Casa De Lava

Pedro Costa, Portugal/France/Germany, 1995, 35mm, 110 min

Sponsored by KBCS 91.3 fm

Still Lives: The Films of Pedro Costa

Costa’s fascination with the Cape Verdean immigrant population in Lisbon began with his second film, which takes place mostly on the island, a former Portuguese colony. Leão (Isaach de Bankloe), a Cape Verdian man working on a construction site in Portugal, has an accident and ends up in a coma. A nurse, Mariana (Ines de Medeiros), ready for a change of scene, volunteers to accompany him home, but upon her arrival, finds that nothing is as she expects. Mariana gets increasingly involved with the mysterious Cape Verdian community, which seems to have been transported from Jacques Tourneur’s I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (Tourneur being another Costa favorite). Shot with the stunning backdrop of Mount Fogo, the peak of Cape Verde, and an active volcano (reminiscent of Rossellini’s Stromboli), CASA DE LAVA is a mysterious film marred by a notoriously difficult shoot that's integral to his filmography. Note also the first appearance of the poem that Ventura repeats in COLOSSAL YOUTH, in part adapted from the last writings of Surrealist poet Robert Desnos.

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