SEE images in films - Part 6

posted by sab on 2007/06/02 01:42

[ SEE images in films ]

Romanian forums and weblogs are euphoric about the news - director Cristian Mungiu and his film '4 luni, 3 saptamini si 2 zile' have won the Golden Palm in Cannes. This is a first for Romanian cinematography, and will - after the international success of other Romanian films, like Moartea domnului Lazarescu by Cristi Puiu in 2005 (Cannes '05 winner of Prix un certain regard) - further inscribe Romanian Cinema on the map of the cinematic world.

And that was not the only Romanian success at Cannes -Cristian Nemescu's feature film California Dreamin has been awarded the Prix Un certain regard. This film had not been completed due to Nemescu's death in a car crash, and almost had not been judged for this reason - until the judges watched it and changed their minds.

Here's a summary of the plot in 'California dreamin', from the Festival's site:

The story was inspired by an event which actually did occur during the Kosovo war. In 1999, in a small rural Romanian village, the railway station master, who was also the village rascal, stopped a NATO train carrying a load of military equipment. The freight, guarded by American soldiers, was crossing Romania without having officially cleared customs: the Romanian government had simply granted permission verbally. With the arrival of the Americans, the village became the place where anything was possible.

Oh, and it does not stop here - Last year, there was Corneliu Porumboiu's mordant look at the 1989 revolution, 'A fost sau n-a fost?', which won the Caméra d'Or for best debut film.

So what does the press say...

The Herald Tribune writes
Otilla is the victim of a society where cruelty, corruption and misogyny are endemic, and where lying and manipulation seem to be the primary modes of interaction.

But Mungiu does not deny her a painfully earned share of heroism, even as it is her capacity for loyalty and clear thinking that put her in danger. This movie is grim, but also thrilling, in part because it is a reminder of cinema's peculiar and durable ability to turn ugliness and desperation into art.

The New York Times reads the jury's decision as message - Romania rules:

The audience in the Palais des Festivals was audibly delighted by Mr. Mungiu’s victory. His film, shown early in the festival, had enjoyed ardent critical support from the start. It follows the ordeal of two female university students as one tries to help the other obtain an illegal abortion. Harrowing and brilliantly acted, the movie presents a stark image of life under totalitarian rule without political grandstanding or sentimentality. At times it feels like a horror movie. Through meticulous formal control, Mr. Mungiu generates almost unbearable suspense and also shows, in sometimes graphic detail, the consequences of abortion and also of banning it.

Read on here:

Osservatorio Balcani
The Guardian
And three times Der Standard:

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The imagineSEE-weblog is a space about ideas, images, (re)inventions and (re)constructions of and about the Balkans, from outside and within SEE.

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This is a part of the collage 'The Black File' by Croatian artist Sanja Ivekovic, who will be represented at documenta 12 (16/6-23/9) in Kassel this year.

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