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Romanian Film: The Romanian New Wave.

by poemless Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:52:33 PM EST

Two film reviews, followed by some self-indulgent intellectual posturing.

Reader:  Is this some kind of impromptu ET Film Series Installment?!  You didn't tell us to watch any films.  Aren't you supposed to be off pouting somewhere, anyway?  I am sick of your antics!  I am not even going to read this diary!  I am going to deprive myself of valuable information, hours of enlightenment, and the sheer joy of your brilliant prose, out of spite.  You've angered me just that much.  Bloody drama queen.

Poemless:  Ok.  

Anyway...   where was I?  Oh, yes, contemporary Romanian cinema, a discourse.  Or, "in which I review a couple of films I've recently seen."  Because who else cares about Romania, but you guys?  Ya know?  Most people could probably not locate Romania on a map.  I probably cannot, and I just looked it up a few minutes ago.  Here is what I do know about Romania:  Dracula.  Nosferatu.  Vlad the Impaler.  (No, the other Vlad.)  "Yes" is "Da" in Romanian too.  In college, my friend, who was studying Italian, had a Romanian roommate from Naperville.  The Romanian girl understood Italian, but not Russian, so I always thought Romania was more Mediterranean than Slavic.  The Parliament building in Bucuresti is very very very big.  Humongous like.  Gymnastics, they used to be very good at them.  Romania was, I think, the only Communist country whose regime ended in a "bloody revolution." Ironically, they killed their leaders like the Bolsheviks killed the Romanovs.  Soj is not Romanian.  Sadly, these dudes are.

Mostly, my knowledge of Romania is negligible, but just enough to scare the bejezus out of me.  I wish I could say the following movies changed that.  Well, perhaps I know a bit more about Romania.  But I'm still a little afraid of it.  I don't fully understand why I'm not more interested in Romania.  Mostly I'm drawn to humanity's dark underbelly.  And vampires.  And brilliant filmmaking.  Hm.


Here are the films I watched:

1.  The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Moartea domnului Lăzărescu)

Year: 2005
Director: Cristi Puiu
"Dante Remus Lăzărescu":  Ioan Fiscuteanu
"Mioara":  Luminiţa Gheorghiu

I had wished to see this movie for quite a long time.  Billed as a "black comedy" (check) featuring some cats (check) on a stretcher on the poster, and winning a prize at Cannes and widespread critical acclaim (check), it seemed terribly appealing.  

The Plot
An elderly man, Dante Remus Lăzărescu, who has a bit of a drinking habit, falls ill and is eventually taken to the hospital.  And is eventually taken to the next hospital.  And is eventually taken to the next hospital.  You get the picture.  This is not a conventional plot arc with 3 acts, exposition, climax and denouement.  The plot is driven by the suspense created as the patient's condition and probability of getting treated deteriorate over a period of abut 8 hours.  As the paramedics go from one hospital to the next to have him treated, the same basic scene is repeated, and the absurdity of his situation intensifies.  Perhaps it is comic.  I'm sticking to "absurd."  Comedy implies some intentionality.  It also implies some artifice.  What strikes me most about this film is the cold realism.  You can call it a "dark comedy" if you like.  If you think Kafka's The Trial is dark comedy.  Of course, you'd be wrong, but don't let that stop you.

The Health care System
It is difficult, as an American, to talk about this film without broaching the subject of our own health care system.  Especially since I've been going through a similar situation with my brother, on a more epic scale.  In some aspects, the problems are the same: overcrowding, incompetence, bureaucracy, long waits, people with shocking attitude problems, professionals who dismiss the complaints of patients, the treatment of patients as units of production rather than human beings.  The difference between the American and Romanian systems, however, is that the character in the film was denied treatment for just about every imaginable reason except his ability to pay.  OTOH, most American hospitals have an emergency triage protocol that did not appear to be in place in Romania.  BTW, this was based on a true story.  But the message is not explicitly political.  It's an indictment of humans, not policy.

The Love Story
According to the director, this is the first installment in a series of "love" stories.  The theme of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu is "love of one's fellow man."  And I suppose, how it materializes, or moreover, does not.  It is precisely about how people avoid this responsibility, supposedly "human nature," in the little choices they make, and the cumulative effect such choices have on our fellow humans.  Is love of one's fellow man just a pretty story we tell ourselves?  Is it really in our nature to acknowledge the humanity of others?  

Personal observations
It's full of references, starting with the name of main character, Dante Remus Lazarescu.  You can make yourself feel smart by catching them.  

If you are a hypochondriac (which apparently the director is), I hesitantly recommend this film.  I think it is worth seeing.  But if you are like me, and think every little ache is probably cancer and you faint at the sight of needles, just ... be prepared.  I woke up from a nightmare in which I had hepatitis after I saw this.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

If you are a junkie for Eastern European (or Mediterranean countries with Eastern European mentalities) kitsch, you will cherish this film.  I mean, for all that Romanian student's protests to the contrary, modern Bucharest smacks of post-Communist Eastern Europe ethos.  Same dank concrete apartment buildings.  Same drinking issues.  Same neighbors who hate your cats and worry you're not eating right.  Same depressing color palate no human being with the gift of eyesight could ever wrestle joy from.  Same bureaucracy that you suspect is intentional for the entertainment of higher ups.  Same cats.  Same never being able to go a day without being reminded of your own mortality.  Same waiting for ambulances that never come.  Same washing machine located in the kitchen of all places.  Same dimly lit emergency rooms.  Same beautiful women and same cocky men.  Same profound absurdity of daily life.  And the same peculiar brand of humanity and queer charm - despite it all.  

