Thursday, 27 November 2008

Bones by Pedro Costa

So I attended the final and second screening of the films I wanted to see of Pedro Costa. Bones or Ossos (In Portuguese) was actually in reflection a very good film. Why I say reflection is because The Melbourne Cinémathèque environment is quite sterile, and although they screen some good stuff, it always wears me out hanging around film aficionados who appear as the cinematic equivalent of people who meet and cultivate tall poppies and chrysanthemums. The opposite exhausting film crowd, is the buff and loud "wannabe" Hollywood set all puffed out, wearing caps, and talking like Brian Brown.

What I liked about Bones was the rainy, labyrinthine, pottery feel to the shots. Every shot virtually was framed fairly tight, and therefore I experienced something akin to a series of cutaways that together made up a narrative about a young couple caught in the Portuguese slums with a newborn. I am starting to realise that Pedro uses certain refrains and then breaks it suddenly as an exclamatory device.

The incidental chattering and music through-out was sort of like a soundtrack to the film, and I enjoyed the continual closing and opening of doors, peep shots framed by walls and doors, but the foreground facing of the actors sometimes seemed contrived, and I guess because Pedro was aiming for a stylistic approach, it worked to a degree.

One review said the film was minimalist, but I disagree, perhaps the lack of continuous dialogue could warrant such a description but I thought the film was very busy and condensed - even if the characters moped around for the most part of the film.

I recommend this film, I think people will enjoy it, for its particular Portuguese flavour.

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