The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (2010) - News Poster


Movie Review: Romanian master Cristian Mungiu finds more hardship in the homeland with Graduation

One of many remarkable things about the Romanian New Wave, that ongoing cycle of grueling dramas and bone-dry comedies, is the larger picture it paints. The movies talk to each other, putting Romania’s past and present in conversation; to understand, for example, why the frivolous political theater of The Autobiography Of Nicolae Ceausescu is so infuriating, it helps to either be up on the country’s history or to have seen one of the numerous films depicting the hardships that Ceausescu, authoritarian leader of Romania for two decades, inflicted upon his people. Context isn’t necessary, thankfully, to get wrapped up in the knotty moral dilemma of Graduation, the latest slow burn from writer-director Cristian Mungiu, whose Cannes-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks, And 2 Days brought the movement to international prominence. But knowing the country (or its cinema) does help make sense of the tough choices facing its main ...
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NYC Weekend Watch: Maggie Cheung, ‘Leviathan,’ Busby Berkeley, Dennis Hopper & More

Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.


The great Maggie Cheung is celebrated in a 20-film retrospective, with two Wong Kar–wai features screening this Friday and Saturday and the Police Story trilogy showing on Sunday.

Programs featuring the early works of Todd Haynes et al. play on Friday; two John Ford classics and The Boxtrolls play on Saturday.

Film Society
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Anna Paquin, Terrence Malick: Cinephile Society Winners

Asghar Farhadi's A Separation, Margaret's Anna Paquin (photo), Weekend's Tom Cullen, and The Tree of Life's Terrence Malick and Brad Pitt were some of the winners of the 2012 International Cinephile Society Awards. The honors are announced by "an online group made up of approximately 80 accredited journalists, film scholars, historians and other industry professionals who cover film festivals and events on five continents." And cinephiles they clearly are; some of their choices would put the U.S.-based National Society of Film Critics to shame. [Full list of International Cinephile Society winners and runners-up.] Writer-director Farhadi's Iranian family drama A Separation, which is up for the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Screenplay Academy Awards, won as Best Picture of 2011, in addition to Best Film Not in the English Language, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Ensemble (including Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress runners-up Peyman Moaadi and Shahab Hosseini). Farhadi was also the runner-up for Best Director.
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A Separation, Tom Cullen: International Cinephile Society Awards

Chris New, Tom Cullen in Andrew Haigh's Weekend Anna Paquin, Terrence Malick: Cinephile Society Winners Best Picture 01. A Separation 02. The Tree of Life 03. Mysteries of Lisbon 04. Certified Copy 05. Weekend 06. Margaret 07. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives 08. Drive 09. Meek's Cutoff 10. Hugo 11. Melancholia Best Director Terrence MalickThe Tree of Life Runner-up: Asghar Farhadi – A Separation Best Film Not In The English Language 01. A Separation 02. Mysteries of Lisbon 03. Certified Copy 04. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives 05. The Skin I Live In 06. Poetry 07. House of Pleasures 08. Le Havre 09. Le Quattro Volte 10. Of Gods and Men Best Actor Tom CullenWeekend Runner-up: Peyman Moaadi – A Separation Best Actress Anna PaquinMargaret Runner-up: Juliette BinocheCertified Copy Best Supporting Actor Brad PittThe Tree of Life Runner-up: Shahab Hosseini – A Separation Best Supporting Actress J. Smith-CameronMargaret Runner-up: Jessica ChastainTake Shelter Best Original Screenplay A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
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Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, The | Review

Director: Andrei Ujica Rendered in the artistic fashion of a Leni Riefenstahl documentary, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu features a magnificent and poetic montage of archival footage about Romania's fallen ruler nm0147476 autoNicolae Ceausescu[/link]. Autobiography begins on the final day of Ceausescu's life, with television footage of him and his wife undergoing a hastily organized two-hour court session prior to their execution on Christmas Day 1989. From there, director Andrei Ujica's documentary delves into a rich archival array of propagandistic footage with a recurring theme of pomp and circumstance as it chronicles Ceausescu's reign as the Secretary General of the Romanian Communist Party (1965-1989) and Romania's head of state (1967-1989). Ceausescu's reign started off promising with an open policy towards Western Europe and the United States (thus deviating from the other Warsaw Pact states during the Cold War); he even actively and openly condemned the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the other Warsaw Pact forces.
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Daily Briefing. La Furia Umana 10, Frieze 142 and More

  • MUBI
Invigorated by the hope that "a new world is possible and latent already in the old one," the editors of the multi-lingual journal La Furia Umana launch Issue 10. Among the dozens of features, you'll find Fred Camper on Stan Brakhage, Joe McElhaney on Terrence Malick (and Lawrence French recalls meeting the director in 1978), Michael Guarneri's interview with Raya Martin, a roundtable discussion of the "post-cinematic" in the Paranormal Activity series and Cristina Álvarez López's photographic and textual essay on Bergman's Persona and Lynch's Inland Empire.

Bit by bit, the October issue of frieze is appearing online. Issue 142's "Life in Film" column comes from Deimantas Narkevičius, whose exhibition Restricted Sensation is on view in Paris through October 22. Also: Chris Wiley on Ryan Trecartin, Katie Kitamura on Cory Arcangel and Dan Kidner introduces a conversation: "In recent years, artists in the UK have increasingly turned to narrative cinema and mainstream TV,
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"The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu," reviewed

  • IFC
We perceive documentaries as records of truth; these things happened, the camera recorded them. "The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu" is a record of a lie. Yes, these things happened, and yes, the camera recorded them. But why did they happen and how? And what was going on when the camera wasn't around? Because of its unusual structure, the film doesn't say. But attentive viewers will realize this "autobiography" presents an incomplete view of history.