Some people argue it is too long.  But its length certainly functions as a dramatic device.  In the 60's there was "smell-o-vision."  Puiu has brought us "wait-o-vision."  But don't get the wrong idea - it's hardly boring!  And perhaps it even deserves some kind of special mention for "most brilliant use of a title in a film."

2.  4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile)

Year:  2007
Director:  Cristian Mungiu.
"Otilia Mihartescu":  Anamaria Marinca
"Gabriela 'Găbiţa' Dragut":  Laura Vasiliu
 

The Plot
Set in Communist Romania, a university student helps her friend try to obtain an abortion, which was illegal at the time.  

Personal observations
You can check your "pro-choice" and "pro-life" positions at the door, because this film is not about red States and blue States.  It's about bravery, desperation, friendship, sacrifice, and the lengths we will go to when backed into a corner.  It's not sentimental or pedantic.  It's a rough, suspenseful ride.  Hold on tight.

I saw this a while ago, and briefly mentioned it in the OT.

I saw 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days last night.  Has anyone else seen this?  It is very very good storytelling, but I'm hesitant to recommend it only because it is very very hard to watch.  I don't think I will forget it anytime soon...

BTW, there are only like 50 movie theatres in Romania.  Whew knew?

"This is nothing compared to how Putin rigged Eurovision."

by poemless on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 04:37:28 PM EST
_____

I haven't heard of that film yet. And I didn't know about the cinema shortage in Romania - I looked around a bit, and while numbers vary across sources from 48 to 80, it's baffling - and no explanation is given anywhere. Even considering that cinema chains barely began to build multiplexes.

Traitor, n.
A benighted individual who perceives an illusory distinction between serving his nation and abetting the criminals who govern it.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 05:03:41 PM EST
_____

There was a bit about that in the extra features on the dvd.  It wasn't clear precisely what had happened, but what I caught was that after communism, the movie theatres and land they were on were bought up (grabbed?)  for other, more profitable commercial use.  It also seems that the same kind of chaos and disintegration of the industry as a result of the collapse of the State which had been supporting the industry had a lot to do with it (a la the Russia scenario.)  At one point there were only 30-something operating movie theatres in Romania.  So when this film came out, they hired these Germans to drive around the country and set up impromptu screenings, outdoors, in abandoned theaters, etc.  

It won the Palme d'Or.  I'm surprised you've not heard of it.

Anyway, Romania is supposed to be the new It country for great films.  Everyone's sweethearts....

"This is nothing compared to how Putin rigged Eurovision."

by poemless on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 05:14:43 PM EST
_____

So Romania's must be a more extreme version of what happened across the region. Say in Budapest, all but a dozen of the c. 70 old movie theatres have been closed - though the last few already when the dozen or so multiplexes were built. Now to come to the Palme d'Or question: winners usually go straight in art theatres here, but since I moved away from Budapest, I seldom get to see art films (bad schedule from my viewpoint).

Traitor, n.
A benighted individual who perceives an illusory distinction between serving his nation and abetting the criminals who govern it.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 05:41:00 PM EST

Why are you writing this diary?

I felt I needed to write this diary because of the many parallels I found between these films in quality, style, subject and sensibility.  The frustrating attempts to obtain a medical procedure.  The bureaucratic and obstacles around every corner.  The suspense as the direness of the situation becomes apparent.   The matter of mundane lives and deaths of people whose moral responsibility we are want to question yet nevertheless implicating us while we remain helpless observers.  The realism, reminiscent of Italian Neo-realism and Czech New-wave.  The drama of the banal and social critiques while somehow managing to be unbelievably engaging.  These are the kinds of movies that make you want to get up and do something to save the characters.  They illustrate our underestimated capacities for both victimization and determination.  The four main characters in these two films succeed in exposing the very best and the very worst in people, the small acts of empathy and evil which take place everyday in unremarkable settings with unremarkable people, the sum of which we nonchalantly refer to as "life" or "society".  

Also, both directors talk of the constraints of making films in a country which has no film industry, and in 2007, had only 50 movie theatres.  

And they both feature some very similar ugly floral plastic table cloths, which I suppose must be common in Romania.  

Of course it is perverse to base one's entire understanding of anything at all on two little movies.  But I see something notable here!  Ok?  Wikipedia is calling this the "Romanian New Wave."  I don't know why every new national film movement has to be called the "new wave" as though the only thing which differentiates them are their countries of origin, or as if film were an implicitly aquatic medium.  I am going to go out on a limb here and invent a new theory again.  

