News from the Locarno Festival

3/4 (Three Quarters)

Concorso Cineasti del presente

3/4 (Three Quarters)


© Sutor Kolonko/Chaconna Films


After two movies in the 2016 Concorso internazionale and the winning of the Pardo d’oro by Ralitza Petrova's Godless, it was essential to confirm a spotlight for the emerging Bulgarian cinema. This year it is Ilian Metev's 3/4 that is his first feature film after his documentary debut Poslednata lineika na Sofia (Sofia's Last Ambulance), which was selected by Cannes' Semaine de la Critique in 2012. Metev confirms his devotion to connections between moving subjects and the city. Poslednata lineika na Sofia told the story of a team of paramedics on the inside of an ambulance. 3/4 follows a father with his son and daughter during their walk across the city. Their short age difference underlines the narrow distance between childhood and first responsibilities. The shooting style is opposite, compared to the recently predominant tracking shot filming the back of the head of silent actors in order to reveal the space ahead. Metev prefers preceding his characters and shows their stride and movement with a shot reverse shot that becomes the ideal tool to seize the different dynamics of language, in particular the free language of youth and its catchphrases, onomatopoeias, verses, repetitions and provocations. The external shots are flooded by the light of a strange and interrupted warm season; the internal shots are perfect frameworks. But what most of all moves us in 3/4 is its patient rhythm, the moderate austerity that portraits verbal and physical interactions with rare and decent precision, the mastery of a stubbornly bounded and refined repertoire that generates the essential gap to the wonder.


Sergio Fant

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