Peter Horsten & Katarzyna Szemro: “I Stefan” is simple, complex and therefore impressive at the same time. It’s simplicity is striking and proves again that a good message only needs a good carrier, without any add-ons. The film, full of symbolism, takes us back to Stefan’s youth, different times, different scenes, times with different habits. His experiences, feelings, emotions stimulate you to try to better understand Stefan and meanwhile you are being confronted with your personal judgements. Unfortunately, it shows how little humanity has changed and how judging towards others we have always been and still are. Being “different” seems to be a problem for the ones who claim to be normal, but what is normal? At the same time we see Stefan’s transition in life from a character driven by chaos, visuals and creativity into an intelligent, loving and structured person. He will not bend, he will continue to fight inequality, powered by creativity and love.
Martin van Westen: Watched the movie twice. The first time I was awestruck by feeling it was a story told especially for me. The tremendous amount of spoken text, the color shift, the in your face kind of cinematic choices, are all so different. Made to make the viewer feel something, feel some connection to what the main character is trying to tell. It felt like watching the Talking Heads, once in a lifetime video, for the first time. A main character, asking questions about being, existing. Am I a product of my past, is my art a product of my past. Am I really in charge, is living a constant stream of adapting and loosing a bit of who and how I want to be? The musical intermezzos add more fuel to the story line. Just as I Stefan becomes too depressing and an answer is about to emerge ( researcher with ‘microscope’ ) there is the female character and they twirl and are childlike, happy and very funny. The first time I saw color used as part of a movie was in -don’t look know- and like in I Stefan it is a character in the story. Does the color tells where Stefan is, how he feels, how he sees himself or wants to be seen. Is the onslaught of words, music, feelings, colors and text telling a story for or with the viewers? The second time I saw the movie, The main character was much more on the screen and less in my head. Like reading a good book for the second time. The twirling in the end still made me laugh, knowing everything and Stefan will be fine. Put on your colored glasses and let’s go.