Category Archives: Movies

“Graduation” graduates with Best Director award at Cannes

“Romania’s Cristian Mungiu and France’s Olivier Assayas (in picture) share best director prize at Cannes for this 69th edition. Mungiu, who won the Palme d’Or in 2007, was rewarded for his critically-acclaimed ‘Baccalaureat / Graduation’. (…) Other Romanian movies and co-productions were awarded during this festival”. 

More details here:

A longer review (spoiler alert!), here:



Aferim! – An “Eastern” with a Silver Bear

Set in a similar period to American Westerns, but geographically an ocean and almost a continent away, finally we have a quality, local-made “Eastern” movie getting some buzz.

After the cinematic American Wild West of the 1800s fascinated Europe, I wonder if a European Wild East will fascinate America. Or anyone else watching the Berlin festival 2015 Silver Bear award-winning movie “Aferim!”, by Radu Jude.

Reviews sound optimistic:

“Seemingly a stylistic 180 from his last film (the tremendous domestic black comedy “Everyone In Our Family”), director Radu Jude’s “Aferim!” has been categorized by most as a “Romanian Western.” And if this summons a certain Sergio Leone vibe, then it’s borne out by the opening titles, set in a distinctly cowboyish font against a shot of a cactus framed against a bright sky while a traditional folk song wails out. But while we’re told this is 1835 Wallachia, the film’s brilliantly well-imagined world, photographed in tactile black and white, seems to belong to an earlier era — a time of feudal lords, troubadours, hags and wenches. Then again, perhaps the “man’s gotta do” ethos of the American West (as imagined in cinema) is itself an evolution of the tales of knights and quests and honor such as might have been immortalized in jaunty Medieval folk songs and passed on in crowded taverns. These were just a few of the thoughts I didn’t have while watching “Aferim!” — I was too busy laughing.”

More here:

Congrats Radu Jude!

Wild Carpathia

“Join Charlie Ottley as he ventures deep into the breath-taking but little known mountains and forests of Carpathia. Home to bears, wolves and the elusive Lynx and little known to the rest of the world, this is perhaps the last great wilderness in Europe, seen as never before. We will provide you with a unique insight into the beauty and rich culture of the region exploring its chequered history from the mystical ruins of the ancient Dacian civilisations to its medieval communities, many of which survive intact to this day.”

More details on the beautiful documentary here:

The three episodes:

1. Transylvania

2. From the mountains to the sea

3. Wild forever

Making Waves in New York

waves “Initiated in 2006, the Romanian Film Festival in New York was nourished by the belief that the Romanian cinema, “one of the most startling developments in world cinema” (The New York Times), deserves to be exposed on a sustainable basis to American audiences. The festival provides every year an encounter with what’s best in contemporary Romanian filmmaking, and introduces American audiences to films and filmmakers who laid the ground for the new Romanian cinema long before Cannes or Berlin discovered it.”

See more and potentially support the initiative here.

Romanian film “Child’s Pose” wins the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 2013

“‘Child’s Pose’, a Romanian drama about a domineering mother using her social position to try to save her son from jail, won the Golden Bear for best picture at the Berlin film festival on Saturday. The movie, directed by Calin Peter Netzer and starring Luminita Gheorghiu in the central role, had been among the favorites for the coveted prize, which extends the remarkable success of Romanian filmmakers on the European festival circuit.”

Story here:

Outstanding. Congratulations!

Beyond the hills

“It maintains the movement’s stylistic roots in no-frills naturalism and long single takes, but it makes a definitive break in terms of subject matter, tackling a timeless human drama in a contemporary setting.”
Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

“A cerebral melodrama of the most steely, bare and brutal kind.”
Dave Calhoun, Time Out

Best Screenplay award for the movie, joint Best Actress award for Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur at the Cannes festival 2012.

75% fresh on rottentomatoes critics, 98% want to see.

“După Dealuri” (=”beyond the hills”), a film by Cristian Mungiu:

Halloween movie night

For a truthful rendition of what Transylvania is like, go watch the “Hotel Transylvania” movie. Muahaha. They may have gone easy on the story, but invested in gags parents will enjoy even more than kids.

…it actually does contain one little accuracy. We do say “bla bla bla”, but after a varying number of beers. Er, Bloody Marys ;).

George Pistereanu, best actor at the Stockholm film festival

BERLIN - FEBRUARY 13: Actor George Pistereanu attends the 'Eu Cand Vreau Sa Fluier, Fluier' (If I Want Tho Whistle, I Whistle) Photocall during day three of the 60th Berlin International Film Festival at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 13, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) “He convinced us that his dilemma was real. Forcing us to sympathize with his desperate actions. His performance left us breathless.”

These words accompany the announcement that the young protagonist of the movie “If I want to whistle, I whistle” won the “best actor” prize at the Stockholm film festival 2010. Winners list here.

We talked about “whistle whistle” here.

Trailer below:

Romanians shine at the Gijón film festival

Photo: TrailerThe “Principality of Asturia” prize for the best film at the 2010 Gijón film festival goes to “Tuesday after Christmas”, by Radu Muntean.

Best actor – Mimi Brănescu, same movie

Best actress – Mirela Oprişor and Maria Popistaşu, ex aequo, same movie

Prize for the best art direction – Vali Ighigheanu and Andreea Popa, for “Aurora”, a movie by Cristi Puiu

Special mention for short movies – Victor Dragomir for “Fotografia”

All results of the festival, here. (Spanish)

We had mentioned “Tuesday after Christmas” already here. Trailer below, Read more of this post

Nicolae Ceausescu’s autobiography

“Cinema’s propagandistic power is in full effect in Andrei Ujica’s montage epic, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu, a contemporary fresco starring Romania’s fallen ruler and his wife, Elena. A radical and chilling project, the film concludes the filmmaker’s trilogy exploring the end of communism which began with the landmark Videograms for a Revolution, co-directed with German film essayist Harun Farocki.
Nicolae Ceauşescu’s megalomania and self-aggrandizement are legendary. As Romania’s tyrannical President from 1974 to 1989, he Read more of this post