030-035 ŠARŪNAS BARTAS / THE HOUSE





[...A CASA / YOU SEE, MY HOME BRINGS TO ME VERY, VERY STRONG MEMORIES. I REMEMBER, BEFORE WRITING THE SCRIPT FOR THE MOVIE, I WAS VERY DEEPLY IN GRIEF BECAUSE OF THE DEATH OF MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER, & THAT HOUSE STOOD ALMOST ALONE. THE HOUSE WAS LEASED TO STUDENTS. THERE WAS A HUGE PILE OF TRASH UNDER THE STAIRS, IN WHICH RATS WERE LOOKING FOR FOOD. THE STUDENTS WERE TOO LAZY TO THROW OUT THE TRASH SO THEY SIMPLY THREW EVERYTHING OUT THE WINDOW.
THE TRANSITION WAS VERY FAST, AT LEAST TO ME, & I FELT THE DIFFERENCE FROM SOMETHING CRITICAL & SOMETHING THAT CAN CHANGE ANY SECOND. I REMEMBER THE HUGE BLACKCURRANT BUSHES; THEY WERE GREAT & OF VERY HIGH DENSITY & IT TOOK TIME TO PICK EVEN A HALF SQUARE METRE OF BERRIES. FOR MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER, GRANDFATHER HAD MADE SPECIAL STEPS, LIKE A LADDER BUT YOU COULD SIT ON THEM… & SO MY GRANDMOTHER USED TO MAKE AN IMMENSE AMOUNT OF BLACKCURRANT JAM. EVEN AFTER GRANNY’S DEATH THERE WERE STILL ALL SORTS OF JAMS, ALL LOADED IN THE CELLARS & IN MY GRANDMOTHER’S ROOM. & I SUDDENLY FELT THAT EVERYTHING WAS INCREDIBLY TEMPORARY. I FELT A SENSE OF THE TEMPORARINESS IN THE PAST, BUT AT THAT TIME IT LEFT A TERRIFYING IMPRESSION ON ME. I EVEN TRIED TO REVIVE THE HOUSE, BUT I COULD NOT LIVE THERE BECAUSE IT WAS IN ŠIAULIAI & I WAS STUDYING AT VGIK, IN MOSCOW, & I ALREADY KNEW I WAS GOING TO BECOME A FILMMAKER— I KNEW THAT THERE WAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT IN ŠIAULIAI; THAT I HAD TO LIVE IN VILNIUS…
I HAD AN IDEA TO LIVE IN ŠIAULIAI, IN THAT HOUSE, & ONCE I EVEN FLEW THERE WITH A FRIEND FROM MOSCOW. THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER, I WAS REPAIRING THE HOUSE &, AT THAT TIME, LIFE STILL SEEMED LONG TO ME. WHILE I UNDERSTOOD QUITE A LOT ABOUT LIFE, I DID NOT FEEL QUITE LIKE I FEEL NOW. I PERFECTLY UNDERSTOOD & KNEW THAT LIFE IS VERY SHORT BUT I UNDERSTOOD LIFE DIFFERENTLY; I HAD A ROMANTICISED VISION OF LIFE. A CASA [1997] IS A HOME I CREATED IN MY HEAD— NOT MY OWN HOME, BUT WHAT IS IN OUR HEADS, OUR HEARTS… IT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU CANNOT PUT INTO SIMPLE WORDS.

NAKED BODY / BEAUTIFUL, BUT I ALSO ASSOCIATE IT WITH A CERTAIN EXCITEMENT, WHICH IS VERY STRANGE; A VERY PURE & VERY UNCLEAR FEELING. I REMEMBER MY GRANDMOTHER WORKED AS A TEACHER— ALL HER LIFE SHE WORKED WITH MENTALLY DISABLED CHILDREN. ON WEEKENDS SHE WOULD BRING SOME OF THE CHILDREN HOME, THOSE WHOSE PARENTS WOULDN’T TAKE THEM BACK HOME FROM THE BOARDING SCHOOL. SHE FELT SORRY FOR THEM. THERE WAS one GIRL, PERHAPS MENTALLY DISABLED— BUT I DID NOT FEEL IT, I WAS A KID, 5 OR 6 YEARS OLD— & WE WOULD SLEEP IN one BED, BUT SHE WAS ALWAYS BEING CHANGED BEHIND A SHEET THAT MY GRANDMOTHER HELD FOR HER. ONCE I REMEMBER THE SHEET WASN’T HELD CORRECTLY & I SAW HOW THIS YOUNG GIRL WAS CHANGING. I REMEMBER I HAD SUCH STRANGE EMOTIONS— NO ASSOCIATION TO SEX BUT I REMEMBER THAT I THOUGHT IT WAS SOMEHOW VERY BEAUTIFUL. BECAUSE WE ARE A CULTURE OF DRESSED PEOPLE, WE ARE NOT A NAKED CULTURE, SO I CAN NOT SAY WHETHER THIS THING IS CONGENITAL OR CAUSED BY OUR CIVILISATION. I ONLY KNOW THAT THIS IS SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL.
IN A CASA, EGLE COMES TO THE TABLE NAKED & EVERYONE LEAVES— ANGRY, SCARED, ANXIOUS. SHE WAS VERY GOOD AT IT— A LITTLE EMBARRASSED, BUT BOLD. SOMEHOW I LIKED THAT BEHAVIOuR OF EGLE— PROVOCATIVE, YET A BIT TIMID & SELF-CONSCIOUS.
THEN THERE WAS THAT SCENE IN THE ROOM WITH FRANCISCO & THE NUDE GIRLS, DARK SKINNED GRETA… GRETA HAS DIFFERENT LOOKS— IT SEEMS LIKE SHE IS INVITING, SHE AGREES & IGNORES, LIKE SHE IS ADMIRING HERSELF. THAT’S JUST THE WAY SHE IS.
& THEN THERE IS EGLE & THE CHILDREN, EGLE NEXT TO THE DOOR— MOM & DAUGHTER, 2 GENERATIONS, BUT AT THE SAME TIME— EGLE; A KID, & EGLE; A WOMAN. BUT I DO NOT WANT TO INTERPRET. I DO NOT WANT THERE TO BE JUST one OPTION. EVERYONE SHOULD CHOOSE A MEANING FOR THEMSELVES.
IT WAS VERY EASY TO SHOOT THIS MOVIE FOR ME, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS DIFFICULT TO PRODUCE IT AFTERWARDS. BUT THERE WAS NO DISCOMFORT. I DID NOT INVENT ANYTHING, & I WAS ABSOLUTELY FREE WITH THIS MOVIE. THERE WAS NO DISCOMFORT IN THE FACT THAT SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE FOUND, CONNECTED, SOME SCENE IS NOT THE WAY IT HAS TO BE… FOR ME IT WAS SOMEHOW VERY SIMPLE & CLEAR. SAME WITH THE MOVIE KORIDORIUS [1995]. MAKING THIS TYPE OF FILM IS EASIER TO DO, AS I FEEL FREE WHEN DISCUSSING TIME & SPACE IN A NON-NARRATIVE WAY...]


/ EXCERPT FROM A TEXT BASED ON A CONVERSATION BETWEEN ŠARŪNAS BARTAS & JURGA DIKCIUVIENE. ENTIRE ARTICLE ONLY IN THE PRINTED EDITION OF SOME/THINGS MAGAZINE CHAPTER005 / SHE HAS NO STRINGS APOLLO