A Film by Pedro Costa

Screened at Cinema Borealis (1550 N. Milwaukee, 4th Floor) Post Screening Discussion by Johanthan Rosenbaum and Gabe Klinger


October 16th, 2011

Pedro Costa’s most recent feature, Change Nothing, details the rehearsals and performances of singer-songwriter Jeanne Balibar and her group of avant-pop musicians, including French experimental rock icon Rodolphe Burger (Kat Onoma). Balibar, best-known in the U.S. as an actress in films by Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, Jacques Rivette and others, has also led an experimental music career since 1999, producing two full-length albums and contributing to various soundtracks and collective works.

Jonathan Rosenbaum writes of Change Nothing: “Leave it to Pedro Costa (In Vanda’s Room, Colossal Youth) to achieve a painterly beauty with the oddest of formats, black-and-white digital video; his low-contrast imagery isolates the subjects in pools of warm shadow and gives them the haunting sense of existing outside of time. More an experimental feature than a documentary, the movie depicts [the band’s] creative process as a series of discrete actions, each with its own logic. The results are mesmerizing, though rarely abstract: Costa, a former rock musician himself, understands the democratic impulse behind any good band and the simple grace of hard work.”

NE CHANGE RIEN (CHANGE NOTHING) directed by Pedro Costa
(Portugal/France, 2009, 98 mins, black and white, digital video finished and presented in 35mm)

Jonathan Rosenbaum, film critic at The Chicago Reader for over 20 years, is the author of many important cinema texts including Midnight Movies (with J. Hoberman, 1983), Film: The Front Line 1983, Greed (1991), This is Orson Welles (as editor, 1992), Placing Movies, (1995), Movies as Politics (1997), Dead Man (2000), Movie Wars (2000), Abbas Kiarostami (with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa), Movie Mutations (coedited with Adrian Martin, 2003), Essential Cinema (2004), Discovering Orson Welles (2007), The Unquiet American (2009), and Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia (2010). He was consultant in 1997-98 on a new version of Touch of Evil based on Orson Welles’ postproduction memos, and in 2008 he established his own web site at jonathanrosenbaum.com.

Gabe Klinger is a contributor to publications such as Cahiers du cinema Spain, Cinema Scope, Film Comment, Moving Image Source, and Sight & Sound.

Special thanks to Jon Vickers and the Indiana University Cinema, whose retrospective of the films of Pedro Costa made this screening possible, and to Adam Sekuler of the Northwest Film Forum, Jonathan Rosenbaum, James Bond, Jeanne Balibar, and Pedro Costa.

For more info on the IU Series:

Filed under: film, video