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What you take out?
Yeah, because otherwise a film about the life of Napoleon would have to be 50 years long.
Napoleon by Andy Warhol?
Yeah, Andy Warhol. But this is a question related to what we are doing in film... If a criminal has his own diary, the diary won't fit the files. Again and again I tried to do my best to restore this. So we have this film of three hours, out of a film of five hours. What I kept in the film are things that for me, are revealing, like the prosecutor did, like the writers are doing. And maybe for the audience, some things are not revealing things. But it had to be like this, I had to go to the end.
So you restore the full details, but at the same time the film is not a facsimile of the killer's experience. Unlike his written confession, we don't understand everything that's happening along the way.
I don't know. When I decided to play the character myself, I decided to do all that I can to restore the facts. 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.
It was not that I didn't want the audience to know. I want the audience to understand but the audience has to pay attention to what I am telling there. You are paying attention. What I didn't want to do was to install moments, sequences, lines that are revealing the identity of the characters. Because this is not happening in life!
It's the idea that people aren't wearing signs saying who they are or what they're doing next.
This is why directing the camera was so difficult: I used to tell them, you don't anticipate, you don't know the story! You don't film a story, you film humans. So, look at these humans. They are so beautiful! Whatever they do. There is something there—there is huge mystery there, not because of the situation, not because of the story, but because of the fact they are humans. And everything in a human being is mysterious. How to get to the point to put together what is direct cinema, observational documentary, and the fiction. How to put together that you are observing the world around you, and your own brain from the position of the author. So it was very important to play the main character because I didn't imagine, I tried to be me. The moment I decided that it would be me, the character, I took off lots of dialogue from the script, because I would not expose myself.
Thirty-six hours in the life of someone, and you are observing them—from time to time, things are clear, from time to time, things are not clear at all. But clear compared to what? You know, it's very funny: The Death of Lazarescu had the same destiny, but people appreciate it because they recognized lots of things that bothered them, like hospitals and the health care system. Very quickly we position ourselves, that they are the guilty ones, the doctors, the health system, you find the scapegoat, they are the scapegoat. Nobody is trying to put themselves in the position of the doctor. It is not an easy job to do, to face death every day, the doctors who are working in emergency. Of course they are not saints, of course they are making mistakes. But we jump to judging them, and I didn't in the film, but most of the audience did and they were happy with this. And they weren't happy with the fact that we spend one hour, fifty and something minutes in the apartment. They wanted to go to the hospital. They said yes the film is good, but the first hour is painful. I can't help them! For me, the first hour was very important, and it still is one of the best things in this film, not the relation with doctors.
Anyway, long debate here. The same situation is in Aurora. Who are these guys? We know it's about killing, and we are waiting for the killing. We knew that the film Death of Lazarescu is about hospital, we are waiting for the hospital. Oh, this beginning is too long, let's go to the hospital! And it is not right. This is not about the audience is not intelligent. It is about expectations. Expectations are being created by the title. Death of Lazarescu was a situation where what I tried to do was to play the Titanic card: everyone knows what happened on the Titanic. From the title, The Death of Lazarescu, and two minutes after the beginning on the film, he is talking on the phone and saying his name twice, Dante Lazarescu. So this guy is going to die. So it is not about what happens next, it is about how things are going to happen, like the Titanic.
And in Aurora, I wanted to do something else. It is about what will happen next. Following him and the title will not reveal what the story is. Actually, it reveals at the symbolic level, but there can be hundreds of thousands of films with the same title Aurora and tell different stories.
"Aurora" could have been a love story.
In which the house style of the Romanian New Wave begins to grate.
Oct 1, 2010