3 items from 2016
The Cannes Film Festival has opened with another Woody Allen film—his 1930s Hollywood comedy, Café Society—but the first film officially in competition in front of our eyes was something far more audacious. Two directors whose names are synonymous with the mid-2000s re-emergence of their country’s cinema, now generally called the Romanian New Wave, are competing this year. Yet to screen is the latest from Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days), but it is unlikely to be as forceful as Sieranevada, from his compatriot Cristi Puiu.Best known for his grueling plunge into the labyrinthine nightmare that is the Romanian health care system in The Death of Mr. Lazarescu—a tragic, fatal pilgrimage through offices, hospital hallways, ambulances and clinics told with an absurd, pitch black humor—Sieranevada’s subject is much simpler: an extended, inter-generational apartment gathering at the 40-day memorial of a family member. »
There’s something claustrophobic about a film set entirely in a single location, an unsettling feeling of being cornered in a confined environment, cut off from the rest of the world. Stories such as these require nuanced characters and thoughtful attention to narrative detail, many of which employ a theatrical feel, while others were literally sprung from a playwright’s pen. Their action sequences are merely verbal, characters revealing shocking truths and saying the unthinkable, while the setting forces them together until an often brutal conclusion. When people are trapped like rats, it’s no surprise they sometimes eat each other.
A new entry in this sub-genre, Green Room, a violent thriller from Blue Ruin director Jeremy Saulnier expands this weekend. In the film, after a punk band witnesses a vicious murder, they find themselves trapped in the club’s green room, forced to fight their way out to freedom. »
- Tony Hinds
Mubi is exclusively showing two new, brilliant and unconventional films from Spain: Luis López Carrasco's El Futuro (April 11 - May 10) and Ion de Sosa's Androids Dream (April 12 - May 11). We asked the two filmmakers—friends and collaborators—a few questions about their work. For an in-depth exploration of the two films, we recommend Michael Pattison's article, Back to the Future: Androids Dream and El Futuro.Spanish directors Ion de Sosa (front left) and Luis López Carrasco (back right).Notebook: How did you each manage to bring your projects to life?Luis LÓPEZ Carrasco: After living in Berlin for a few months through a scholarship program, I came back to Spain in 2010 fully energized with the aim to set up a production company, finance my own projects and support friends whose work I deeply admire. The international success of Los Hijos Collective led me to believe »
3 items from 2016
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