Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Sharunas

Three Days (1992) - Bartas
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It's a gray Lithuanian port town. Some young derelicts are trying to find a lodging (to sleep together?) but the town is full of groggy, unfriendly people. That's about it. Not many words are uttered and there is no music, other than the ones from the dance hall across the street. There are no distinguishable characters or names. Some unique faces here and there. It's also drama free. Decrepit lots, basements and cold, wet surroundings. Nevertheless Sharunas Bartas sees glimpses of beauty everywhere. It's in gestures, flickering lights, that uncontrollable, sad laughs of young Katerina Golubeva, the sight of a thousand years old blond street urchin smoking.

Unlike other films of this kind (Gus Van Sant's Death Trilogy comes to mind), Three Days feels deeper, that there is history behind this dreariness and quietude. It's not alienation nor loneliness I feel. It's a moment of awkwardness, a moment of kinship that counts. No words necessary. There is a scene right after they get kicked out of a lodging house. In the dark alleyway, Bartas camera first lingers on the three protags where baby Golubeva laughs hopelessly, then takes off to the side to show another vagrant eating an apple under the dim lights. We still hear her laugh but the camera remains on the old chum eating voraciously.

Bartas, where have you been all my life? R.I.P. Yekaterina, I'll miss you.

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