Category: beings

Beings, review by Maria Mantaluta

I’ve asked Maria Mantaluta to write a small text about our 2015, Beings. And she was kind enough to see the film and wrote this amazing text. Its so wonderful to find people that understand and open to ones work. Thank you so much Maria for your kind and beautiful words.

you can find the whole text on her film blog
http://mariabiancam.coventry.domains/personal-notes/beings-2015-a-film-by-andrei-stefanescu/

you can see the full movie at
http://qualiafilm.com/blog/2015/02/15/beings-2015-indie-full-movie-eng-subs

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 narrative is erased from memory and images fade into colours.

Starting from a 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.

Beings, review by Morgan Shnier

A breathtaking review by Morgan Shnier
https://www.linkedin.com/in/morganshnier

The 2015 film #Beings, Andrei Stefanescu’s second feature, is a partially experimental, partially narrative cinematic reflection on guilt, beauty, and obligation. The film tells the story of Eva (Doro Höhn), her estranged lover Teo (Catalin Jugravu), and their mutual friend Ana (Andrea Christina Furrer) who attempts to support the two as each falls into madness and melancholy. After Eva suffers a seizure, Teo kicks her out in a rage. Despite Eva’s efforts, they fail to reconcile, and Eva breaks down over the imperfections she sees in herself, imperfections that she believes prevent Teo from loving her. At the same time, Teo begins to mentally and physically break down. Ana, stretched between her friendship with Eva and her own love for Teo, attempts to help both of them, but is unsuccessful. Eva, wanting to escape her own skin, instead escapes from city life, at least for a moment, by lighting out alone into a decaying industrial wasteland, facing west toward the setting sun.

The film’s lead actors play their roles admirably. In particular, Höhn effectively and realistically portrays Eva’s anguish. Furrer should also be lauded for the subtleties of her performance. With subtle gazes and facial tics, she elegantly portrays Ana’s own suffering and anxiety.

Aesthetically, #Beings is perhaps at its best when Stefanescu allows the camera to linger upon his characters’ bodies. In carefully framed close-ups and medium shots throughout the film, Stefanescu traces the strange topographies of the everyday human body, treating the body as something observable yet unknowable. Early self-reflexive shots in the film’s opening scene subdivide actor Piotr Bockowski’s body like a series of anatomical diagrams. In contrast, certain shots of Teo in the film’s second half are almost painterly, with one sequence in particular heavily evocative of Jacques-Louis David’s La Mort de Marat.

Likewise, the film’s closing sequences in Teufelsberg are a practice in post-modern sublimity. While Stefanescu generally avoids traditional compositional structures in #Beings, these final shots have a classical, almost pastoral sensibility, with Eva bracketed on both sides by the derelict radar domes of the location’s former NSA listening station. This lends the scene an air of decay and suspicion entirely appropriate to Eva’s own feelings toward her own body.

However, #Beings is not without its faults. Stefanescu tends toward long shot durations that give the film a rather slow, halting rhythm that does not always jibe with the plot. Likewise, Stefanescu’s micro-budget aesthetic at times detracts from the film’s effectiveness. For instance, his handheld camerawork tends to give even calm, contemplative sequences a rather frenzied air. These scenes would have certainly benefited from a tripod or steadicam.

The film’s sound also has its issues. In most scenes, one can hear the distracting hum of an air conditioner or running water. The soundtrack to #Beings is a series of haunting industrial grinding tones that give an appropriate sense of paranoiac dread but, unfortunately, Stefanescu includes this track in scenes in which it is unnecessary, often drowning out or diluting the effect of the film’s dialogue.

That being said, the film’s beautiful aesthetics more than overcome these relatively minor foibles. #Beings, an excellent sophomore outing for Stefanescu, should not be passed up.

Beings review by Jimmy Lo

Our second review comes from another poet, his name is Jimmy Lo. It is so wonderful to find that the film you made is just seen by the wrong people. It is so amazing to see how value is nothing more than a collective, group characteristic, and has nothing to do with an universal outlook on life and living.
Giving the film to Jimmy to see and review, it was so wonderful to receive such a great feedback with a real passionate perception of it. It is amazing to see the open heart and mind of a person of which the entire life is build around keeping and opening his eyes more and more wider wider around the mystery of our life.
Thank you soo soo much Jimmy. You can find more about him on his blog, http://iloveyousomething.com/ or twitter https://twitter.com/jimmylorunning

This slow building film explores the strange relationship between three people, as well as their relationship to the spiritual. I found myself pulled into an enveloping mood of inner torture. There is a secret horror film brooding in the background here, thanks to some mysterious characters and an excellent soundtrack, which even includes howling dogs at one point. This creates an interesting cognitive disconnect, as the movie isn’t really a horror film in the conventional sense of the genre, but one about the horrors of being in the world, with other beings.