My Brilliant Theory:  Inverted Socialist Realism

There is something which unites these films, something beyond the unpleasant medical procedures and unpleasant table cloths.  I am going to call it "Inverted Socialist Realism."  Socialist Realism was the official aesthetic of the Soviet Union under Stalin.  The stated objective was to present typical people and events in a "realistic" (meaning, not formalist) way which promoted all the glory and achievement of Communism.  Er, so if that sounds oxymoronic, it was.  And the net effect was creepy.  But, oddly, trying to come up with some labels to slap on these Romanian films, "Social" and "Realism" kept hounding me.  Ironic, don't you think?  Maybe not.  It also kind of makes perfect sense if you give it a few minutes' thought.  What we see now is what we would have seen in Socialist Realism had it actually been allowed to be either of those things.  Instead of rejecting the ideas of the past, they've co-opted them!  Mind you, I'm not arguing this is being done consciously or anything...  

One thing that strikes me about these two films is that they are so incredibly mature.  That may be in part due to the lack of commercial or governmental pressure.  They do not simply reject outdated ideologies by embracing new ones, as we saw in Russian film.  For example, while 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days exposes all of the dangers of illegal abortions and the frustrations of Communist bureaucracy, it holds the individual equally, or even more culpable as society, or the government.  The bureaucracy and insensitivity in The Death of Mr. Lazarescu takes place in contemporary Romania, and it is even suggested that suffering has been exacerbated by modern developments like emigration and reckless society. Yet again, it is not an indictment of a system, but the choices of individuals within it.  The sum of its parts.  

Even though 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is set in Communist era, while The Death of Mr. Lazarescu is contemporary, both films concentrate on the stories of a couple of individuals, which has the ironic the effect of highlighting the bonds humans do have, either as friends, or as our brothers' keepers.  There is also a latent condemnation of a society which lacks empathy and responsibility.  Where Soviet films championed the society over the individual, and American films champion the individual over society, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and The Death of Mr. Lazarescu accept that the two are inextricably linked.  Society is the sum of its parts, again.

Nor do these movies dwell on identity or politics or other divisive themes we would expect from other "post-Communist" countries.  There's no attempt to promote a explicitly modern, uniquely "Romanian", Western, democratic, optimistic Romania.  In the US, any film about people being denied health care or abortions would be "political" because the default position for movies here is "don't talk about anything that would be a bummer, dude.  There's no money in that."  In Russia, these films would be political because the default position for movies is "everything you say and do is a reflection of our country.  Ignoring that opinion is even a reflection of our country.  And we can withhold your funding."  But in their own context, these movies feel apolitical.  Because there is no industry agenda to subvert.  

Again, the filmmakers choose to show things as they are, not how they "should" be.  In purely visual sense, the Romania presented in both films is quintessentially ... Soviet.  And I don't mean bouquet of red carnations and golden fields of wheat.  When I switched over to CFL bulbs a while back, my step-father remarked that now my apartment would look like, and I quote, "a Soviet kitchen from the 1960's."  As if I weren't going for that anyway...  My point: these movies are striking for their dimness.  Dimly lit rooms in hotels and apartments decorated in impossible shades of ochre.  Dimly lit bathrooms and emergency rooms tiled a shade of grey-green smacked with fluorescent lighting.  Unlit apartment building stairwells.  In fact, both films take place mostly at night.  Given that both stories deal with grim events, it's appropriate that their aesthetics reflect that.  But it doesn't feel deliberate, like in the movie The Lives of Others, which explicitly uses a palate as a metaphor, a gimmick, a political statement.  Nor is there some an attempt to market this grimness in the kitchy package of Ostalgia.  The aesthetic simply underlines the realism of the stories, the absence of metaphors and gimmicks and mythologies.

So I think these films, this "movement", if it exists, exemplifies a social realism stripped of the bullshit which defined the Communist era, without completely condemning or denying the legacies of that era. They are not feel-good, escapist movies.  They are not political movies. They are the horror films and love stories of reality.  Which we might have more appreciation for if we bothered to look directly at it more often.

The Romanian New Wave

From Wikipedia:

Some critics have expressed doubt as to whether there is a unifying theme to the Romanian New Wave.

Pshaw!  Some critics just are not as sharp as I am.  Or some critics have too much integrity and cowardice to base a whole entire theory on two films.  Clearly.

Ok.  I hope you found this diary worthwhile.

I'll open the comments for your own intellectual posturing and movie recommendations!

Display:
I originally posted this yesterday and accidentally deleted it in the process of editing.  Apologies if any comments were deleted in the process!

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:54:11 PM EST
great diary, great writing..

European Tribune - Romanian Film: The Romanian New Wave.

