February 19, 2018No Comments

Marfa și banii, Cristi Puiu, 2001

Credited with being the first ripple in what was later to be called the Romanian New Wave, Stuff and Dough stands tall and strong, some more than 15 years later. It gracefully captures the whole grit and slime of Romania at the turn of the century, without becoming captive in masochistic admiration of its superb ugliness. Instead it follows youth. On a mission to deliver a suspicious package from the seaside to the capital, the three, in a brilliant interpretation by Alexandru Papadopol, Dragos Bucur and Ioana Flora, are simply let loose. To being young. Dialogue feels raw and improvised at many times, the relationship between the two male friends is a feat to observe, and as time goes by, we begin to understand that the film is one giant metaphor for the country, always moving, hungry for a quick win, looking for the shortcut, getting nowhere. The story becomes a vehicle for a deeper truth. Ecstatic or what?

November 1, 2016No Comments

Sieranevada, Cristi Puiu, 2016

FAMILY is the greatest and richest source of conflict in the story world. Conflicting people, set against each other all while being emotionally tied by the subterranean links between them - here’s the place to see the “heart in conflict with itself” at its fullest.

Two great examples come to mind of the “family genre” - T. Vinterberg’s “Festen” and Arnaud Desplechin’s “Un conte de Noël”. Powerful shit. 

With these two examples in mind, Cristi Puiu’s film feels as if it could have pushed for conflict and antagonise its characters two times fold while still being under the cover of realism, as Romanian families fight great fights between closed doors.

In its simplicity, the camera work and the limited space it creates and manages is very, very strong. 

The Romanian film to offer as a gift to non-RO friends. There you go, buddy, 3 hours of East European frenzy. Why is it called like that? Literally, just because. 

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