Best Indie Movie: Cristi Puiu, Aurora; Artforum

Cristi Puiu, Aurora, 2010, still from a color film in 35 mm, 181 minutes

Best Indie Movie: Cristi Puiu, Aurora

Cristi Puiu recent film, “Aurora”, is compelling, disturbing and haunting in way that is a bit indescribable–as is the film.  Lasting three hours and one minute, it became a trance-like experience at some points, filled with long stretchs of no dialogue or any discernible narrative.

In this way the film is uncinematic, yet is this this very structure–loose, documentary-like, “observational” cinema as Artforum’s Amy Taubin wisely states–that drives the meaning of the film as much as the actual content.

By withholding any inter psychological ruminations of the main character (played by the filmmaker himself), we are presented with a much more chilling prospect: do we live in a place where horror coexists easily with daily life and that enigmatically we try to find comfort in tracing meaning from things that have none?

Alienated and alone, we follow the main character through the mundanities of daily life: taking a shower, discovering a leak from the apartment above, walking through desiccated industrial landscapes, meeting the parents, buying a shotgun.  The mundanity of the his life parallels the film’s mundane approach but forces us to avoid the search for meaning and to be content with the here and now.

The shock that occurs is made much more chilling than overt violence, and resonates for me even a few weeks after I saw it.


Comments are closed.