 Same depressing color palate no human being with the gift of eyesight could ever wrestle joy from.

i loved that... though i think you mean 'palette'!

what comes up for me reading this is that these countries denied people their religion, and thus reduced life to pure utilitarianism, Defined by me as 'who cares the tablecloths are all from the same slovenian or estonian or georgian factory, they're official Communist tablecloths, they symbolise our glorious struggle over the corrupt capitalists, so don't envy the pretty ones of the devilishly clever evil running dogs'

whatever your beliefs about religion, i think these failed commie states prove the benefits of religion by showing what happens when people are thrown back onto their own resources. religions can't all be right, because they contradict each other, but they encourage people to believe and act in a way that is ultimately accountable, and for reasons that are circumspherical to their own narrow lives.

the glory of the communist system did not feature decadent concepts like style or beauty, they wanted standardisation for efficiency reasons.

if we had always been like that in western europe, we would have no duomo di firenze, no chartres, no beautiful, noble, follies that remind us of who we aspire to be.

aesthetics are supposed to be a fairly shallow reasons to build philosophy around, but when i see the awfulness of the communist aesthetic, its hatred of freedom in art, its persecutions of jazz musicians etc, it's hard as an artist not to hate people who can be so....soulless.

the state is made up of people after all.

what the films seem to have reminded you of is that the people who have no choice but to live under these dreary conditions have so much soul, displayed in their ways of remaining stubbornly human under the iron boot of totalitarianism.

say what you want about the slavs, their ability to stoically suck it up has a certain grim tenacity that is extremely inspiring, in its refusal to lay down and let the ghastliness just roll over them.

since childhood, i have always been aware that polish cartoons had a depth and humanity that our western ones didn't even come close to having, though i usually couldn't understand them as well as i'd like.

like the african lyrics to some great world music!

sorry for rambling, i've grown to love your diaries.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:40:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uhg.  I cannot spell and my spellchecker cannot read my mind.  I actually lost this diary once trying to edit a misspelling.  So ... I don't know.  I'm afraid to make the correction.  Aw, you knew what I meant though!

(I feel so much less self-conscious about my profoundly terrible spelling since I've begun reading Sean Guillory, whose terrible spelling is really in a league of its own.)

I don't know what religion has to do with anything in this diary.  Furthermore, I am very sensitive to the whole "Communism = Complete criminalization of all religion and complete censorship of the arts."  As with everything in life, it was never so simple.  The extent to which these spheres of life were repressed varied from regime to regime, from region to region, and depending upon the the perceived motivations of the participants.  I've read countless stories of people allowed to practice religion or do their art in the privacy of their own homes so long as they kept it to themselves and otherwise followed the rules, or people who were allowed to do so publicly under close scrutiny to make the regime appear "tolerant," a kind of tokenism.  Of course, the moment you fell out of favor or offended the wrong person, you could wind up dead, imprisoned or hospitalized.  Anyway I've never gotten the impression that the lives of most people living in Communist Europe for most of the 20th century were depressing because they were devoid of the intangibles that give our lives depth and meaning.  

These films are "depressing" because they deal with situations not peculiar to Romania or the former Eastern Bloc - abortion, painful death.  And they are dealt with without any of the pretty packaging or comforting ideologies peddled by the predominant regimes of our lives...

Also, beauty is subjective - the in the eye of the beholder, and takes an infinite number of forms, and is too often a pawn in cultural chauvinism.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 11:15:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After all, the worst of Stalin's reign still featured Einseinstein movies ; and I read in a piece about Paradjanov how some of the Soviet film bureaus took pride in having produced films that would be shelved by censorship.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 11:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - er, again, it is a bit complicated.  Stalin commissioned some of Eisenstein's films during his regime.  They were most definitely subject to his own personal censorship and beyond that, idiosyncratic feedback.  Take Ivan the Terrible.  The first part won a prize from Stalin.  The second was censored from the public during Stalin's regime, but released under Kruschev.  And Eisenstein conveniently died before even finishing the trilogy.  

Some interesting reading.

I wish I knew more about the system of censorship in Romania to comment on it.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 11:51:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wanted to add that these films kind of remind me of the movie Moscow Does not Believe in Tears.  Looking up Moscow Does not Believe in Tears on Wikipedia, I read the following:

US President Ronald Reagan watched the film several times prior to his meetings with the President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, in order to gain a better understanding of the "Russian soul".

Haha!  

Well, judging by these films, Romania doesn't believe in tears either.  I don't know what that says about their soul, though.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:57:30 PM EST
LOL. Was that Reagan story somehow the inspiration for this?

BTW I read the plot of Moscow Does not Believe in Tears in the linked Wikipedia article -- parts of it was vaguely, the final scene was very familiar. I think I must have seen it, at least 20 years ago.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:35:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OMG.  I always hated that song because I was offended that Sting could even believe Russians don't love their children.  Or what about Americans loving their children?  I'm much more concerned about that.  

But, this is trippy:  I was at home on a winter day in Moscow, helping babysit the little sister of the girl I lived with, and that song came on the radio!  It was a very surreal experience...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:50:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was offended that Sting could even believe Russians don't love their children.

!? Methinks it's "we will protect you" Reagan who could believe that, not Sting!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Mr. Krushchev said we will bury you
I dont subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the russians love their children too"

"We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the russians love their children too"

"Mr. Reagan says we will protect you
I dont subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the russians love their children too"

I'm not saying I disagree with the political statement, obviously (see the huge gigantic anti-cold war diary I wrote.)

If I said, I hope Jerome loves his children, you'd think, Well, of course he does!!  Of course he does.  Of course the Russians do to.  Why even throw that out there?  It's absurd.


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:46:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And that's the last I will say about the matter here.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:49:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I said, I hope Jerome loves his children, you'd think, Well, of course he does!!

