#Beings, Paul Andrei Stefanescu, 2015
Some films you follow, some films follow you. #Beings can easily fall in the second category of films which end up by following you for a while after watching it. It’s neither beautiful nor narrative. It is not everybody’s cup of tea; for some might be a whole kettle, while for others less than a cup. It might actually not even be a cup of tea. A dark atmospheric underground no-budget production, which proves once again that a film is more than polished visuals, special effects, and Hollywood stars, it is firstly a feeling, an experience, meaning exactly what lingers when the narrative is erased from memory and images fade into colours.
Starting from an Eva, the film brings together a tormented love triangle, struggling with their own inner beings in an amalgam of guilt, love, lust, grief, loneliness, friendship, madness and absurdity which contours the human existence. Looking for and banishing each other at the same time, while looking for themselves, every character falls into its own interior world, trying to hide and escape their own anxieties. There is an uneasiness, a claustrophobic feeling of suffocation, an impossibility of breaking free. The film attracts its viewers and estranges them at the same time and with the same means. An hour of slow drowning, of diving into the most obscure and meaningless fears, an hour of industrial sound followed by crushing silence, which takes its passive viewers from Marie Claire to the desolate outskirts of Berlin.
Eva (Doro Hohn), Teo (Cătălin Jugravu), Ana (Andrea Christina Furrer) are just names in a hurricane of desperation and helplessness, each one enduring the guilt of the others’ suffering. No reason, no logic, no desire of going back to a once lost normality, probably; and love is not the solution as it usually is in a cliché of a world, but the trigger of irrationality itself. As I consider Andrzej Zulawski’s Cosmos (2015) to have a world of its own, which does not wait to be deciphered by its viewers, so does #Beings; the film does not try to explain itself, and it does not need to. The characters live in their own world, a world with no map, no directions.
#Beings gives no glimpses of a so-called normality, no light, no warmth, and once you start watching it you find yourself caught in a foggy loop as strange as it is familiar, through the clew of emotions and expressions it depicts, and which are nevertheless deeply and indisputable human. A poem of greyish images, the 53 minutes are a route from tense trepidation to quiet stillness. All the quick shots in the beginning, the long takes of the human body, Ana’s burdened gaze, and Eva’s cries for help melt into the static image of the sun setting over the industrial remains of something which was long forgotten.
Review by Maria Mantaluta
P.S.: The film can be found here.