Ventura spends time with a number of figures, many of whom refer to him as their father. He often recites a real or imagined letter to his wife expressing his desire to provide everything she’s ever wanted. Vanda is here too, almost unrecognizable from her former self. Her face has aged rapidly, she has a child and a husband, she’s traded in heroin for painkillers.
Colossal Youth is even more visually arresting than its predecessor as Costa shows us a man walking through a world he doesn’t seem entirely part of. Its elegiac tone is unmistakable, and though Costa’s films are devoid of what one might call sentiment, Colossal Youth is filled with a tragic empathy for its people, particularly Ventura.
Criterion’s four-disc box set includes a few supplements alongside each film, with a fourth disc reserved for more extensive bonus features. With Ossos are a video essay by artist Jeff Wall, video interviews with critic João Bénard da Costa and cinematographer Machuel, a photo gallery and a video conversation between Costa and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin — a conversation that is continued throughout the set.
In Vanda’s Room sees that conversation picked up in an audio commentary track that isn’t a traditional commentary, but fits thematically with the film all the same. The theatrical trailer is also included on the disc.
Colossal Youth has more of the conversation between Costa and Gorin, as well as the theatrical trailer.
The supplements disc is an excellent selection of extras that show Criterion really going the extra mile for this release. Included are a feature length documentary on Costa — shot while he was working on Colossal Youth, selected scene commentary for about 40 minutes of Colossal Youth, two short films by Costa — Tarrafal and The Rabbit Hunters — and a video installation piece Costa created with footage from In Vanda’s Room and Colossal Youth. A booklet is also included that features six essays on Costa’s trilogy and his films in general.