light gazing, ışığa bakmak

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Aurora, Cristi Puiu

sem ter visto o Sr. Lazarescu, mas o seu curto Coffee and Cigarettes, não reconheci Cristi Puiu no protagonista deste dia de desespero à romena, frio, silencioso e ridículo. no decorrer do dia de Viorel apercebemo-nos do instinto narrativo imperativo que nos move, sem querer tentando encontrar uma sequência, uma razão, o que vem a seguir. o que vem é estritamente pessoal, mas também é tão insignificante como o quotidiano transparente e sem eventos, compras, emprego, marcas no supermercado, televisão barata, limpar a casa, passar camisas, partes de um dia sem história. um humor negro e gelado, no limite do risível. gostei? muito.

aqui. e aqui. e aqui, com entrevista ao realizador, muito bom.

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When I started my ongoing project, Six Stories from the Bucharest Outskirts, I wanted to be inside a construction in the manner of Balzac. Or like Truffaut: Stolen Kisses, Love on the Run. And Viorel’s upstairs neighbor, the woman, is another nurse from Lazarescu. I wanted to mix these two films about death (one man receiving death, the other giving death). So Gina’s a general practitioner and maybe Viorel originally went to see her to tell her he’s having problems with his prostate; their relationship has something to do with his hypochondriac tendencies.

Viorel tries to get along with being divorced. For example, he’s trying to renovate his apartment and to start a new life. And as part of that he’s having this affair, which doesn’t really work, even though they might look to the audience like husband and wife. In the script their relationship is explained, but I didn’t want it finally to be so explicit. While writing the script, I was caught somehow in a traditional model of storytelling—like from Aristotle’s Poetics. But I don’t believe in this! I think cinema is more than storytelling and so I had to get rid of some things. The single alternative formula that I could articulate at that moment was: observing life. I had to find a way of telling a fictional story in the fashion of observational documentary. So these moments that are happening in the life of an individual can’t be explicit for a third person, for the spectator. We see things in front of our eyes and we jump to conclusions. We choose to come to the conclusions that we like, the version of events that suits us.

diz Cristi Puiu, aqui.

e o tema do olhar pessoal e subjectivo, que me tem ocupado espaço de ruminação:

Like other recent Romanian films, Aurora seems to suggest that there is no comprehensive viewpoint. There is no god’s-eye view, no authoritative party opinion. The film insists on the restriction of perspective. Is this perhaps a humanist response to the loss of any totalizing ideology?

Yes. Another, maybe simpler way to say it is that I assume that it’s like the audience has been to a place that I’m talking about. So I can abbreviate the story I’ll tell my interlocutor, relying on this prior knowledge. I’m not going to go into all the details of where the station or the airport or the hotel are. With a lover, in a couple, or with your very close friends you can exchange ideas without announcing all the words and long phrases. We can even understand just by looking at one another. I didn’t go so far, but I assumed this position. Because there’s something beyond the film. It’s not just a oneway ticket; it’s not just that you have an idea or have a story to tell. It’s like you start to build a bridge from here and somebody else is building a bridge from the other side and we meet in the middle somehow.

So what is at stake is a kind of intimacy? It is an interesting idea, given Viorel’s coldness.

Another thing to say is that there are new things that emerge while I’m making a film. I was asking myself what the reasons are for somebody killing someone else. I didn’t have the reason and then the reason came from the story. You remember at the beginning Gina and Viorel discuss Little Red Riding Hood and what happens to the clothes of the grandmother who’s eaten by the wolf. Then, later, Viorel tells the stepfather to stop wearing his father’s old coat. And it’s like the stepfather is the wolf and Viorel with his rifle is the hunter, who’s going to kill wolves who change their clothes, change their identities. This is a guy who has trouble with others’ identities. A wife is a wife, not an ex-wife or a divorcée. She has to be his wife. He has a very, very rigid vision of the world. That’s why I ended up putting this story of Little Red Riding Hood at the beginning of the film — in order to have a reason, a trigger for his actions. He was preparing for a long time, so why this day? Maybe he was waiting for a confirmation. Maybe that seems very complicated. But that’s why the film is called Aurora. I don’t think that everything is black and white. Aurora—dawn—is the moment when night and day meet. In French this moment is called entre chien et loup [between dog and wolf]. I’m the author of the film, I’m telling the story, but I’m also trying to understand this story. I have some facts only and the right way for me to understand something about what I’m doing—and about life itself—is to accept that to some extent I don’t know. But it’s very difficult because most people are looking for answers.

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aqui, no Mubi.

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