In the corridors of the college

● The man with the shadow (Romania, 2021), by Drago Hansio.

The man with the shadows Part of a useful series of modern Romanian documentaries whose authors preferred to bypass the cumbersome funding system, knowing full well that if they waited too long they would be left without a subject. Its director, Dragoy Hansio, here portrays George Blondeau (also known as “Ne Jörg”), the former person in charge of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee’s artistic image material, who was about to retire at the time of filming. timingThe film is crucial twice: first, because the passing of Nea Jorj, lovingly documented by student Hanciu, threatens to close an entire era in its wake — marked by an apparent connection to technology, replaced by digital volatility — and then because we only eventually discover that the blonde won’t die long afterward. Beyond the image of the charismatic man and his (dirty) words, an adjective in which I found him quite certain, The man with the shadows
It gets even more interesting once he gets to the scale of testimony, Document: A world is collapsing and it doesn’t really matter that the world is really infinitesimal, as long as Hanseo knows how to give it tragic proportions with deaf emotion.

So the director’s intuition (who was pretty young in 2016-2017 when he was filming) should be welcome to make his film – to generate images – at any cost. The moment he captures—a time capsule focused on the halls of the college—does not return: In the absence of the film, the sad ending to this small but intense saga—Ne Jörg maintains close ties to the student body—is unknown to us, to those who are not concerned with the college’s internal affairs. Thus, Jorj’s exit from the stage—a breakthrough moment when he packs his office clothes, puts them in a suitcase, and then gets lost deep in the aisle as in a classic Hollywood closing sequence—is a memorable entry. if The man with the shadows It suggests a documentary look, and then it comes to Hanciu’s awareness that, although its significance is restricted, the drama of the film facing time must be accounted for in capital letters. The documentary is then a last trace of this man, imprinted in the light that enters through the lens.

Hanciu builds a special relationship with Uncle George. The director’s choice to explicitly include himself in the frame betrays not so much naive narcissism as it is an admiration barely found in the exchanges between director and character, both of which conceal how they can embarrass the embarrassment caused by this mixture of respect and enduring friendship upon those who dress them for one another, the former under the guise of modesty. , and the second under the guise of gentle acryl. I confess I was particularly intrigued by this step outside of self that I thought I had identified with Hanciu, a young man who had decided to approach a man previously separated by everything from him. It’s a matter of cinema here: when you finally start looking at the ones you always see. A character from yesterday takes shape under the eyes of tomorrow’s personality. It is a pity that the excitement of this timid transfer has been tempered somewhat by the poverty of the official apparatus – and I do not think about the financial meaning of the term. Because it was desirable that the film transcend its limited premise (picture in style cinema reality), Instead of being content with the idea – which UNATC graduates often see, but not only – it is enough to turn on the camera and record, something inevitably happens.

From this point of view, it is at least strange to neglect the film towards the chassis, which has been reduced to a state of slightly paralyzing restriction, which prevents exiting outside the good spheres, at the expense of the accumulation of repeated frames, without “growth”. This rehearsal doesn’t work, it’s just redundant: The man with the shadows It often looks like a bunch of very ordinary sequences – different conversations over coffee with people who disappeared right after that, etc. – as if his true subject would only appear now and then, instead of monopolizing all interest. These watch sequences have something frustrating in them – Nea Jorj gets lost in the barren landscape of the hesitant image and in the many previous documentaries that have done the same to their characters. Hanciu chose to go especially to the soundtrack, incorporating (or presenting in a “realistic” way) musical fragments from the classic repertoire, especially news from the infamous GEO 13, which sparked huge protests from the population. The purpose of this gesture is unclear: just a simple temporal announcer or “a look at an institution that serves as a mirror for the authorities running the state,” as the summary explains? I’d say the truth is somewhere in the middle, on the broken axis between that pedestrian realism that the movie can’t part with and the slightly imaginative horizon – such a brooding old man – that it wasn’t a bad thing to look forward to. Often.

The man with the shadows Filmed in many cinemas in the country.

Victor Morozov Film critic.

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