“A Romanian comedy?” I heard someone asking in disbelief after the film was over. And truly, the main memories evoked by the words “Romanian New Wave” are usually tedious long shots of aborted babies and people walking. It is no wonder then that it is hard to believe that one of the founding films of the new wave, Cristian Mungiu’s 2001 hit OCCIDENT, is a hearty comedy.
This 2006 film by Radu Muntean focuses on the night of between the 22nd and the 23rd of December 1989, when in Bucharest the Revolution was in full swing. Steve Williams reviews.
Amazingly based on a true story, THE POLL DIARIES plumbs the depths of the human condition using protagonist Oda as its main focus. Discussing rarely seen topics, the film uses the Baltic coast as a backdrop for Oda’s experiences in Poll just before the start of the first world war in 1914. An older and more knowing Oda narrates intermittently, providing hindsight to a beautifully crafted film. Naomi Barnwell reviews.
A first date can certainly bring butterflies and clammy hands to even the most confident of people, but if you suffer from severe shyness this can be a truly terrifying situation. Maria Sell reviews ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS
THE SILVER CLIFF was inspired by a song by Brazilian musician Chico Buarque, called Eye to Eye, about the impossibility of love and forgiveness. Having already won many admirers with MADAM SATA, SUELY IN THE SKY and I TRAVEL BECAUSE I HAVE TO, I COME BACK BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. Director Karim Ainouz here takes us on the lyrical and poetic journey of Violeta, who retrieves a voicemail during her work at a dentail clinic, in which her husband informs her he won’t be returning. Graham Hughes reviews.
Continuing with the HOLD THE FRONT PAGE series of films, the Cambridge Film Festival brings us SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS. A cautionary tale, we follow the Machiavellian machinations of one Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), a press agent with a problem. He needs pieces for his clients in the widely syndicated column of J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster), but he’s been shut out.
Jos Stelling’s third film examines the painting of Rembrandt as he moves to Amsterdam in the latter part of his life. An extended study in light and composition, the film pursues Rembrandt’s – and Stelling’s – search for ideal representation of the world.
Introducing us to Durban in the same year as South Africa played host to the World Cup, this documentary records an event that was just as paramount to those involved – the Street Child World Cup. Review by Naomi Barnwell.
Opportunity and opportunism form the central themes in Christi Puiu’s tense, simple Romanian road movie. Ovidiu (Alexandra Papadopol) plays the young man who undergoes the transformative odyssey, delivering some “medical supplies” for a local gangster in his home town, to an address in Bucharest.
The beauty of documentary is that no matter how brilliant an author or how talented a screenwriter, there really is no competing with real life. In the case of Joyce McKinney, no author in the world could even begin to dream such a surreal tale.