That exactly was Sting's point against Reagan.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:56:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't want to further lengthen this sidetrack, but I believe I can pinpoint where you started to read Sting's lyrics differently from others. You didn't quote the full first verse -- the second line you quoted in fact refers to what you didn't quote, not Khrushchev.

In Europe and America, there's a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mr. Krushchev said we will bury you
I dont subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the russians love their children too


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:10:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thats a really serious misunderstanding of that songs lyrics. When it means the exact opposite.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:07:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you think about the films I mention?  Have any of your own to recommend?  Let's stay constructive.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah I'm due to see the second in a couple of weeks, now living at a place with an art cinema so my range of entertainment will get a lot wider.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I actualy see most of these movies through Netflix (I think there are similar operations in Europe) and from the library.  Going to the theatre is expensive these days, so I don't do it very often.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having just moved from somewhere where it was over an hour to the nearest cinema, I've an urge to do things like that.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:27:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have seen about ten minutes of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu. The problem was, it hit too close home: the type characters were too familiar from real life. (I felt the same with only one other film before, when I was literally shouting in anger at one character.) Which means it is probably a very good film -- for outsiders.

modern Bucharest smacks of post-Communist Eastern Europe ethos.  Same dank concrete apartment buildings.  Same drinking issues.  Same neighbors who hate your cats and worry you're not eating right

Ho-hum, I think old ladies not worrying whether you are eating right is unique to the US, and the opposite universal...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:43:03 PM EST
the type characters were too familiar from real life

They were also familiar to me.  Most of the film was in an eerie way.  I'm not sure if that's more of a reflection of my own experiences or the talent of the filmmaker.  Apparently, the actors were professional actors, but chosen like people off the street, and told not to act, but to be themselves.      

Ho-hum, I think old ladies not worrying whether you are eating right is unique to the US,

It's possible.  Well, in America, old ladies who actually know you worry about these things.  But the persistent advice, even meddling, of random people - we don't really have that.  With the exception of the stereotypical Jewish mother.  Maybe that's why I associate that behavior with Eastern Europe.  I've only experienced it with Jews in America and in Russia.  I mean, there is a difference between concern, and just not taking no for an answer!

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:04:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it has to do with the lasting impression of surviving dire times, when not eating enough could literally lead to death. In the US, the last time was the Great Depression. In most of Europe, WWII and its aftermath (which took longer in the East Bloc -- my mother's family often re-tells the story of how six of them shared a single small package of tea butter for dinner sometime in the early fifties). In Africa, the dates are even closer to the present.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:40:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Addition.

At the end of the eighties, within the Eastern Bloc, Romania was particularly in bad shape economically. To my knowledge (but I shall be corrected if this is bad info), this had to do with something Ceauşescu did differently from his colleagues.

From the seventies, the Eastern Bloc states minus the USSR began to take Western credit, and spend it -- building up a growing debt. (I have read recently te claim that this was conscious policy by the West after they saw that revolutionary propaganda doesn't work after 1956 and 1968, but I wasn't convinced.) Ceauşescu, who followed a separate line since refusing to join the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, however decided one day that enough is enough: Romania shall pay back all its debt! Which came to be, cash-starving the already poor economy, bringing similar hardship as what followed only after the arrival of capitalism elsewhere.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 03:24:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes I remember Romania under Ceauşescu in eighties...I used to go to visit some distant relatives. It was a horror. People literally starved...Their children were smaller cause they did not it meat for years...literaly.
I never before saw that poor country...I couldn't believe it is in Europe. They suffered greatly and I was not surprised when they killed that bastard and his crazy wife. It's impossible what people are able to endure...
And in those situations the most painful feeling is powerlessness and hopelessness

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 11:15:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot to mention that prior that idiotic idea of that lunatic to export everything he could ( and mostly food and probably some oil) Romania was not short of food at all...on the contrary...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 11:19:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They suffered greatly and I was not surprised when they killed that bastard and his crazy wife.

The way I know it, the execution was not the work of those who suffered, but orchestrated in secret by a circle in the Party/Army elite that long planned a coup and only used the unrest for their own benefit (Iliescu's rule being the end result), but I should read up on the state of research on this myself.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 04:35:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are right! It always is the case. Ordinary people are not capable of doing such a drastic thing no matter how they suffer. But they did not complain or even felt sorry for them.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 5th, 2008 at 12:43:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well like Stalin, Ceauşescu has his incorrigible fans, too. According to the latest poll I could find, 23% think he is the greatest Romanian politician of the last century (while 24% think he was the one doing the most damage over the same period).

One definite effect of the execution, and the fast publication of the videotape, was that the troops fighting for him gave up.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 5th, 2008 at 03:13:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well like Stalin, Ceauşescu has his incorrigible fans, too. According to the latest poll I could find, 23% think he is the greatest Romanian politician of the last century (while 24% think he was the one doing the most damage over the same period).

Well what can I say...you are right again.Even if it's hard to believe but every single idiot that ever came to power had his fans.People are really...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 5th, 2008 at 08:01:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You quote me:

since I moved away from Budapest, I seldom get to see art films (bad schedule from my viewpoint).

