Review: ‘The Corridor’

Produced, directed, written by Sarunas Bartas. Executive producer, HonaZiok. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 12, 1995. (Also in Turin , Thes saloniki fests, Cannes market.) Running time: 83 MIN.

Produced, directed, written by Sarunas Bartas. Executive producer, HonaZiok. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 12, 1995. (Also in Turin , Thes saloniki fests, Cannes market.) Running time: 83 MIN.

With: Katerina Golubeva, Viacheslav Amirhanian, Sarunas Rartas, Eimuntas Nekroshius, Mantvydas Janeliunas, Tania Dovydenaite, Jurga Kurayskaite, Alina Mishalo, Vidas Morkunas. In his introduction to “The Corridor,” writer/director/actor Sarunas Bartas asserts that his film “uses unusual narrative techniques and thematic structures” and that the title symbolizes “the atmosphere of a corridor between yesterday and today, containing many doors.” This information is helpful, because without it his film would be utterly obscure.

Grainy B&W pic homes in on a crumbling, dirty apartment block in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, in winter. There is no dialogue and no discernible narrative. The camera lingers on various characters, including a youth played by the director, who just sit or stand about, looking miserable.

Nothing much happens. A small boy sets fire to sheets hanging in the courtyard and later is pushed aroundby older boys. A young girl looks at her body in a mirror. A lot of cigarettes are smoked. Things liven up when the residents of the apartment have an impromptu party, with music, dancing and a little sex on the side. At least they look more cheerful in this sequence, but once the party’s over the melancholic silences return.

Whatever Bartas was trying to communicate in “The Corridor” is difficult to determine, and maybe only the initiated can work it out. Its future on the international circuit looks as bleak as that of the characters in the film.

The Corridor

(LITHUANIAN-GERMAN)

Production

A Studio Kinema (Vilnius)/TV Ventures (Berlin) co-production.

Crew

Camera (B&W), Rimvydas Leipus; editor, Mingaile Murmulaitiene; production design , Sigitas Zakrauskas; costume design, Danute Inchute; sound, Vladimir Golovnitski; assistant director, Stasys Motiejunas.
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