|Full Name Ricardo Costa|
Name Ricardo Costa
Years active 1974–present
Role Film director
|Born 25 January 1940 (age 75) (1940-01-25) Peniche, Portugal|
Movies Mists, Cravos de Abril, Drifts, Changing Tides
Similar People Rogerio Paulo, Helena Isabel, Adelaide Joao
Ricardo Costa (born 25 January 1940) is a Portuguese film director and producer. He is the author of essays on cinema, vision, and language.
Most of his filmography consists of documentary films, pure cinéma vérité. Many include fiction elements (docufiction and ethnofiction). He uses the techniques of direct cinema not only as a tool for practising salvage ethnography but also as a means to compose sober, "musical" and poetic narratives, interesting cinephiles and suitable for common audiences.
Mists (Brumas), his penultimate film, was selected for the 60th Venice Film Festival, New Territories (2003) and premiered in New York, 2011, at the Quad Cinema. It is the first film of an auto-biographic docufiction trilogy on time and human wanderings: Faraways (Longes). Drifts (Derivas), the second one, a comedy, released in Portugal, January 2016, is "a portrait of Lisbon drawn through the peregrinations of two unfit venerable brothers across the city". The third and last film of the sequel is Cliffs (Arribas), film in post-production, in which the protagonist goes back to his homeland via time travel. There he will face disquieting situations and puzzling characters.
Unlike most Portuguese films, all the films by Ricardo Costa have been made with no state funds and very low budgets.
Costa completed his studies in 1967 at the Faculty of Arts at the Lisbon University. After submitting a thesis on the novels of Kafka, Franz Kafka: uma escrita invertida (Franz Kafka: writing in the mirror), he earned a PhD in 1969. He was a high school teacher and owned a company (pt:MONDAR editores), where he published a number of sociological texts and avant-garde papers, literature and cinema. After the Carnation Revolution in 1974, he became a filmmaker. He was a partner of Grupo Zero, with other filmmakers like João César Monteiro, Jorge Silva Melo and Alberto Seixas Santos. Later, he became an independent producer with the company Diafilme, where he produced several of his films and some of other directors. He organized film screenings and cycles in Paris (Cinémathèque Française and Musée de l’Homme).
In some way moved by the idea that explains one sentence of Marcel Mauss, a well-known French sociologist and anthropologist, ("There is more poetry in a grain of reality than in the brain of a poet"), certain Portuguese film-makers, specially after the Carnation Revolution, traveled around their country, from one end to another, camera in hand. With state funds or in co-production with the national broadcast TV station, the RTP, some made "engaged films" (cinéma engagé, i.e. political cinema), but never with lack of charm. Others make films in which reality, as an expression of actual events, appears with that poetical charge, as Mauss refers. Films shot with low budgets, but in full liberty. Films portraying reality, a genre to which all those productions fit, would last for a few years and would generate important or even remarkable works, some of which were forgotten.
Costa identifies himself more with that simple idea than with the purpose of changing the world, something intended by most of young Portuguese directors who suffered the traumas of Salazar’s dictatorship for a long time. They now make political films to help their country heal its wounds and breathe. Trying the same other way, Costa cultivates a style in which reality turns into poetical expression, into human portrait, into an interrogation point. Mise en scène, the fictional attraction, will be for him a permanent temptation.
Short and middle-length films
Articles and essays on vision and language (pt, fr, en)