A situation that persists. The last film I could catch in an early afternoon at an art theatre was Elizabeth - The Golden Age, which was atrocious. (While the drive of the story of the original film made the falsification of history tolerable, this sequel is a cheap melodrama whose personal conflicts are just unrealistic, the falsification of history is escalated into stereotype reproduction. And even while some reviewers said that Cate Blanchett's acting was the saving grace, methinks she ove-acted.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:52:08 PM EST
Elizabeth - The Golden Age was crap.

Blanchett's second of depiction of Elizabeth undermined her work done in the first film and to finish it off, in maybe the film's only memorable scene she used a body double.

Really, for me, the only interesting bit about the movie, which I saw on DVD, was extras. One of which had a segment about the full-scale mock-up of the warship the production had made for the set — with it being fully gimbaled (so it could sway) and that one side was finished to be Spanish and the other side was English.

by Magnifico on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:07:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bleh.  Can't stand Cate Blanchett.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ugly floral plastic table cloths

That was an Eastern Bloc mainstay -- or should I say, are still an ex-Eastern-Bloc mainstay, if you go to any unrenovated village pub or poor old people's kitchen. (Or, were they absent in Russia when you were there?)

But in their own context, these movies feel apolitical.

This may have a more cynical reason: a lack of hope that politics would address these issues, and/or a feeling that problems are 'deeper' than public policy. So what you say about social realism could get a new meaning: the filmmakers see the problem deeply entrenched in society (which is both a product of and a producer of the individuals' attitudes).

these movies are striking for their dimness

That's a cinematographic style. It may have been the product of short funds for elaborate lighting and the availability of bad quality film only, but its effect was used consaciously and became typical of Central European film in the eighties, in a slate of incredibly depressing films. I guess similar motivations are behind their use in these new films.

They are not feel-good, escapist movies.  They are not political movies. They are the horror films and love stories of reality.  Which we might have more appreciation for if we bothered to look directly at it more often.

Well said.

I close the comment by, er, recommending to you a third film. I hesitate because like with Lazarescu, I only saw ten minutes (this time because I could sit down for it only one hour in, then decided I should watch it to the end only from the start): How I Celebrated the End of the World, following a 17-year-old girl and her little brother just before the 1989 events. (You have that dimly lit cinematography again.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:27:23 PM EST
That was an Eastern Bloc mainstay -- or should I say, are still an ex-Eastern-Bloc mainstay, if you go to any unrenovated village pub or poor old people's kitchen. (Or, were they absent in Russia when you were there?)

I don't remember seeing them in Russia.  Not the plastic ones.  Maybe people busted out their nice linen ones for the Americans or something.  Or I could be amnesiac.  Or blocked the terrible memory from my mind.

This may have a more cynical reason: a lack of hope that politics would address these issues, and/or a feeling that problems are 'deeper' than public policy. So what you say about social realism could get a new meaning: the filmmakers see the problem deeply entrenched in society (which is both a product of and a producer of the individuals' attitudes).

I agree.  That's a very good point.

its effect was used consciouses and became typical of Central European film in the eighties, in a slate of incredibly depressing films.

So do you think it's related that genre?  I was just noting that it doesn't seem to be dimly lit to drive home the depressing stuff, but to drive home the gritty realism.  Film is lighting, so lighting is never unintentional, it's always a choice.  Of course, lack of funds influences your choices.  :)

How I Celebrated the End of the World

Super - thanks!

BTW, I saw The Peculiarities of National Fishing.  Funny stuff.


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe people busted out their nice linen ones for the Americans or something.

That is a possiblity, for homes. Standard procedure: nice linen one used only on Sundays and for guests ( => needs to be washed less often, no new one has to be bought). As for pubs and self-service restaurants, nice linen ones, fuggetaboutit.

Another possibility is that Russia was different and never had those plastics (my first-hand experiences extended from East Germany to what is now Montenegro). Then again, we were in an economic community, the Ecofin, in which production of certain goods was centralised into single countries, and it may well have been that those plastic table cloths were all exported by the same company to everywhere.

So do you think it's related that genre?

Nnno, I don't dare to say that, just that the cinematography is re-used as tool for similar (but not identical) reasons. I note those eighties films were so depressing in an attempt to be realistic: they wanted to show life as it is not shown in either official propaganda or Western escapist movies, and what was missing from those was the dark and bleak stuff.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:55:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we were in an economic community, the Ecofin

Eh hehe, I mean Comecon.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:02:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been trying to work through Sergio Leone's 'Once Upon a Time in the West' tonight, but I got bored with any scenes containing Claudia Cardinale. So I drank a lot of tea. Then I switched to 'Last Shot'.

The star, Alec Baldwin, said of the promotion of this movie:

Actors are treated like suppositories that are inserted into cavities of the movie-going public.

Try as I might I can't make out any kind of wave from these two movies. Except for the fact that they were placed close to each other on the renting shelves of Tusby Filmtown.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:06:30 PM EST
Do you get "30 Rock" in Finland?  I never knew enough about Alec Baldwin to care about him, and I don't watch a lot of TV, but what I have seen of him in 30 Rock" is HILARIOUS.  

