Browsing: Romania

Film Festival theworldismine_1-1

“This one’s for Ioana and Oana” goes the CRBL song which energetically opens The World Is Mine, an ironically-titled treat that speaks just as directly to the young women of Romania as that thumping track it uses time and again. It’s not just for an excess of aquatic imagery that debut director Nicolae Constantin Tănase manages to make something of a…

Film Festival Bucuresti-NonStop_1-1

While the more internationally-heralded heavyweights of Romania cinema have together forged a clear aesthetic and thematic trajectory under which the nation’s much-discussed new wave has come to be contextualised, back home there are just as many talented types at work on projects whose residence outside the purview of this arguably-exclusive…

Film Festival bondoc_1-1

We would hardly need to think twice about taking to task a narrative film which conceives a compelling character only to craft it unconvincingly. Yet in the realm of documentary, there emerges that peculiar brand of film whose central figure is commanding enough in its own right to overcome the limitations of the means of representation. Perhaps it’s the sense…

Film Festival selfportrait_1-1

We needn’t see the special thanks afforded Cristi Puiu in Self-Portrait of a Dutiful Daughter to feel the influence of that titan of Romanian cinema on this ambitious early effort. Wilfully casting itself in the mould of the Romanian New Wave, capital letters and all, this is the kind of film—for all its earnest achievements—that demonstrates categorically the…

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 8.37.11 AM

Adapting a novel, bestselling or otherwise, into the equivalent of a two-hour film is something of an art form. Not every screenwriter can wrestle a novel’s central and secondary plots into coherent, intelligible shape; not every director can untangle a novel’s themes, and subtexts from an author’s narrative tangents, digressions, and detours to find and follow the central premise. Alternatively, both screenwriter and director may want ….

Film Festival metabolism1

“When filming, you put what interests you in the centre, not on the margin.” So says a doctor surveying the endoscopy DVD of a deathly serious director whose alleged illness is nought more than one part of a ploy to rehearse in-depth and out of clothes with an attractive actress…

Making Waves roxanne_1-1

I heavily dislike it when a film with so much promise on paper, ends up being a bit of a let down in the end. Romania has a complex history and an even more complicated recovery with democracy after the fall of Ceausescu. Roxanne is inspired by real events in debut director Hotea’s life and the lives of modern day Romanians…

Film Festival viktoria_1-1

“10 years before the collapse of communism” proclaims the opening title card of Viktoria, and by the time we reach the closing credits we seem to have lived it. Bulgarian filmmaker Maya Vitkova’s debut feature is a writer-director-producer picture if ever there was one, an over-extended mess of a movie that could stand to have its luvvies cut to ribbons. Like the…

Film Festival wayb_1-1

It is 14th January 2012, nighttime, and the camera captures people gathered on the streets of Bucharest. A gendarme tells people with a megaphone to disperse. The camera then follows this same gendarme as he tries to clear the crowds at University Square. Yet the film does not explain why people have gathered at the square. But for those who are either…

Berlinale 2014 thesecondgame_2014_1

Porumboiu is, without the shadow of a doubt, my favourite representative of Romania’s celebrated New Wave. His brilliant 12:08 East Of Bucharest (2006), a tremendously sharp but unassuming dry comedy in which a local television host invites a guest line-up to look back at the events of the 1989 Romanian revolution, is perhaps my pick of the bunch. That film’s whole set-up is something of a satirical farce, the show’s guests bicker incessantly about minor details that may or may not even be relevant. In The Second Game, Porumboiu substitutes the depiction of a fictional experiment on memory with a real-time recording of a similar endeavour in which the director participates alongside his father.

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