Lithuania, 42 min
Almost entirely composed of archives, Four Steps is Audrius Stonys’ most literally ethnographic film. The reels shown do not come from official institutions, but from Lithuanian family films shot in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, to which the filmmaker has added images he shot in 2007. These different materials are linked to each other via a single motif, marriage, and their soundtrack made in particular of folk songs. A real visual memory of marriage-related rites over several decades, the amateur films, introduced by what resembles a nursery rhyme for children, recount the games, the heaving and dancing bodies, the huge buffets, when the union of two people would give rise to an abun- dance of celebration and drunkenness. A moment of innocence that seems to have been lost, in that a form of devitalisation looms up in the final third of the film: the guests are like tired puppets acting mechanically more than they are living the rite. A recurring motif in the cinema of Stonys; something has got lost on the way, and only cinema can get it back...
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