Otherwise, I have no idea what those movies you saw are, and so I can't aide you in the development of a theory.  I'm sorry.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:27:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
30 Rock has been recommended to me, and next time I have some time in town, I'll be checking out the place that carries all the TV series DVDs.

Once upon a time in the West is a highly rated cult movie <it says here>. My film mag editor pal was raving about it. Mind you, we disagree a lot.

Tusby Filmtown is 100 sq metres of neon-lit unromanticism parked between a thrift store that just closed down after 7.5 years, and a Thai massage parlour. Opposite is a store that sells everything, owned by a man who doesn't want to sell anything. Quite the most curmudgeonly person I have ever met. The center piece is an altar erected to caries - 50 clear plastic boxes with myriad candies. All one price because it's basically all sugar in a suspension of E numbers. You pick 'n' mix, then pay by weight.

Next to them are the kind of unknown brands of crisp you find in Lidl. Around the walls are endless shelves of DVDs, suitably themed, but with covers reprinted by the Finnish distributor and Finnish titles created by someone in the back office of same. The Finnish titles almost never have any connection to the original title - except of course the Finnish movies. So it is quite fun guessing what the movies are.

Once you've worked your way through the few movies you really want to watch, you are down to the direct-to-DVDs. There are millions of them. I have calculated on my Vernier scale that 1 in 15 is a real gem. I found Galaxy Quest that way. 5 more may be watchable, depending on mood. The rest have to give themselves up after 5 minutes or it is straight to google to confirm that they are indeed total crap, an viewing ceases. Though 'extras' can be sometimes quite amusing in a deconstructionist sort of way. Luckily, with DVDs, there is no rewinding to be kind about. Though you do have to take them back, and that is where you get suckered in again, searching for that 1 in 15 gem.

Plus the girls who work there always have a nice smile for my local celebrity.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 06:02:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're looking for suggestions: the US/Canadian TV show 'Dead Like Me.  I found it fascinating, fun, and delightful.  There is one ongoing sub-plot that can be annoying, oh well.  There's even a Brit from your generation (he cackles gleefully, evilly.)

The pilot (Season 1, Disc 1) is a good reflection of the series; if you bog down in that, don't bother with the rest.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 06:59:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Once upon a time in the West is a highly rated cult movie <it says here>. My film mag editor pal was raving about it. Mind you, we disagree a lot.

Heretic!!!

Seriously, Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the top 3 Westerns ever made, with a series of legendary scenes and shots (copied from Tarantino to Michael Mann) -- are you sure you weren't watching a cut version?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 02:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose I was annoyed by the atrocious dubbing from the outset - just as you were initially overjoyed by the railways ;-)

But seriously, if you recommend it, I will give it another chance.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 03:31:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which language was the dub you were watching in ?

All Sergio Leones are dubbed in all languages...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:32:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
English - the original language

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:56:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As linca indicated, there was no original language: different actors spoke different languages (even if most spoke English), and there were at leadt three 'original' versions upon first release: English, Italian, German.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 05:35:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Almost all cinema movies are 'dubbed' - ie the actors recreate their lines in a post-production studio using Looping. The Looping process (the actor sees a short scene - usually a single line of dialogue - that loops while they rehearse their line until, when the rhythm and intonation are what the director wants, a take is recorded. Then on to the next line.

The process emerged from the problem of on set/location sound recording quality due to the cumbersome technology of earlier years. But today the problem is noise pollution. It is hard to record good sound on location today - too much extraneous noise.

Of course some directors use location sound, using methods developed for documentaries. But sound is such an important part of movies that its reconstruction - dialogue, FX, Foley etc etc is considered to be a creative process, not a budget process.

Editing of picture, as well as dialogue performance, is another reason for (re)dubbing. When you cut pictures together you create a spatial relationship between the shots. The associated sound has to fit into the space. It is a lot easier to do this afterwards in dubbing - you start with a 'spaceless' voice recording and then add the echo, EQ and ambience that place the voice in the picture space.

Leone, and many other Italian directors, recorded the most primitive of guide tracks on set, knowing that they would recreate the sound in the controlled environment of the studio. Leone took it one step further in often choosing non-actors for the look of their face, and getting in a professional later to 'do' their voice. He also took a lot of liberties in changing the original dialogue. And that led to strange dubbing artefacts - noticeable in Once upon a time in the West.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 05:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be precise, Leone took it three steps ahead: his actors (American, Italian, German and others) and extras (Spanish) spoke different languages, and his international co-production films had multiple 'original dubs' created at the same time during the post-production of the film.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 06:17:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As a process it has relevance to ET ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 06:37:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are two English versions out there.

The 'as released' cut done for US release is a hack job and the film is incoherent.

See if you can get the "Special Collector's Edition" (ISBN 0 7921 7272 8) having the virtue of being what Leone wanted.

