Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Juvemtude em Marcha" or "Youth on the March")

 

directed by Pedro Costa
France/Portugal/Switzerland 2006

 

Many of the lost souls of Ossos and In Vanda’s Room return in the spectral landscape of Colossal Youth, which brings to Pedro Costa’s Fontainhas films a new theatrical, tragic grandeur. This time, Costa focuses on Ventura, an elderly immigrant from Cape Verde living in a low-cost housing complex in Lisbon, who has been abandoned by his wife and spends his days visiting his neighbors, whom he considers his “children.” What results is a form of ghost story, a tale of derelict, dispossessed people living in the past and present at the same time, filmed by Costa with empathy and startling radiance.

***

When the Portuguese government moves residents from the Fontainhas (depicted in Costa's prior film IN VANDA'S ROOM) slum to new, modern low-cost high-rise housing, Ventura - a laborer from Cape Verde who immigrated to Lisbon in the 1970's - is abandoned by his wife Clothilde (actually, it is never specified whether this abandonment happened recently or farther into the past since throughout the film Ventura repeatedly recites a thirty-year old unanswered love letter he sent to her). He starts tracking down the residents that he regards as his "children" - just as he regards his lost Clothilde as their "mother," much to their indifference - including former addict Vanda (from Costa's previous film) who has turned her life around after having a child, her husband, Bete (who is reluctant to leave Fontainhas), a security guard in the Gulbenkian Foundation museum that Ventura himself built years ago, among others. When Ventura himself is moved to a new apartment, he decides he wants one with enough space to house his now dispersed "family" and is coolly obstinate in response to the officious social worker's attempts to define his family to determine what size dwelling Ventura is entitled. The lives of these disenfranchised characters are now hidden behind and within the clean, blindingly white, new apartments (the empty apartments shown to Ventura seem uninviting - the social worker wipes a wall Ventura has leaned against - and the contrast between the new apartment and their old furniture depresses Vanda, who is on methadone and wants to take her miracle child to Our Lady of Fatima). Although loosely a documentary - although Costa mentions that it is more scripted than his prior films in that the "characters" wrote and memorized what they were going to say - it is hard not to ignore the camera; virtually every one of Costa's shots is ravishing to behold. Ventura is quite a presence himself, but he's framed strikingly against the smooth, white modern high-rise, beside the paintings at the Gulbenkian, the craggy walls of Fontainhas, and emerging into pools of light within bottomless darkness.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 23 November 2006 (Portugal)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion Collection (Letters from Fontainhas set) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas and Brian Montgomery for the Screen Caps!

(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Criterion Collection (Letters from Fontainhas set) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Eureka Video

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 2:29:40 2:36:00
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.7 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema)

 

Bitrate:

Criterion Collection (Letters from Fontainhas set)

 

Audio Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Subtitles English, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• DISC ONE:
• Pedro Costa on COLOSSAL YOUTH (16:9; 16:08)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:53)
• DISC TWO:
• TARRAFAL short film (2007 - 4:3; 17:03)
• THE RABBIT HUNTERS short film (2007 - 4:3; 22:15)
• O NOSSO HOMEM short film (2010 - 4:3; 24:19)
• FINDING THE CRIMINAL documentary by Craig Keller (2008 - 16:9; 1:57:06)
• 56-page booket featuring writing by French philosopher Jacques Rancière, an essay by Joao Bénard da
• Costa, a facsimile reproduction of Ventura's letter from the film, and more

DVD Release Date: 22 August 2011
Amaray

Chapters 31
 

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• New video conversation between Costa and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin (23:03)
• Theatrical trailer
• Selected Scenes Commentary with critic Cyril Neyrat and author-philosopher Jacques Rancière on Disc 4

 

DVD Release Date: 30 March 2010
Carboard Slim Case in Box Set

Chapters 31

 

Comments

Shot on PAL DVCAM and transferred to 35mm film, COLOSSAL YOUTH is presented by Eureka at the "director-approved" 25 fps framerate. Like the Masters of Cinema, the Criterion's transfer was mastered from the digital camera original rather than the blow-up and runs six minutes longer than the UK edition, Criterion must have slowed the framerate down to 23.976. Eureka's bitrate is higher than that of the Criterion and the resulting image is sharper (and this is a film in which virtually every shot is strikingly beautiful to behold) without any apparent additional manipulation.

Like the Criterion disc, the Eureka disc features the short films TARRAFAL and THE RABBIT HUNTERS, but the UK disc also features Costa's 2010 short OUR MAN. While the Eureka disc features a somewhat meandering 17 minute piece shot at the Tate Gallery with Costa discussing COLOSSAL YOUTH, the Criterion set featured a selected scene commentary (featuring critic Cyril Neyrat and author-philosopher Jacques Rancière) on the additional supplemental disc on the set's supplementary fourth disc. While the Criterion set featured the 80 minute Costa documentary ALL BLOSSOMS AGAIN, the Eureka disc features a new 2-hour documentary called FINDING THE CRIMINAL on disc two with the short films. Both sets feature thick and informative booklets (the Eureka booklet features a brief essay on COLOSSAL YOUTH and a 30+ page one comparing Costa's politics and aesthetics with other filmmakers like Francesco Rosi and Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet). The Eureka set possess better image quality for the feature, but the Criterion offers two other related Costa films. Both may be worth owning for the exclusive extras - including the input of expert Rancière - if you are a fan of Costa's works. IN VANDA'S ROOM is rumored to be an upcoming Eureka "Masters of Cinema" release as well (if so, it will be interesting to see how the transfers compare and what other extras they can drum up).

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Criterion Collection (Letters from Fontainhas set) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion Collection (Letters from Fontainhas set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion Collection (Letters from Fontainhas set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion Collection (Letters from Fontainhas set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion Collection (Letters from Fontainhas set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion Collection (Letters from Fontainhas set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Eureka

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Draw (both have exclusive worthwhile extras)
Menu: Draw

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Eureka Video

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection
Region 0 - NTSC

 

 


 

 




Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!