News Film as food for thought. Sebastian Mihăilescu’s Mammalia stirs audiences to action

Published: July 04, 2023| 09:26 AM

Romanian director Sebastian Mihăilescu, actor István Téglás and editor Cătălin Cristuțiu served up their absurd drama Mammalia to the audience at the Čas Cinema in Karlovy Vary. Dreamy passages in visually precise scenes slowly tell the story of the confused Camil. His girlfriend has joined a mysterious cult, which will have an irreversible impact on their lives.

Mihăilescu cannot hide his experience stemming from his documentary films. “Fiction is something false for me and I wanted to rise above that in the feature film. I tried to capture the atmosphere as much as possible, which is also related to my choice of 16 mm film stock. I limited the dialogue and focused on the image so that the scenes would speak for themselves,” he says of why he uses long takes with carefully constructed mise-en-scene.

“For me, best directing is basically a parallel to detective work. I avoid films for passive viewers. I see the film as a sequence of separate images that give you various clues and hints. And then you, the viewer, put their meaning together,” the director explained. His feature debut was presented in the experimental programme section Imagina.


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