story. Seeing this man, this actor, this figure in Horse Money was like happily visiting an aging relative only to discover that across the span of missed time you can see the creeping effects of dementia. (“Blood drips on the floor but you don’t see the razor,” a widow in the film mourning, angrily remarks.) Standing tall as ever and poised with attempted self-control, nonetheless you see Ventura's long fingers tremble, in the darkness a nosferatu wandering a prison-hospital of memories and sins, psychic and bodily pain. The expressionist shroud in which he wanders confounds time, »
- Daniel Kasman
Pedro Costa's "long-awaited Horse Money (Cavalo Dinheiro) presents an associative hotchpotch of memories pertaining to the experiences of displaced Cape Verdians now living in Portugal," writes Michael Pattison in Keyframe. "Following on from Colossal Youth (Juventude Em Marcha, 2006), it again features his regular performer Ventura—this time a trembling bag of nerves moving from one eerily quiet room to the next of something resembling a mental hospital. Exquisite compositions and delicately delivered dialogue build to a cumulative tone-poem on the traumas felt today by an exiled people still coming to terms with the prolonged fallout of imperialism." We collect further reviews and post a half-hour Q&A with Costa. » - David Hudson »
The main attraction at this year’s Locarno Film Festival was the cage fight that one English critic imagined might be taking place as the eleven-day event drew to a close. Contested by two timeless arthouse juggernauts, whose output keeps everyone except the obliviously uninformed masses happy, this celebrity death match—admission to which would have been limited to only the truest, most dedicated cinephiles—would’ve answered the burning question of our traumatized, post-colonial age: who has the bigger benefit-of-doubt cache between Pedro Costa and Lav Diaz? »
Festival time once more, for me the most valuable time. Time to soak in contrasting cinematic visions from across the globe, of course, and time to run into old and new friends. My first couple of days at a place like Toronto, I’m rather ashamed to say, mainly consist of playing catch-up. Not just catching up with titles which have already received coverage in other festivals, but also with fellow writers and cinema-lovers whom I practically only get to see once a year. As lonely as the basic act of movie-watching can be, to me the atmosphere here has always been an intoxicatingly communal one. The joy of leaping from screening to screening is matched only by the pleasure of discussing those discoveries with others—a dialogue that flows fluidly from contemporary releases to classic obscurities and gives a festival as vast as Tiff the intimate sense of shared exploration. »
- Fernando F. Croce
In “Horse Money,” nothing and everything makes sense. It’s a kind of ghost story, a foggy memory, a series of vignettes where the past, present, and future all converge. The latest in director Pedro Costa’s series of films exploring the plight of disenfranchised Cape Verdeans in the Fontainhas of Portugal, the story revisits a version of the character Ventura, who played a major role in 2006’s “Colossal Youth”. Costa opens with black and white photos of turn-of-the-century New York City tenement dwellers by famous photographer Jacob Riis, which echo a later musical vignette of still camera shots, dignified and unpitying portraits of Cape Verdeans living in the long since demolished shacks »
- Zeba Blay
Just try and keep up: the good folks at Cinema Scope are doing their epic annual Tiff capsule review marathon. Dive in. Martin Scorsese will be returning to Shutter Island to make a prequel for a new television series. For Film Comment, our very own Neil Bahadur has a conversation with Pedro Costa about his award-winning Horse Money:
"Bahadur: I remember you mentioned yesterday [at the press conference] how you’re only just starting to like the movie now. Is it usually that way with your films? Or is it specific to this one?
Costa: I think I like this more now. I only like some of the others, or small moments in the other films. This one came out so tense—I see a kind of tension that was very difficult to get. That’s because of Ventura too. Some people can do it like that [snaps fingers] like Straub. Well, not like that [snaps fingers again] because they work a lot. »
From What is Before, a 338-minute film by Filipino director Lav Diaz, has won the Golden Leopard, grand prize of the 67th Locarno Film Festival. The moody and atmospheric black-and-white film depicts rising levels of fear, violence and suspicion in a small village, reflecting the widespread impact of Ferdinand Marcos’ regime, which imposed martial law in the 1970s. The film also took three prizes from the festival’s independent juries, including the Fipresci award.
Pedro Costa won Best Director for Cavalo Dinheiro, another film of intense visual beauty, set in the former Portuguese colony of Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa. The film examines collective memory through the figure of an elderly man who wanders through hospital corridors, abandoned streets and ruined factories, in limbo between past and present, and under the ominous surveillance of the military.
Best Actress went to Ariane Labed, who made her screen breakthrough »
- Alison Frank
Even within Latin America, Paraguayan cinema does not exactly dominate the cultural conversation and, sadly, remains something of a mystery. In fact, outside of Argentina, Brazil, and maybe Chile, the rest of South America, in cinematic terms, is mostly uncharted territory (which is not to say no movies are made there, but rather that international audiences, even open-minded cinephiles, don’t know much about them). With this in mind, the breakaway success of 7 Boxes, by Tana Schémbori and Juan Carlos Maneglia, is startling. Since premiering in 2012, it has nabbed prizes in San Sebastian and Mar del Plata; has featured in film festivals in Mexico, Cuba, Sweden, Canada, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic; and has earned critical accolades wherever it has been shown. It is also the highest grossing Paraguayan movie of all time. Nevertheless, it still took two »
- Guido Pellegrini
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