EIMUNTAS NEKROŠIUS: Pushing the Horizon Further
Eimuntas Nekrošius: nutolinti horizontąDirection and script:
Audronis LiugaSecond unit director
Theatre and Cinema Information and Education CentrePremiere:
The feature-length documentary film was created between 2013 and 2015 in Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza (Italy) and in Meno Fortas in Vilnius (Lithuania), during the rehearsals for Eimuntas Nekrošius’ Boris Godunov.
In his lifetime, the Lithuanian director was considered the most reticent, shy, if not aphasic, of all European theatre artists. He did not like talking to random media people – he refused to disclose his inner self or explain his performances. Various anecdotal accounts of what his interviews with journalists from prestigious magazines looked like remain in circulation to this day. Nekrošius was notorious for replying with monosyllables: Yes. No. Perhaps. I don’t know. Hmm. There are stories of his meetings with other renowned artists, during which not a single word was exchanged – the director sat speechless, remained thoughtful, and only puffed out cigarette smoke. He was unable to speak a word to new cast members he invited to participate in a new production; he merely mumbled something and averted his eyes the entire time. And it is precisely because of this context and the shroud of mystery that surrounded Nekrošius outside of Lithuania and Russia that Audronis Liuga’ film is unique: the theatre director keeps on talking almost without any pause, he looks straight at the camera lens and directly addresses his cast during rehearsals. It is only his voice that we hear off-screen. In Eimuntas Nekrošius: Pushing the Horizon Further, we will find a handful of his typical directorial remarks, a few self-reflexive commentaries, and even his metaphorical attempt to evaluate his lifelong theatrical endeavours. Recorded by Audronis Liuga, a theatre critic, manager of theatres in Vilnius and a trusted associate of Nekrošius, the artist’s spoken statements have posthumously gained the status of the late director’s oral testament.
Titled Eimuntas Nekrošius: Pushing the Horizon Further, the documentary film is an attempt to reflect on Nekrosius’ artistic position and to witness the director at work.
Let’s conduct an experiment. A very simple one. Take a chair, press it against the floor and attempt to move it. I tried it at home – it makes a bloody screeching noise. I was just telling my granddaughter a story about a bear. And then I left the room to smoke a cigarette, took a chair and scraped it along the floor… My granddaughter asked behind the door: “Who is there?” It must have been the bear. She was stunned.
Eimuntas Nekrošius at the beginning of the rehearsals for Boris Godunov.
Always try to speak for yourself although sometimes your voice and thoughts will not suffice. You cannot run away from who you are. If this is not enough, then what? Then comes sadness. Moments of contentment that we are graced with are few and far between. (…) At present, there is a trend, a tendency to fashion a new generation – perhaps this is a conscious philosophy that demands that an individual ought to be strong, responsible, success-driven (…) Literature, cinema, and theatre play their part in this process of building a new human being but – to our surprise – we are yet to get rid of the feeling of sadness, alienation, and all the emotional wounds and scar tissue that affect us. Life is life and it runs its course – just the way it should. For that reason, the further our horizon, the better – in every sense of the word. When the horizon appears close to us, then – as befits our existential crossroads – something pushes the horizon further. All in all, this is some answer – if only one of the fluid and fickle ones.
Nekrošius’ final monologue in Pushing the Horizon Further