Thursday, April 03, 2008


My interview with Pedro Costa is up at Greencine's main site, where Dave Hudson has graciously excused the fact that neither Pedro nor I "are in any rush to move on from one topic to the next."

Cross-published on Twitch.

04/06/08 UPDATE: If you're not already a subscriber to the Canadian publication Cinema Scope, now might be the time to consider becoming one. Commencing with their Summer 2008 issue, Cinema Scope subscribers will be receiving free DVDs courtesy of Filmswelike. The first DVD in this special Cinema Scope Presents series, featuring extra features developed in partnership with Cinema Scope, will be Pedro Costa’s Colossal Youth.


girish said...

Great interview, Michael. I'm glad that you were in "no hurry to move on"! That's why this interview is so special.

HarryTuttle said...

Thanks for finally publishing this long awaited interview. It's great. I like the way you don't let him get away with his refusal to address the compositional aspects of his shots. He sounds on the defensive at first when he rants about "the critics", but then he softens (maybe because of your Indian story) and finally admits to some mythic symbolism and determined vantage point. ;)

Though his opposition to interpretation and psychology is something that tends to be quite consistent with other "Contemplative Cinema"... So it would be interesting to explore this further.

Michael Guillen said...

Girish, Harry, thanks for your kind words. I'm so glad you two especially have enjoyed this conversation, which I can honestly say was one of the most influential Ive had yet. Costa definitely affected how I think about cinema.

Ryland Walker Knight said...

While I still would like to write about _Casa de Lava_ and Costa's lecture (if only for the themes he left open to thought), I have decided that your interview and two posts on that final day of screenings more than eclipse what I may have to offer this topic as of right now. Maybe over the summer I can revisit his closed doors. Until then, Thanks!

(Also: how'd you like the history lesson (however biased) that was _A Grin Without A Cat_? That was something... big. Too big for this pithy comment. But as a movie about illusion, and delusion, it's pretty interesting: I may watch _Sans Soleil_ this weekend, because of last night, and write something. But I'm bad at following through on things, apparently... (ha!) so I don't want to promise anything.)

Finally: that SFIFF calendar is pretty sweet, right?

Michael Guillen said...

Ryland: Thanks for swinging by to comment. I was really glad to have you help out with coverage. Between the two of us, I think we did Costa (and PFA) good, what do you think?

I adored Grin Without A Cat. I went in dreading the 3-hour length and it whizzed by effortlessly. I was fascinated by Marker's global intelligence and his grasp of history. I felt so stupid by comparison. Further, I have never heard so many Communists speak in my life. At the most, I've seen one or two moments with Castro and that's about it. To have the chance to view all this footage was fascinating. I found the leader of the Spanish Communist Party especially intriguing and--having just watched The Judge and the General in preparation for SFIFF08, the documentary on the judge who brought down Pinochet--I was grateful for the chance to see footage of Allende speaking.

I'm researching Marker in hopes of putting up a post in the near future while I'm still enthused.

But, of course, this goshdang San Francisco International has raised its hydra head and who knows what I'll be able to get accomplished in the next month, what with press screenings and screeners and interviews. Ack!!

In the immortal words of SuperChicken: "If you're afraid, you'll have to overlook it because you knew the job was dangerous when you took it!"

Ryland Walker Knight said...

During the brief intermission, my friend said, "I didn't know you were interested in this stuff!" And, truth be told, in general I'm not: I am not politically minded, like some of my friends, and I live in a pretty safe bubble of my own creation that ignores most things outside movies. Still, _A Grin Without A Cat_ was quite the education. It was worth it solely for that great laugh we all had when Castro couldn't move those Russian microphones. And, of course, for giving face to so much history. But, at the same time, it's quite a downer. That ending was pretty rough, if poetic.

SFIFF's hydra head will drain my pocket book I'm sure. If only it was happening two weeks later I'd try to get credentials and write about it. But, as it stands, it's right in the thick of the end of the semester. And I've still got a lot of work to do. Well, there's always next year. I mean, it's just movies, right?

Sachin said...

Michael, I LOVE your interview. Thanks for that. I have enjoyed your interviews before but this one was truly amazing. So calm, relaxed, intelligent, collected, composed, well paced. In fact, it truly lit up my morning when I read it. I am done gushing now :)

Michael Guillen said...

Gushing always appreciated, Sachin. Thanks so much for your kind words and I'm glad you enjoyed my conversation with Costa as much as I did.