In a (relatively) climactic episode that occurs near the hour mark of The Corridor, the residents of a working-class tenement in the metropolitan city of Vilnius in Lithuania congregate on the passageway near the common kitchen to socialize with other tenants and, enlivened by the melancholic (often foreign) pop ballads on the radio (and perhaps fueled by a few too many alcoholic beverages), begin to dance aimlessly and uninhibitedly through the animated, dingy, crowded room. It is an image that recalls the delirious, extended sequence shot of the villagers’ euphoric (or perhaps somnambulistic) tavern dance in Béla Tarr’s contemporary film Sátántangó, an intoxicated display of revelry and reckless abandon that the cruel, troubled girl Estike watches through the window with inscrutable bemusement. Similar to Tarr, Bartas’ cinematic view of post-communist Eastern Europe is one of soullessness, moral ambiguity, and profound desolation. Composed of long takes of indirect gazes and oppressively alienated temps morts (where an eclectic assembly of anonymous residents alternately stare out the window, smoke a cigarette, handle their rifle, voyeuristically peep, awkwardly flirt, become inebriated, and even mischievously set on fire laundry that has been hanging on a clothesline), the fragmented, collage-like portraits of the tenants are interstitially connected through the recurring image of the building’s dimly lit hallways, a visual metaphor for a culture adrift and in transition – a conduit to an undefined destination. Like Tarr’s seminal film, the deliberative and transfixing long takes of The Corridor similarly embody the emergence of a characteristically austere and languidly paced “cinema of waiting” in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet bloc: a figurative reflection of the crippling inertia borne of spiritual bankruptcy and directional uncertainty after years of pervasive government interference. It is this existential limbo of failed, repressive Cold War policies and stalled socio-economic progress that is inevitably captured in the impassive faces of the silent, disconnected residents – a sense of confusion and entrapment amidst the new-found freedom derived from the indirect liberation of defeated abandonment – a demoralized collective psyche foundering in the obsolescence of an elusive and crumbled ideology. —Filmref.com
Šarūnas BARTAS (1964-) – Lithuanian film director, one of the most outstanding representatives of cinematographers. His contacts with cinema began in 1985 with the TV serial “Sixteen-years-olds” (dir. Raimondas Banionis), where Bartas played one of the main roles. He is a graduate of the Moscow Film School (VGIK). He made his directorial debut with his diploma film, the short documentary “Tofolaria” and mediocre-length film (which called spectators’ attention) “For the Remembrance of Last Day” (1989), where the real personages are “acting themselves” according to the principles of feature film. The author further “purified” the specific cinema language in the full-length film “Three Days” (1991), which was awarded the prize of oicumene committee at Berlin Film Festival (for the problems, the importance of the theme, the profundity) in 1992, and FIPRESCI Prize for the originality of the style, the significance of the theme, the beauty of pictures. This is a story (almost without plot… read more
A post-soviet experience about the extremes of aggression, exhaustion of loneliness and love As the film unfolds as an associative collage of memory fragments, shards of experience & chance events amongst a number of the buildings inhabitants all connected by the metaphor of the corridor, a passage between yesterday and today containing many doors Narrative logic is eschewed in favor of poetry of loss and desire here
The Corridor is in some ways the poetic detritus, the denude - and I mean this in a very good way - of Tarr's later work. With less focus on metaphysical questions, Bartas' film is more consistently concrete in its images of humanity's aimlessness and sadness. Meaningful cinema.
Traces of unforgettable sufferings on their pale faces,in their empty dark eyes and in the echoes made by the corridor. I've seen it because of Golubeva but I found mens as charged demons with boredom and uncaress. The timing, especially at close-up is becoming the interior of something unseen, something which can be felt only by the damned poets. The characters choose the frenzy of maddness and pleasure.They fall.
The Corridor segna l’inizio di una variante di percorso nella filmografia di Sharunas Bartas, un percorso che continuerà in maniera ancor più evidente con il successivo The House (1997); i due film… read review