‘Vitalina Varela’ Review: Another Ravishing, Masterful Vision From Pedro Costa

Published on Aug 15, 2019

‘Vitalina Varela’ Review: Another Ravishing, Masterful Vision From Pedro Costa

The mystery and wonder of Pedro Costa’s filmmaking defies any specific category other than his own unique blend. The Portuguese director conjures dark, dreamlike visions of post-colonial neglect and yearning that hover somewhere between fantasy and neorealism, horror and melodrama, spirituality and desperation. “Vitalina Varela,” Costa’s fifth journey into the shantytown Fontainhas outside of Lisbon, once again showcases Costa’s masterful ability to mine cinematic poetry from a unique environment and the mournful figures who wander through its murky depths.

The Costa Expanded Universe stems back to 2006’s “Colossal Youth,” when Costa first began exploring the Cape Verdean residents of Fontainhas by casting members of the immigrant community as themselves. Costa’s ravishing blend of light and shadow captures the characters as they wander the claustrophobic interiors of their ramshackle homes and muse about their wandering lives. Costa’s dour, humorless aesthetic takes time to settle in and

Read full article at: Indiewire

Author: Eric Kohn