I really loved the slow pacing of the movie, as it was perfect for the type of questions being asked by the film. The camera lingers on the three main characters just long enough to be uncomfortable, then it lingers even longer. This is very much a movie about deep watching, even meditation. I found myself glued to every tiny movement, every twitch, look, and expression on the character’s faces for clues into their relationship. The long pauses and silences were very effective at bringing this about, and told more than dialogue would have.

I watched this movie as a poem, a poetic exploration of the irrational forces that drive us, and as such it was very powerful. However, I wish there was more of a balance or contrast in tone. I longed for something pedestrian or inconsequentially human as relief from the heaviness. In a way, its strength may also be its weakness. The movie seemed to have established a mood a little too well, and without any lighter moments, it became one extended musical note, getting more and more intense until the end.

I was quite surprised to find out that this movie had no budget, since it looks and sounds fantastic, and is very well acted. The last scene in particular is gorgeous.

Beings review by Jim Templeton

I’ve asked Jim if he would have time to see and review our film. He was kind enough to do it and wrote us an wonderful review of the film. Thank you so much.

Jim Erasmus Lime Templeton is an award winning performance poet & writer. He has worked for the BBC, Cambridge University, Hollywood film studios and performed at venues all over the world.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Templeton

An intimate, voyeuristic and claustrophobic portrayal of the relationship between an epileptic girl, Eva and her boyfriend Teo. After Eva has a seizure in their apartment, Teo throws her out and turns to Eva’s best friend Anna. This event triggers a journey of escape into nothingness for all the characters, some emotionally, some literally.

This is not a film that exists only as a straightforward narrative, it’s a poetic exploration of Eva’s need to escape and her boyfriends guilt and impotent love. #BEINGS says as much in it’s pregnant silences and throbbing soundtrack as it does with it’s naturalistic dialogue. It leaves you to fill in the meaning between the frames, using lingering static shots and pauses to full effect throughout.

You can feel the difficulty the characters have in connecting with each other, as they stumble emotionally and drift around the edges of each moment. One scene where Teo and Eva tentatively begin to kiss in silence has a real power, they take so long to move in, you hesitate with them, the visceral anticipation is agonizing in places. Rather than stuttering your involvement, the pace of the film draws you in, like still waters can transfix you with their beauty, the woven thoughtfulness of each scene is mesmerizing and ambiguous enough to allow the viewer to reach their own interpretation of Eva’s odyssey.

Ultimately #BEINGS is a rewarding watch, full of subtleties, surprises and layers you won’t find in mainstream blockbusters. Solid performances from all the leads help draw you into Eva’s journey. A film to watch with others and discuss afterwards, #BEINGS will stay with you.

Doro about our #Beings experience on set and in the film

11249837_941917825831406_3320503381546717964_o

In November 2014 Andrei and I were working on #Beings together. I played Eva and here are some words about this experience:

I didn´t know Andrei and his work but I was very interested, when I first read about the idea of this movie.
On friday night, he sent me the script.
On Saturday I spent the day thinking about it – as there were a lot of aspects that made me face some of my biggest fears …
Saturday night, I suddenly had the feeling that it was right to give it a try.
On Sunday we met for the first time.
On Monday I met the cast and crew.
On Tuesday we started filming.
For someone like me, this was more than quick.

Well, I like long preparations. I like safety – or always considered myself being someone that likes safety and is in love with clear structures (as boring as it may sound).
So doing this movie was an adventure to me. But during the whole process, it just felt right and I enjoyed this adventure very much.

The relationship between actor and director is a very fragile one and in my opinionl, if it doesn´t work, everything feels like fighting alone for a lost case. You lose connection to your character, your partner and the story because you are busy protecting and defending yourself.
So I appreciate Andrei´s natural talent of working with actors. He created an atmosphere of security and trust. By putting trust in me, I was able to take some risks and to cross some borders, I had built up for myself some time ago. I always felt safe, so I wanted to jump …
There was always enough time to get in touch with your character, to try, to fail and to try again. I personally enjoy this kind of working the most because this makes me feel like part of the story, not like an accessory put in the right place. Andrei’s way of filming and using the camera may be different, but to me it makes sense. We did a lot of intimate moments and I was able to forget about the camera very easily. It felt more like a partner than an observer.
As we only had a small team and almost no financial support – everyone was asked to put their energy and belief in this project. It was cold, it was dark, it was confusing and we got lost … but I loved every second with you guys – in the car, on the road and in the forest, discovering lost buildings and hidden emotions.

I do believe in Andrei and his way of filmmaking. He is not afraid to ask questions and to discover and show what lies underneath common aesthetics. It would be great to find people to work with. People who support us and our ideas.
I´m looking forward to work with Andrei and this team again and I´m excited about what kind of adventure comes next!

Let´s rock –
Doro

Beings review on Trisk blog

The amazing beautiful soul called Trisk wrote a review of our film:
[Romanian only]

 

http://www.cinemateca.eu/2015/03/beings-un-short-contemplativ-apasator.html

beings

#Beings este un film no-budget, in spiritul cinema du corps, al doilea al lui Paul Stefanescu.

