Horse Money

Director: Pedro Costa
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 1.5

Costa's main stand-in Ventura (as ... himself, I suppose) drifts through darkened rooms while people around him mumble or whisper (there's so much whispering in the first act): it's apparently about the politics of Portugal ... but casually mentioning a few choice topics throughout (the brutality of the government, fighting among friends, physical decay) doesn't count for a whole lot. Costa's gift is for his impeccably lit sets and inspired use of negative space - almost any frame can be hung up in a museum (and if the IMDb is correct, it was shot with a less-than-optimal Panasonic digital camera) - but the unfocused/ruminative aspect of his work is frustrating (and alienating): he seems to not care that he runs the risk of making bad experimental theatre (on film), particularly with that shapeless final scene.