It comes from the perspective of Nicolae Ceausescu, Communist dictator of Romania from 1967 to 1989. A man with a taste for the spotlight, Ceausescu rarely missed an opportunity for a photo opportunity, and he filled his nation's official archive with hundreds upon hundreds of hours of himself at work and play. The footage is extensive but not comprehensive: lots of speeches and meetings with foreign heads-of-state, occasional travels abroad or hunting expeditions, but no mentions of food
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Andrei Ujica, “The Autobiography Of Nicolae Ceausescu”

Romanian émigré and film essayist Andrei Ujica’s acclaimed Videograms of a Revolution trilogy, which includes the 1992 film of that name as well as his profile of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, Out of the Present (1995), finally concludes with The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, his genre-bending final chapter, which he fondly calls part of the “new non-fiction” that is taking the world of cinema by storm. Culling through several decades worth of propaganda films from the Romanian National Television and Film Archives, he takes wildly out of context footage and gently stews it together into a three hour epic rumination on Romania’s mid and late Communist periods as told from the decidedly rosy verging on megalomaniacal perspective of the brutal 20th century dictator himself whose filmic autobiography we’re ostensibly watching. Unlike anything else that will find its way to commercial screens the year, the movie is a dazzling historical tour-de-force
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Film: Movie Review: The Autobiography Of Nicolae Ceausescu

At the start of Andrei Ujica’s epic documentary The Autobiography Of Nicolae Ceausescu, the late Romanian president is seen on video shortly before his 1989 execution, in a small room with his wife by his side, refusing to answer questions about his crimes against his people unless he’s taken in front of the Grand National Assembly. Ceausescu considers his interrogation undignified for someone of his stature—“a masquerade,” he calls it. His captors respond by saying, “It was your masquerade for 25 years.” It’s a bracing moment: the dictator laid low, called to account by the citizens ...
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Romanian National Film Center Gives Coin to Paunescu’s Diaz and Gruzsnizcki’s The Escape

15 feature films, 12 first-feature films, 31 short films and 16 documentaries were competing for the second 2010 contest of Romanian National Film Center of Cinematography. Only a few of them received some money though. The biggest grant (over 480.000$) was given to (see above) Andrei Gruzsnizcki’s Evadarea (The Escape), the director’s second feature, after Cealaltă Irina (The Other Irina). Its story happens during winter so the shooting will start most probably at the end of this year and will continue in the first few months of 2012. The Escape is produced by Icon Production, the company that has made the most acclaimed Romanian documentary in years – The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu. Corneliu Gherghiță’s Domnul de la Curte received the second biggest grant (over 432.000$), while Călin Netzer’s Poziția copilului (The Child’s Position) with the screenplay written by Răzvan Rădulescu grabbed almost 350.000$. Other feature films that received money from the Romanian National Center
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Gopo Awards (Premiile Gopo) 2011: Nominations: If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle

If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle, Tuesday, After Christmas, and the other nominations for the 2011 Gopo Awards (Premiile Gopo) have been announced. The 5th Annual Gopo Awards (Premiile Gopo) ”are the national Romanian film awards, similar to the Academy Awards (U.S.A.), the Goya Awards (Spain), or the César Award (France). They are presented by the Association for Romanian Film Promotion.” The full listing of the 2011 Gopo Awards (Premiile Gopo) is presented below.

Best Film

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceau?escu (The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu)

Producer, Velvet Moraru; Director, Andrei Ujic?

Eu când vreau s? fluier, fluier (If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle)

Producer, C?t?lin Mitulescu, Daniel Mitulescu; Director, Florin ?erban

Mar?i, dup? Cr?ciun (Tuesday, After Christmas)

Producer, Drago? Vîlcu; Director, Radu Muntean

Medalia de onoare (Medal of Honour)

Producer, Liviu Marghidan; Director, Peter C?lin Netzer


Producer, Anca Puiu; Director, Marian Cri?
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The Cinema Eye Honors Take The "Last Train Home"

  • IFC
The Cinema Eye Honors Take The
The Cinema Eye Honors, devoted to highlighting the best of the year's nonfiction films, have flipped for Lixin Fan's fantastic "Last Train Home," which follows a family of migrant workers as they struggle to stay connected while living separated by hundreds of miles. "Last Train Home" received the most nominations -- seven -- while Banksy's "Exit Through The Gift Shop" and Afghanistan documentary "Armadillo" each received six. The award ceremony will take place on January 18 at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, and will be broadcast on the Documentary Channel.

Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking


Directed by Janus Metz

Produced by Sara Stockmann and Ronnie Fridthjof

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Directed by Banksy

Produced by Jaimie D'Cruz

Last Train Home

Directed by Lixin Fan

Produced by Mila Aung-Thwin and Daniel Cross


Directed by Jeff Malmberg

Produced by Jeff Malmberg, Tom Putnam, Matt Radecki, Chris Shellen
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Cannes 2010: Pics and Trailers for Several In Competition Titles and Then Some

Over the weekend I was hard at work adding additional titles debuting at this year's 2010 Cannes Film Festival in an effort to make sure once I am in town it is all about seeing the movies and working as little as possible on the asset process. As a result, I now have 17 of the 18 films in competition in the database as information on Sergei Loznitsa's Schastye Moe (My Joy) doesn't seem to be available. However, information on the other 17 is now readily available along with some new pictures and trailers for several of them.

First off, to the right is one of the first three images available for Mathieu Amalric's Tournee, of which I also have the official synopsis for the film from the man most of you know as the villain from Quantum of Solace or Jean-Dominique Bauby from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

In Tournee
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