4 items from 2010
It was on a Tuesday night I had the pleasure of attending a reception hosted by the Romanian Cultural Institute of New York to honor directors Cristi Puiu and Radu Muntean, actors Mirela Oprisor, Mimi Branescu, producers Bobby Paunescu and Dragos Vilcu, and DPs Tudor Lucaciu and Viorel Sergovici. The event was a celebration of the three selected films at the Nyff: doc film The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu and the pair of narratives, Aurora and Tuesday, After Christmas. It was great to meet and talk with all of these filmmakers because they are truly at the forefront of one of the most exciting movements in international cinema, still relevant and vibrant since Cristi Puiu's Stuff and Dough and Cristian Mungiu's Occident landed in the Cannes' Director's Fortnight editions of 2001 and 2002. Late last week, I had the even greater pleasure of interviewing the team behind the Un Certain Regard selected Tuesday, »
by Vadim Rizov
Radu Muntean's Tuesday, After Christmas is the director's fourth feature, the first to see theatrical release (scheduled for the indefinite future) and the fifth sample of the Romanian New Wave that'll have a chance to be seen by more Americans than just 300 New Yorkers. (This list includes The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days, 12:08 East of Bucharest and Police, Adjective.) Fairly or not, they form a coherent portrait of Romanian society, despite their directors' varying formal agendas. In them, Romania is a land of fluorescent lighting and charmless Soviet‐bloc architecture, populated by the drunk and dispossessed, the obese and weary, built on top of a collapsing infrastructure combining bureaucratic officiousness with minimal health care, where everyone is rude to everyone else for no good reason at all.
As it happens, there's a late‐breaking shout‐out to 12:08 East of Bucharest in Tuesday, »
Not unlike Camerman, the documentary about accomplished cinematographer Jack Cardiff, Martin Scorsese’s A Letter To Elia, an hour-long half docu-ography/half diary entry regarding the life and movies of Elia Kazan, is a movie for strictly film festivals and the DVD collections of those that regularly attend film festivals.
The doc, written and directed by Scorsese and Kent Jones (writer for The Daily Show), doesn’t tell us anything new about Kazan’s highly-debated Black List days or how he felt about them (he’s recorded calling it the choice between two impossible choices) or even the trajectory of his film career. Instead, it offers a passionate look at the man’s canon from an equally immortal filmmaker and admirer.
Scorsese talks for the majority of the doc, and when the camera’s on him he speaks directly into the audience. The filmmaker speaks over dozens of clips from Kazan’s movies, »
- Dan Mecca
Above: Mimi Branescu (left) in Tuesday, After Christmas.
Eyes crammed with images, ears filled to the brim with sound, and the brain jet-lagged, over-tired, over-joyed, and over-wearied—instant festival criticism is a talent of the rare stalwart few. This year I'm thinking of a different approach, leaving to the inexhaustible and comprehensive David Hudson the brilliant but unenviable task of up to the minute roundups of all from that Croisette that's fit to print (on your screen). Centering our on the ground coverage of the festival will take the form primarily of my favorite moment missives—the festival being such a sloppy, overwhelming explosion of cinema that anything but short impressions of memory seems imprecise and over-eager. So stay tuned til after the fest for a more indepth rundown. But for now, cine-critique fired from the hip!
The first film I caught at the festival, »
4 items from 2010
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