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Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?

Pedro Costa
Où gît votre sourire enfoui?
Portugal, France 2001 / 104’
In Vanda's Room 6 Bagatelas

What is not well received in traditional cinema these days? Darkness that lasts longer than the blink of an idea and people doing work. Meanwhile, Costa shows the dark interior of an editing room and a couple of French filmmakers-Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub-leaning over the editing table while working on their film Sicily! (1999). It was supposed to be an ordinary educational film, in which the filmmakers-highly regarded by Costa-show what's involved in the transition from an idea to its final form, what's meant by "reduction," and how to cut a film so as to extract psychological elements. Costa says: I made one movie about love. Well, not 'about love' but rather a film in which love is present-in the most powerful way. This is a film with Straub and Huillet. A film about people who I knew loved one another every millisecond of their lives. They lived in a permanent state of being in love, and what's more, in a state of constant exaltation. So, I succeeded in making the most romantic film in the history of cinema, maybe one of a kind, surpassed perhaps only by Chaplin's City Lights.

Agnieszka Szeffel

Pedro Costa

Born in Lisbon (1959), he left his course of studies in History to attend classes taught by the poet and filmmaker António Reis at the Lisbon Film School. His first film Blood (O Sangue) had its world premiere at the Mostra Cinematografica di Venezia in 1989. Casa de Lava, his second feature, shot in Cabo Verde, was shown in Cannes, in 1994. Some of his other feature films include Bones (Ossos), In Vanda's Room (No Quarto da Vanda) and Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (Où gît votre sourire enfoui?) on the work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub. He directed Sweet Exorcist, a segment of the omnibus feature Centro Histórico, with Manoel de Oliveira, Aki Kaurismäki and Víctor Erice. His work has been presented in galeries and museums around the world. Horse Money (Cavalo Dinheiro) was awarded the Leopard for best direction at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2014.


1987 Cartas a Julia (short)

1990 Krew / O Sangue / Blood

1994 Dom z lawy / Casa de Lava / Down to Earth

1997 Kości / Ossos / Bones

2000 W pokoju Wandy / No Quarto da Vanda / In Vanda's Room

2001 Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub, cinéastes (odcinek Cinéastes, de notre temps, TV serie)

2002 Gdzie spoczywa twój uśmiech? / Onde Jaz o Teu Sorriso? / Où gît votre sourire enfoui? / Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?

2003 6 bagatelas (short)

2006 Pochód młodości / Juventude Em Marcha / Colossal Youth

2007 Tarrafal (short in O Estado do Mundo / The State of the World)

2007 Łowcy królików / The Rabbit Hunters (short in Memories, Jeonju Digital Project)

2009 Ne change rien

2010 O Nosso Homem / Our Man (short)

2012 Słodki egzorcysta / Sweet Exorcist / Lamento da Vida Jovem (short in Centro Histórico)

2014 Koń Forsa / Cavalo Dinheiro / Horse Money

2018 Vitalina Varela

Cast & Crew

director Pedro Costa
cinematography Pedro Costa
editing Dominique Auvray, Patrícia Saramago
cast Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
producer Francisco Villa-Lobos
production Contracosta Produções, Amip Paris, ARTE France, l'Institu National de l'Audioviuel (INA)
sales Pedro Costa
language French
colouration colour & b&w