3/4 Screen 6 articles



3/4 Poster
  • As distinctive a dramatic feature debut as I've seen in years, 3/4 constantly hints at a world just out of frame, and aspires to make its inner workings uniquely all-encompassing, touching on the hyper-precision and uncomprehending fecklessness of youth with equal sensitivity. Metev is attuned to the way children's conversations take on the cadence of a game, which remains as darkness looms.

  • A small but ambitious drama with a perfectly symmetrical structure, using minimal means, nonprofessional actors, and everyday conversations to convey its characters’ innermost feelings. Through unobtrusive, documentary-style camera work, limited onscreen spaces, and ellipses, Metev works subtly to reveal the misunderstandings, fears, and anxieties of characters, tying his style closely to their interior states.

  • It's a film about mundane anticipation. This may not sound like much of an achievement, but when you consider just how overly plotted and signposted most narrative films are (even the "realist" ones), the true significance of 3/4 can be more fully appreciated. It should be noted, however, that this significance is small, and that is by design.

  • It's yet another recent film shot in the classical 1.33 square: this has been happening with such increasing frequency that it almost feels like it’ll be back as a normative option at the multiplex any day now. Metev shows conspicuous chops in the very first shot: a downward-facing tracking shot across pavement, with a plastic bottle being kicked back and forth slicing the frame horizontally and scooters breaking it vertically before settling in on Niki.

  • The music flows and halts, the kindly but firm tutor observes and sometimes interjects, and we get the best example of the insight in this strong, off-kilter film’s vivid sense of people, inside and out, observed through faltering daily habits. The camera almost always is ahead of each family member, moving backwards as they walk forward into their uncertain future. This girl trying to play, searching for the rhythm, the inspiration and individuality, is a beautiful moment to behold.

  • A modest work of considerable grace and insight, Ilian Metev’s 3/4 quietly stands as one of the most accomplished narrative debuts of the year. Genuinely compassionate, the 36-year-old Bulgarian’s directorial voice echoes forth confidently from the opening frames of this most understated of family dramas

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