Jose Fonseca e Costa

Active - 1967 - 1997  |   Born - Jun 27, 1933   |   Genres - Drama, Thriller

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Portuguese filmmaker and leader of the country's "Young Cinema," Jose Fonseca e Costa is best known for creating one of Portugal's most popular films, Kilas (1981). Unlike many of his contemporaries, Costa's films do not affect a pastoral stillness and slow pace; instead they are imbued with dry wit and focus upon lively subjects such as sex, the military, the family, and marriage. Before entering the film industry, Costa, who is of African-European descent, studied law in Lisbon, Portugal. In the late '50s, Costa attempted to gain employment with Radio Telvisão Portuguesa, but found himself blacklisted due to his involvement with the anti-Salazar underground movement and his subsequent arrest by the Polícia Internacional par Defesa do Estado in 1957. Forced abroad, Costa landed in Paris and later Italy, where in 1962 he helped Michelangelo Antonioni film L'Eclisse/The Eclipse. Costa returned to Portugal in the mid-'60s and resumed his career as a director of television commercials and short documentaries. In 1967, Costa founded the production company Unifilme; a decade later, he would found a second company, Filmform. Costa made his solo directorial debut in 1971 with O Recado/The Message. Since then Costa has averaged one feature film every two to five years, most of which featured Costa as screenwriter, producer, and director. In 1997, Costa performed all three tasks on Cinco Dias, Nueve Noites.