Roar! sat down with Călin Peter Netzer to discuss his new, critically acclaimed film, Child’s Pose.
Child’s Pose is the close study of bourgeois Romanian morality. The film centres on Luminita Gheorghiu’s tour-de-force performance of a mother with a twisted affection for her son. When her son’s reckless driving kills a child, she is prepared to do whatever she can to save her darling boy from having to go to prison.
Riding high on its success at this year’s Berlinale, Golden Bear winner, Child’s Pose, introduces itself to British audiences for the 57th BFI Film Festival. It was during this time that I got the chance to watch the film, as well as meet its director, Călin Peter Netzer, for a private question and answer session.
What inspired you to make this film?
I had previously worked with Razvan Radulescu, with whom I co-wrote the script for Child’s Pose. At the beginning, we had another project which was about a British family in Costa del Sol. We soon found out that we didn’t quite understand the mentality of the people, so we started to talk about our families, our relationships with our parents, but especially with our mothers. It was at this point that we realised that we had another subject that we could work on at home, and that was the starting point of the story.
As far as the title is concerned, is there something in the original wording of the title in Romanian, such as a play on words, that got lost in translation?
The Romanian title, Pozitia copilului, translated directly into ‘Child’s Position’. ‘Child’s Pose’ is actually a yoga posture where you lie down in a foetal position. It was originally a scene of the script that we shot, but eventually cut out in the editing room. However, we wanted to keep the title because it adds a lot of meanings: the position of the children in relation to their parents, the victim’s position, etc.
How did you cast the main character, Cornelia Keneres?
I had previously worked with Luminita Gheorghiu on my last film. She is a very famous actress in Romania and, when we wrote the script, I had her in mind. During the casting period, I debated whether we should cast a fresher face for the role, but it wasn’t before too long that I realised Luminita Gheorghiu was, by far, the best.
With the exception of the party scene and the opera rehearsal, there wasn’t any music in the film. Was this a conscious decision on your part, and what was the thinking behind it?
It was on purpose. The film is treated in a very realistic way and I didn’t want to underline the emotion with film music.
Romania is one of the poorest countries in the European Union, along with other countries such as Greece. Both of these countries are experiencing a resurgence in the film industry, what are your thoughts on the connection between the economic difficulties that these countries face, and this creative revolution?
It is a difficult question and I’m not sure what to say… If you have less money, then you make better films? In Romania, as far as I can remember, things were always like this. I guess the new wave of Romanian directors are trying to make films that are honest, films that are about what we really know. I also think that there are some very talented people in this generation, and that plays a role as well.