Cele 3 personaje, Eva, Teo si Ana sunt blocate intr-o relatie de iubire amestecata cu dispret si umilinta. In urma unei crize (aparent epileptice) a Evei, relatia ei cu Teo devine inacceptabila, astfel ca decide sa paraseasca triunghiul pentru a-si gasi o alta forma sub care sa se intoarca iubita din nou.
Coloana sonora si prim-planurile prelungi sunt anxiogene, iar senzatia de claustrofobie se instaleaza din primele minute; personajele sunt scoase cu totul in afara confortului propriu si a rutinei placute. Lumea in care traiesc este, pe cat de noua, pe atat de lipsita de stimuli emotionali sau intelectuali. Fiecare din cei trei e prizonier intr-un corp, ca un extraterestru ce poarta un costum din piele de om…
Ca spectator, esti prins intr-un vis greu si apasator, in care mai mult simti ce ti se intampla decat intelegi; ratiunea si pornirea ei critica sunt puse cu totul intre paranteze, ca si cum n-au existat niciodata. Actiunea e o rostogolire subconstienta, fatalista; prin mici insertii mistice, Stefanescu isi duce personajele intr-o zona in care nu mai pot fi “salvate”, ci doar acceptate asa cum sunt.
Read more… »

#Beings 2015 – full movie

Beings is the second feature film of Stefanescu Andrei, after Sleep Awake in 2012, is also a micro-budget film, this time shot in Berlin with a small magical crew in the autumn of 2014.
It is a contemplative film about Eva a girl that leaves everything behind, a deep friendship with her friend Anna and her betrayed love for Teo, to lose herself into light. To get away from her skin and become perfect so that she will be loved by Teo.
The story begins with Eva having a epileptic fit and being kicked out by Teo instead of being helped. This starts the crisis of Eva and her desperate return to Teo and then the failed night of love. Everything brakes loose. Not only her, but also Teo who out of guilt begins his descent into madness together with Anna, Eva’s best friend that also loves Teo irrational and against any moral or law.
Eva’s trip has no goal but in her journey each step is like a magic moment like a step outside reality until she becomes one with the sky forgetting everything she is and starting new.
Eva runs away from everyone but faith makes it so that Ana finds her again on the streets. They are taken by a driver that wants to help them not to the hospital but, at the desire of Eva, into an industrial nothingness from where Eva gets lost. From where Anna renounces to get her back. Where the only one that doesn’t quit but also doesn’t impose himself to Eva is the driver.
But the sun is setting.

Finish shooting #Beings

We finished shooting #Beings, it was an amazing extreme experience, every day on the verge of not making it at all. The people involved are magical people, every day of our almost 12 day of shooting I was amazed by their love and support of this project. Every day we had amazing luck and miracles wthouth which this project wouldn’t have been possible.
It seems that the miracle of the film poured outside into the world transforming it so that we can walk through.
Catalin Jugravu, Andeea Furrer, Doro Hohn, Elder Roche, Mario Janad, Jehona Jahaj, Piotr, Emma, Ralf, Ofir, Loni, and this amazing surreal place called Berlin, are all alchemical elements in creating #Beings.

From he beginning I wanted to be a magical film, and I tried not to just make it. But to find the place and time and people for it to fly. To break through the sky into another kind of reality. Outside reality. And it did. This film project proves that magic is all around us. And that we live in a continuous miracle. And that all we have to do is to search for it. Is not reason, not logic, but miracle. Amazing all inspiring surprising and ecstatic miracle.

This is my second film and the second time all this crazy amazing things connect and happen and wake us up and bring to us the bewildering fabric of reality.

VIETATI – DIY film project – post-cinema

Pregatim un alt film no-budget.



A contemplative film where after a stroke, Eva crosses Life as crossing the Bardos towards rebirth, in another story exploring the inexistence of Death.

4 personaje in deep muted suffering. 4 personaje cu sufletul deschis in fata greselilor si abuzurilor bunatatii si dragostei celorlalti.

VIETATI – a film about holding on so painfully on that little thing that makes us human.

Un film despre o fata care care atinge limita existentei ei, o fata care se crede moarta, care trece prin Bardo. In acelasi timp este o calatorie printr-o relatie complicata despre cautarea unui inteles al dragostei, after the damage has already been made.

“Eva s-a trezit dar nu a deschis ochii inca.  Asculta linistea din camera si de afara. Simte ca este prea dimineata dar nu mai poate sa doarma. O oboseala calda ii deschide ochii mari si frumosi, numai pe jumatate. Viseaza si este treaza. Isi simte gura incarcata cu un miros greu. Ochii plini de puchi si pielea matuita. Nu ii place de loc de ea. Vrea sa se ridice si sa se duca sa se spele – sa invie. Dar este bine in pat sub patura calda si pozitia ei este asa de comoda… Patul se misca. Teo se ridica incet. Este frig.”

post-cinema
cinema du corp
non-drama 
.