(Of course, YMMV as to the value of "being what Leone wanted. :)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 01:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is another version, I don't know what kind of release but TV stations I have access to sometimes use it, with only 20-30 minutes cut. Despite most of the key scenes left in, that, too, is enough to alter the flow and meaning and reduce coherence. And there is yet another, slightly longer version, re-including some scenes Leone cut (cut scenes in a Leone film? sacrilege! I thought when I first read of it), but I could never get access to it, nor are the scenes on youtube (for example, one with Harmonica between the train station and the roadhouse).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 01:11:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They shot a sequence, or part of a sequence, where Harmonica gets the tar beaten out of him by the sheriff and his deputies.   (Something like the Tuco/Angel-Eyes encounter at the POW camp in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.)  This missing sequence is why Harmonica looks like he was beaten-up in the roadhouse; in the script he had been.  I don't know if they ever finished the sequence; it wasn't included in any cut -- that I know of -- tho' there are some stills floating around.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 09:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's roughly cut in the collector's DVD.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 12:52:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read of it at several places as a scene that was shot, and included in some Italian re-release, along with a couple of other less important scenes -- now linca confirms. (I want his DVD!)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 07:07:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The cut English version is the one I had. I'll look out for the Director's Cut.

But anyway - it's just a movie...

<ducks and runs>

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 02:26:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<looks for troll button>

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 02:33:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it anything like, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly?  Because that just might be the coolest movie ever made.  

My roomates and I had the soundtrack, and would randomly put our speakers in the window facing the street and blare the theme song.  Could be heard blocks away.  Was a lot of fun.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 02:38:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it anything like, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly?

Many stylistic elements are present in both, Morricone was again writing the score, but it is different. More epic, more long scenes, more lead characters (4-5), and a not really happy ending. And more daring: the 12-minute opening scene (credits) is in essence just showing three ugly men being bored, and angel-faced Henry Fonda is the bad guy.

Our tastes have differed before, and the film may have aged, so I can't guarantee you'll like it, but even if not, perhaps it'll be worth it for recognising what inspired later filmmakers.

My roomates and I had the soundtrack

You mean that of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, or Once Upon A Time in The West?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 03:15:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, obviously.



"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:13:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Casting Fonda as 'Frank' was a neat piece of casting by Leone.  And it was Leone who cast that role.

Bit o' Trivia: apparently original intent was to cast Eastwood, Wallach, and van Cleef as the 3 bad guys at the opening of Once Upon a Time.  Wouldn't THAT have been fun!

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 09:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, never heard that... would have been a neat symbol of moving on from the Dollars trilogy to the Once Upon... trilogy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 07:10:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DEATH TO THE INFIDEL!

:-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 09:13:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems the cinema movement these movies would be better associated with would be the Italian postwar Neo-Realist movement, rather than the New Wave (unimaginative critics...).

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:33:29 AM EST
The critics are unimaginative, but even more so: "New Wave" is a severely over-used term, in fact I don't know which one you mean. (Czehoslovak New Wave? Yugoslav New Wave? French Nouvelle Vague? New Wave music?)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 05:39:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You most likely mean the French one, but then Wikipedia says:

French New Wave - Wikipedia

The New Wave (French: La Nouvelle Vague) was a blanket term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the late 1950s and 1960s, influenced (in part) by Italian Neorealism.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 05:41:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And indeed, the French Nouvelle Vague (which, if unqualified, is the one referenced to in cinema, usually) was stylistically very diverse. What the directors had in common was a rejection of "traditional" French movie making, and working together at the Cahiers du cinéma. Les 400 coups indeed draws heavily upon Italian Neorealism, but saying Godard or Chabrol shared that influence would be a stretch, and absurd in the cases of Rohmer or Resnais...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 05:50:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see critics anywhere associating the "Romanian New Wave" with "The New Wave".

saying Godard or Chabrol shared that influence would be a stretch, and absurd in the cases of Rohmer or Resnais...

Well, there is Rossellini.  

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 06:13:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The influence of American directors such as Sam Fuller should not be forgotten.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 06:38:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which also has relevance to ET. The French New Wave - broad ch*rch that it was - was very much an intellectual movement based on the analysis by the Cahiers asociates. The intellectual criticisms of movies of all kinds led to very different movies being made.

But Cahiers, like ET, was a platform for criticism, in which multiple inputs brought multiple outputs, modified by the critical process. It had a very important role imo.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 06:48:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.  "New Wave" is simply a catch-all term for a new generation or sensibility.  It isn't, or shouldn't, be used to describe one aesthetic or philosophy...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 10:44:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did write:

The realism, reminiscent of Italian Neo-realism and Czech New-wave.


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 10:41:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And also

Wikipedia is calling this the "Romanian New Wave."  I don't know why every new national film movement has to be called the "new wave" as though the only thing which differentiates them are their countries of origin, or as if film were an implicitly aquatic medium.
 

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 10:45:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, sorry. My first reading skipped that paragraph. Apologies.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 11:23:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Romanian girl understood Italian, but not Russian, so I always thought Romania was more Mediterranean than Slavic.

Sorry but I don't even think they are Slavs or have anything to do with Slavs.I am 1/4 Romanian...but I don't speak Romanian...unfortunately. My mum did...

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Romance+languages

Romanian language, member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages Romance languages, group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages ). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Europe and the Western Hemisphere. Among the more important Romance languages are Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, Occitan, Rhaeto-Romanic, Romanian, and Spanish.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 10:28:20 AM EST
Yeah...and I haven't seen a good movie for ages...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 11:35:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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