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‘Metronom’ received the Un Certain Regard Award for directing this year at the Cannes Film Festival.
‘Metronom’, the feature film debut of director Alexandru Belc, which received the Un Certain Regard Award for directing this year at the Cannes Film Festival, could be seen in cinemas across Romania since the beginning of November. After the film premiere at the opening of the program ‘Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest’, the film was screened in more than 45 cinemas in the country and the public had the opportunity to meet the film's team after the screenings.
The action of the film Metronom takes place in the 70s, when a group of high school students, fans of the rock music show Metronom aired by Radio Free Europe, write a letter to its producer, Cornel Chiriac. Things get complicated when Sorin, Ana's boyfriend, gets the chance to leave the country for good with his whole family and the two lovers must separate. The cast includes Vlad Ivanov, Mihai Călin, Alex Conovaru, Alina Berzunţeanu, Mara Bugarin, Şerban Lazarovici, Mara Vicol, Marius Boboc, Mihnea Moldoveanu, Andrei Miercure, Măriuca Bosnea, Tiberiu Zavelea, Claudia Soare, Eduard Chimac, Briana Macovei, Pamela Iobaji, Ana Bodea, Alin Oprea, Alexandru Conovaru, Horatiu Bob, Alexandru Nedelcu, and Daniel Tomescu. We spoke with Mara Bugarin and Şerban Lazarovici about how they managed to impersonate teenagers from the communist period and about the challenge of playing the main roles in ‘Metronom’.
Ana's rebellious and equally romantic spirit won the actress Mara Bugarin over and she grew attached to the character she played: "It was quite difficult to understand Ana's inner strength and the way it emerges and manifests itself in the context of a rather oppressive regime. I tried to connect with the character and not distance myself from it, given that Ana lives in the 70s and I was born much later. I didn't want to look at her as a character without substance or to judge her, to somehow consider myself better than her. That was the biggest difficulty about the role and equally the biggest challenge. It was difficult for me, but also very beautiful. The scenes at the Political Police headquarters were also very important for me, where I had as partners two of the best Romanian actors, Vlad Ivanov and Mihai Călin."
Next here is actor Şerban Lazarovici speaking about his role in Metronom: "I had fewer filming days than Mara and because I entered the project quite late, I had many discussions about the character and how it evolves with the director Alexandru Belc right on the set, before we started filming. These discussions helped me a lot and this is how I got into the atmosphere of the story, through long discussions that I had on the set with the small team of the film. Looking back, I can also talk about the things that make me different from Sorin, the character I played. I'm sure that I wouldn't have reacted the way he did. It happened to me at certain Q & A sessions that people told me that I can't put myself in Sorin's place, that I could not possibly know what I would have done if I was living during those times. However, I will stick to my opinion and say that I don't think I would have had his attitude towards the person I love, I don't think that I would have failed at least to warn her."
We also spoke with Mara Bugarin and Şerban Lazarovici, who play the main roles in Metronom, about the audience's reactions. Here is Mara Bugarin’s opinion. "For me, the reactions of the public are very relevant and important, and the words of the spectators move me and make me want to continue, to keep doing what I'm doing. I realized that the film also has a kind of therapeutic effect, it so happened that the viewers confessed to us very intimate events that they experienced during communism. And it's very exciting that people entrust you with such stories, you realize that just your mere presence in a film whose action takes place in a time that you did not even live in, helps and urges people to say things that they have probably never said."
Şerban Lazarovici believes that: "Indeed, the reaction of the public in Romania was very important for me too, especially because it is about a story that happened during communism. I was very curious to see how the public in Romania would react and what Mara said is true: at most of the screenings there are spectators who tell us about their experiences from their youth or adolescence, experiences lived during that period. And I find it very interesting that people have confidence in us, that their confidence is so great that they compare their own stories with what they saw in the film."
‘Metronom’ was very well received by the specialized press. Variety considered it an intelligent and assumed tribute to a doomed generation of Romanians and noted that this stylized, slow and richly imaginative debut is much more than a Romanian version of the drama Romeo and Juliet. ‘Metronom’ is an exquisite piece of cinema, writes The Upcoming, and Cineuropa notes that in a film industry where filmmakers are rarely interested in female or young protagonists, the character Ana in Metronom becomes a true, shining symbol of a certain attitude towards life. (LS)
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