Above: Ventura (right) amongst the shadows, peeling walls, and a rare friend in Colossal Youth.
David Pratt-Robson’s website videoarcadia is full with varied, scholarly, passionate, and deeply insightful cinematic analysis. One particular post of his I have enjoyed recently is Approaching Colossal Youth, an article on Pedro Costa’s utterly remarkable Portuguese film from 2006. David, contributing to Harry Tuttle’s Contemplative Cinema Blogathon, looks at the film from many angles, among them Costa’s paradoxical use of sound design, influence from John Ford, and the film’s links to The Odyssey. Here is a selection:"What’s less commented upon is his sound design: fluid, lush, and busy, with the sounds of vehicles and people talking, as well as bulldozers tearing down the neighborhood (though much less in Colossal Youth); all the strands flow together so that nothing in particular can be heard, even while every pixel can be easily discerned (whereas the spots in film, seen up-close, seem to blink and move like fireflies, never sticking in place). Whereas the visuals in Colossal Youth seems fixed in every possible way, like images of dead men talking in a dead world, the soundtrack is always in flux, completely lively: whatever sense of bareness is raised by the views of lonely men talking against white-washed homogenized spaces is negated entirely by the alternate sense of a close community, never seen, just behind these walls."