Controcorrente - Nuomos sutartis
- We meet with Kristijonas Vildžiūnas, a young Lithuanian director whose inward-looking autobiographical film
Lithuania has a film at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Nuomos sutartis (The Lease), is the directorial debut of 32-year-old Kristijonas Vildžiūnas, and it was selected for competition in Controcorrente. It is the story of how a woman handles the total collapse of her private life whilst managind to behave with impeccable professionalism in her public life. It is an intimate and partly autobiographical story in that it portrays aspects of the socio-economic difficulties that Vildžiūnas encountered as a citizen of a country, Lithuania, that is still in the grip of a major transformation. Lithuania is a contemporary cross-roads between post-Soviet Russia and Europe. “The protagonist of my film is a chameleon woman and a composite of all the women I’ve ever known,“ Vildžiūnas told us. “There are also bits of me in her, especially the way I see the world and approach people.”
Vildžiūnas is a passionate connoisseur of Italian film although he never allows himself to forget his Russian roots. Although he admired Antonioni’s female characters whom he found to be “more real than reality itself”, Vildžiūnas only decided to become a filmmaker after seeing Andrei Tarkovskij’s Stalker when he was just 16. “Tarkovskij opened the door to the world of film for me. Russia means an awful lot to me as an artist and Russian films have influenced my country enormously. Despite seemingly unsurmountable difficulties, we in Lithuania manage to produce some great work.” The main problems are clearly of a financial nature although access to technology is not easy either. Vildžiūnas was forced to stop filming and look for funding for a whole year. “We simply don’t have the equipment for post-production in Lithuania. I worked in Sharunas Bartas’ studio. He is one of our most important and internationally renowned film directors. That is where I finally managed to complete my film.” Summing up, not the easiest of situations for a filmmaker. One only hopes that this will be resolved, at least in part, by Lithuania’s forthcoming entry to the European union.
(Translated from Italian)
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