International Lens: Aurora
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28
Where: Vanderbilt's Sarratt Cinema
“Why did you kill them?” “I’ll try to be as precise as possible.” This exchange, from a scene near the end of Romanian director Cristi Puiu’s Aurora, suggests some of the film’s deadpan bleakness. In this lengthy exercise in cinema verité suspense, we observe eerily impassive divorcé Viorel (played by Puiu himself) watch TV, bicker with his mistress and visit a gun store.
Puiu’s scenes unfold in real time, letting the bleak ambience of industrial Bucharest settle in while allowing for flashes of black comedy (like a Tarantino-esque argument about whether the grandmother in “Little Red Riding Hood” was eaten with or without her clothes on). When violence finally breaks out, we’re left puzzling over Viorel’s true motives.