'Quite simply a masterpiece, and probably the best documentary of any kind that I have ever seen' - Adrian Martin, Senses of Cinema
Here is the ICA introduction: Pedro Costa joins us for a Q&A and screening of Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?, his revealing study of the filmmaking process which captures Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet at work in the editing room on their drama Sicilia!
Pedro Costa was given privileged access to document uncompromising filmmaking duo Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet at work, re-editing their film Sicilia! (1999). Every cut and effect is discussed. Influences from Chaplin to Eisestein are mentioned alonside the ethical and aesthical implications of film technique. Costa later described the film as his first comedy and his first love story.
'As the filmmakers alternately engage in recounting personal anecdotes, gentle natured marital sparring, and professional ruminations over their collaborative cinema, what emerges in Costa's reverent and understated portrait is an affectionate, humorous, and indelible image of profound kinship and creative symbiosis - an idiosyncratic, modern-day love story that fuses passion with politics, creativity with conviction - told from the privileged intimacy of irascible, enduring romantics, intellectual peers, social activists, obsessed cinephiles, ageless idealists, and innovative, mutually-inspiring artists.' (Strictly Film School)
Jonathan Rosenbaum discusses Costa's work in more detail here.
No2 La Belle et La Bete (Cocteau, 1946): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.45pm & NFT2, 6.10pm
This classic is on an extended run at BFI Southbank from Jan 3. Details here.
Time Out review:
Jean Cocteau's fairytale set standards in fantasy which few other film-makers have reached. Despite the Vermeer-like compositions, he has some trouble capturing the right tone for the 'realistic' scenes, but the sequences in the enchanted castle - wonderfully designed by Christian Bérard complete with fantastic living statuary, and dignified by a Beast at once ferocious, erotic and genuinely tragic - are pure magic. René Clément is credited as co-director, but had very little to do with the mise en scène.
Here (and above) is an extract.