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Šarūnas Bartas

"I am trying to make films about very simple things. And, admittedly, when it comes to simple things, we are quite unskilled in contemplating them, and in vain are rejecting them as an obvious granted. We don’t have such a habit – so it takes a lot of moral strength, effort and time. That’s what I give myself and my viewers; time. To set the pace for a film, the editing tools are not enough; you need a basis for choosing this or other tempo. Same, actually, goes for the other technical details: for example, the currently popular in documentary and pseudo-documentary films shaking camera, shooting with some insane-to-the-viewer angle. Sometimes it’s justifiable, but more often, unfortunately, it looks like silly excess." (Šarūnas Bartas, The Elusive Present: an interview with Sharunas Bartas by Anna Nieman)

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) In Memory of The Day Passed By (1990), 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) about three young Lithuanians visiting Kaliningrad-Karaliautchus-Kionigsberg – a moribund, outraged town. The traditional dramaturgy is ignored in later Bartas’ films, as well: The Corridor (1994, it was shown at Berlin Film Festival), Few of Us (1995, shown in Cannes, in the program Other Point),  The House (1997, shown in the same program in Cannes). All of them are works of free structure, minimalistic form, philosophical associations. The works of Bartas are not well-known and analysed in Lithuania, but they have a small, faithful round of admirers in the West.

Filmography:

1986 Tofolaria (short, co-dir.Valdas Navasaitis)

1990 Pamięć minionych dni / Praejusios dienos atminimui / In Memory of The Day Passed By (doc. short)

1991 Trzy dni / Trys dienos / Three Days

1995 Korytarz / Koridorius / The Corridor

1996 Niewielu nas / Mūsų nedaug / Few of Us

1997 Dom / A Casa / The House

2000 Wolność / Laisve / Freedom

2004 Wizje Europy / Visions of Europe (segment Children Lose Nothing)

2005 Siedmiu niewidzialnych ludzi / Septyni nematomi zmones / Seven Invisible Men

2010 Euroazjata / Eurazijos Aborigenas / Eastern Drift