In the current issue of The L, Nicolas Rapold reviews “two headlong studies in displacement, detachment, damage:” The Man Who Fell to Earth, currently in revival at Film Forum, and Aurora, which opens Wednesday at IFC Center. Aurora stars director Cristi Puiu (whose The Death of Mr. Lazarescu launched the Romanian New Wave) in an eerily impassive performance as a multiple murderer, over three hours of (often bizarrely) withholding long takes. Rapold recalls: “Interviewing a disarmingly insistent Puiu last fall, I couldn’t help but feel that his new film—which went through four cinematographers (perhaps related to his insistence that his character’s movements were not to be “anticipated”?)—feels informed by the perhaps paralyzing pressure to take a fresh step…”
Indeed, last fall’s Puiu interview shows the filmmaker, completely unprompted, earnestly talking us all through his exhaustive research into his, and everyone’s, dark places:
It is not a character that I am imagining. Of course I am imagining it, but I am also incarnating it. I am trying to be, not to play. Being there, using my body and my own pack of gestures, inside the story that was not mine but just pretending to be mine, trying to imagine, to understand how things are going to go in this very specific situation of a man who is killing some others.
Read the whole interview here.