• Portugal
  • 1997
  • 98 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • Portuguese
  •  
  • Spine #509

The first film in Pedro Costa’s transformative trilogy about Fontainhas, an impoverished quarter of Lisbon, Ossos is a tale of young lives torn apart by desperation. After a suicidal teenage girl gives birth, she misguidedly entrusts her baby’s safety to the troubled, deadbeat father, whose violent actions take the viewer on a tour of the foreboding, crumbling shantytown in which they live. With its reserved, shadowy cinematography by Emmanuel Machuel (who collaborated with Bresson on L’argent), Ossos is a haunting look at a devastated community.

Credits

DirectorPedro Costa
WriterPedro Costa
ProducerPaolo Branco
CinematographyEmmanuel Machuel
Costume designIsabel Favila
Production designZé Branco
SoundHenri Maikoff and Gérard Rousseau
EditingJackie Bastide

Disc Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED DVD SPECIAL EDITION:

  • Film newly restored in high-definition, under the supervision of director Pedro Costa
  • New video conversation between Costa and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin
  • Video interviews with critic João Bérnard da Costa and cinematographer Emmanuel Machuel
  • New video essay by artist Jeff Wall
  • Gallery of photos by Mariana Viegas
  • New and improved English subtitle translation

Film Essays

Pedro Costa’s Fontainhas Trilogy: Rooms for the Living and the Dead

By Cyril Neyrat March 30, 2010

The work of Pedro Costa has progressed in slow, measured steps, but each step has been a giant leap. His slowness is both the condition and the consequence of ethical standards he shares with . . . Read more »

Press Notes

Press Notes: 2010—One Last Look

January 03, 2011

Before we put 2010 to bed, we thought we’d catch up with all the year-end lists that have sprung up over the past week or so. A good place to start is DVD Beaver’s annual poll, which ranks the . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: Looking Back at 2010

December 22, 2010

Sight & Sound’s annual poll of the year’s best DVD (and Blu-ray) releases is out, and this edition features choices from twenty-four “contributors, DVD distributors, and curators.” We’re . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: Letters from Fontainhas

April 09, 2010

Criterion’s release last week of the four-DVD box set Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa—featuring Ossos, In Vanda’s Room, and Colossal Youth, acclaimed Portuguese dramas about . . . Read more »


Clippings

Conversations with Costa

April 05, 2010

Criterion’s release in a DVD box set of the trilogy Letters from Fontainhas is making director Pedro Costa’s name familiar to a wider audience than ever before. These days, you can learn a lot . . . Read more »


Video


Film Essays

Pedro Costa’s Fontainhas Trilogy: Rooms for the Living and the Dead

By Cyril Neyrat March 30, 2010

The work of Pedro Costa has progressed in slow, measured steps, but each step has been a giant leap. His slowness is both the condition and the consequence of ethical standards he shares with . . . Read more »