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Sunday, January 06, 2008

4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days - and beyond

Cristian Mungiu
Sometimes an artistic work goes far beyond what the author intended.

Speaking about the Romanian movie, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days - the director, Cristian Mungiu, intended to make a document against Communist era (besides, Mungiu intends to continue with a whole cycle, Memories from the Golden Era) - only the movie knew to develop itself on its own way and to become a fundamental parable. A parable is universal - look, Lars von Trier intended to create Anti-American movies - his movies went far beyond and spoke to us about God and about Humans. A parable cannot remain just Anti-Communist or Anti-American - it would not be a parable - it has to go beyond on its own way and to become universal.

Let's talk a bit about another movie, The Hours - a subtle meditation about the unexpected relations developing themselves between author, reader, and character. Each one contributes to the destiny of the artistic work. So the destiny of a book (or of a play, of a movie), depends not only on the author. The reader (watcher) lives the work, in his own way, as he understands it, so the work life changes (think about the evolution of Shakespeare's plays along the ages).

Also the character evolves independently of the author. The author gives birth to the character. The character becomes then autonomous and sometimes he surprises even the author.

The same holds true for the whole story, of course. And great authors (in literature: Chekhov, Jane Austin - in film: Ozu) understood very well this truth - they let their stories to go on their own.




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