2 items from 2013
In Romanian helmer Adrian Sitaru’s “Domestic,” the intrusion of different animals into a domestic space — specifically, a dog, a chicken, a rabbit, a pigeon and a cat — sets off rapid-fire arguments, negotiations, recriminations and reconciliations. Sitaru, best known for his award-winning shorts (and 2011 Locarno prizewinner “Best Intentions”), constructs the film as a series of tragicomic vignettes set in the similarly laid-out flats of an apartment building. Filled with vivid characters (most thesped by Sitaru regulars) anxious to impose their confused vision on the chaos around them, the film finds both pathos and humor in absurdity. Its ambiguous tone, however, grounded in working-class Romanian mundanity, may nix wider distribution.
Largely shot from single fixed-camera setups within the relative intimacy of cramped rooms, the film revolves around the households of three men: Lazar (Adrian Titieni), Mihaes (Gheorghe Ifrim) and Toni (Sergio Costache). Lazar, a mild-mannered teacher and the designated building administrator, »
- Ronnie Scheib
Creature Discomfort: Sitaru Returns to Familial Unrest
For his third feature film, Domestic, Romanian director Adrian Sitaru returns to the blackly comedic potential of familial discord that made his successful sophomore feature, Best Intentions, unspool like a jocular slice of Cristi Puiu. While that film had autobiographical roots for Sitaru in its examination of one family’s grappling with matriarchal medical issues, here we get a triptych of nuclear families, all living in the same apartment complex and all suffering various ramifications brought upon by the consequences of interacting with domesticated animals, some of whom have rather murky roles as either an item of entertainment or consumption. What results is a sometimes droll tragicomedy that veers between the maudlin and mundane.
Beginning with a group of apartment complex residents complaining to the building administrator, Mr. Lazar (Adrian Titieni, also appearing in this year’s Child’s Pose) about the annoyances »
- Nicholas Bell
2 items from 2013
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