The film is an adaptation of a novel by Marin Preda, a controversial novelist who died during the Communist rule soon after the book was published. It tells the story of an intellectual, ... See full summary »
It's the 22nd of December. Sixteen years have passed since the revolution, and in a small town Christmas is about to come. Piscoci, an old retired man is preparing for another Christmas ... See full summary »
A description of Romania before Ceausescu's downfall, through the story of Nela. Daughter of a former colonel of the Securitate, the romanian political police. She refused to become as her ... See full summary »
Paul Hanganu loves two women. Adriana his wife and the mother of their daughter, the woman with whom he's shared the thrills of the past ten years, and Raluca the woman who has made him redefine himself. He has to leave one of them before Christmas.
Occident is a bittersweet comedy that focuses on the growing tendency of Eastern European youth to migrate west. When the amicable Luci (Alexandru Papadopol) and his beautiful lover Sorina ... See full summary »
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At an old age, prince Andrei Morudzi retreats to his castle in Romania, during the two world wars, after having lead an eventful youth. There he is seen upon as a rare bird by the local ... See full summary »
This movie is spectacular in so many ways. It is at the surface a blunt caricature of love, attraction and jealousy. It gravitates around a constant present time scene of Fred and Emilia's postcoital bedtalk. They lay there naked talking, and reading the deceased Ladima's love letters, Emilia getting up on occasion to fetch coffee or such. This all brings Fred to think of his lost friend, of the woman Ladima loved (the same that is in bed with him at the moment) and how this relation differed or paralleled his own unfulfilled love experience.
The film starts pretty slow and straight-forwardly. Good, but almost ordinary storytelling. The setting is the 1920's in Bucharest and we get to have a feeling of that time and place. We learn of the obvious traits of all the characters. Emilia is promiscuous. Ladima is too nice and platonic (man of integrity). Fred was/is madly in love with a woman (Madame T), but nothing is coming of it but sorrow and pain. The only real mystery remaining, so we think, is Madame T.
Money problems, acting career, newspaper censorship. It moves along quietly, but nicely. Petru Vutcarau does any incredible job as Fred and this talent can be seen throughout the movie.
Then we dig into Fred's past and find out how he came to love Madame T. Gripping love story. Awkward, touching, genuine. From then on, the depth and sensitivity of the movie is intensified. Motivations are not as clear anymore. Poetry and lyricism surface. The imagery of the movie is more open and let your thoughts wander. Situations are oddly intertwined. Actions are only partly justified. The heart is confused. Aching. Unsure.
There is a real explosion of re-examination and questioning. What is really going on? Is life love, and if so why is it so complicated? Why did Ladima kill himself? What happened between Fred and Madame T?
This movie has built up a crescendo without you even noticing. You are gripped in the story, riveted by the characters. Vacillating like their feelings. Trying to grasp it all, but certainly failing.
I was completely distraught at the end of the movie. Still am almost a day later...
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