PAST IMPERFECT, FUTURE CONTINUOUS: 4th ROMANIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2007
The 4th Romanian Film Season returns to Curzon Mayfair with a great selection of effecting and inspiring films. Directors, actors and producers will be present at many of the screenings to talk about their work, and answer questions from the audience.
THUR 26 APRIL (6.00pm reception, film starts at 7.00pm)
GALA: THE MAN BEHIND THE BOW TIE (Omul din spatele papionului)
Dir. Ivor Barladeanu. Romania 2001. 11mins. English and Romanian with English subtitles.
Ion Ratiu (1917-2000) was a lawyer, journalist, writer, politician, businessman and philanthropist. He was the most outspoken and consistent opponent of the communist dictatorship in Romania, and of Nicolae Ceausescu, whose regime he opposed for years as the democratically elected leader of the Free Romanian Movement. He spent 50 years in exile in the UK and returned to Romania in 1990. He stood for president of Romania in the first democratic elections in more than 60 years. Ion Ratiu was also a handsome, dapper, softly spoken man, whose genteel demeanour after his return to Romania in 1990 earned him the affectionate sobriquet ‘Mr. Bow Tie’ because of his English manners. This is his story.
& 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST (A fost sau n-a fost)
Dir. Corneliu Porumboiu. Romania 2006. 89mins. English subtitles. Cast: Ion Sapdaru, Mircea Andreescu, Teodor Corban.
It’s December 22nd. 16 years have passed since the Revolution in 1989. We’re in a small provincial town and Christmas is coming.
Piscoci, a retired old man, is getting ready to spend another Christmas all by himself. Manescu, a history teacher, tries not to give away his entire salary on his debts. Jderescu, the owner of the local TV station, doesn’t seem to be interested in the holidays. The time has come for him to face History. Together with Piscoci and Manescu, he wants to find an answer to a 16 years-old question: “Was there a revolution in their town or not?”
Followed by a Q&A in the presence of the film director Corneliu Porumboiu; moderated by film critic Mihai Chirilov
FRI 27 APRIL 6.30PM
THE PAPER WILL BE BLUE (Hartia va fi albastra)
Dir. Radu Muntean. Romania 2006. 95mins. English subtitles.
Cast: Paul Ipate, Adi Carauleanu, Dragos Bucur.
The Romanian revolution of 1989 finds Costi Andronescu three months away from his release from the army. The armoured vehicle unit he is part of is ordered to patrol Bucharest’s neighbourhoods. Their radio barely works and all they can say from it is that it seems the national TV station is under attack. Costi considers it is his duty to fight against the dictatorship, and he runs to fight the ‘terrorists’ at the TV headquarters. But before getting there, he’s arrested as a terrorist himself…
It’s a night of madness – soldiers receive orders via television from poets and actors, radios transmit garbled signals, arms are distributed to civilians and gypsies are arrested as Arab terrorists.
Followed by a Q&A in the presence of the film director Radu Muntean, moderated by film critic Mihai Chirilov.
SAT 28 APRIL 4.00PM
THE TUBE WITH A HAT (Lampa cu caciula)
Dir. Radu Jude. Romania 2006. 23mins. English subtitles.
& LOVE SICK (Legaturi bolnavicioase)
Dir. Tudor Giurgiu. Romania 2006. 84mins. English subtitles.
Cast: Maria Popistasu, Ioana Barbu, Tudor Chirila.
Love. It just happens. No rules. It may look sick, but it’s deep and it hurts. For everyone, Alex and Kiki are just two good friends. They happen to be two girls experiencing another kind of love. For their family, Kiki and Sandu are sister and brother who sometimes fight. They happen to be lovers. Love Sick is about their stories… The script is based on the novel of the same name by Cecilia Stefanescu, also co-screenwriter.
Followed by a Q&A moderated by film critic Mihai Chirilov.
Introduction about Paul Neagu, followed by:
HEART OF THE TORNADO (Inima furtunii)
Dir. Laurentiu & Agnieszka Garofeanu. UK 2004 28mins. Paul Neagu (1938-2004): sculptor, painter, poet, larger-than-life character.
Settled in Britain 1970 and embarked in a remarkable career as an artist and teacher. Laughing in the face of the Establishment, Neagu even formed a fictitious art group (Generative Art Group) which exhibited regularly. Influenced by Structuralism and philosophy, Neagu’s art worked with the Word for an even deeper impact. But this great speaker is silenced one day, in 2001, by a cerebral attack that leaves him aphasic. The only ones able to speak for him now are his work, his friends, and his former pupils…
& THE GREAT COMMUNIST BANK ROBBERY (Marele jaf comunist)
Dir. Alexandru Solomon. Romania 2004. 75mins. English subtitles.
One quiet morning in August 1959, a car of the National Bank of Romania was robbed in front of a central office in Bucharest. A group of armed and masked men (and one woman) escaped with a large sum of money, high-jacking a taxi. Less than a year later, a one-hour film on the robbery was already fascinating audiences throughout Romania. After they were caught, only months after the attack, the ‘gangsters’ accepted to play their own parts in this police reconstruction. In the dark, distorted mirror of a propaganda film we will discover the picture of a world plunged in lies and manipulation.
Followed by a Q&A in the presence of the film director Alexandru Solomon, moderated by film critic Adina Bradeanu.
SUN 29 APRIL 4.10PM
Introduction to Cristian Nemescu, who tragically died in a car crash in 2006 at the beginning of a promising career.
MARILENA FROM P7 (Marilena de la P7)
Dir. Critstian Nemescu. Romania 2006. 45mins. English subtitles. Cast: Madalina Ghitescu, Gabriel Huian, Cristi Olesher.
Andrei, a 13 year old teenager, living in one of Bucharest’s outskirts, decides one day to steal a trolleybus in order to impress Marilena, a prostitute he’s fallen in love with. The things we do for love…
& C BLOCK STORY (Poveste de la scara C)
Dir. Cristian Nemescu. Romania 2002. 15mins. English subtitles. Cast: Catalina Mustata, Maria Dinulescu, Lucian Ciurariu.
Andrei is madly in love with Monica, one of his neighbours. Andrei is a shy teenager, and he calls an erotic phone line to find out how he could seduce a girl in the lift. This is also going to spice up his parents’ marriage. Love stories from a lift, in the outskirts of Bucharest.
& TERTIUM NON DATUR (Lucian Pintilie)
Dir. Lucian Pintilie. Romania 2006. 39mins. Romanian, German, French, with English subtitles. Cast: Victor Rebengiuc, Tudor Aron Istodor, Sorin Leoveanu.
The Ukrainian steppe, towards the end of the Second World War. The German and
Romanian troops are withdrawing. In a deserted school where a Romanian military unit has its headquarters, a visit from two high-ranking Germans is announced. They are there just for a meal and some company. Warmed up by champagne, the German major astonishes his hosts by showing off the most expensive stamp in the world, the famous Aurochs Head. But going round the table, the stamp disappears. The film is inspired by a short story by Vasile Voiculescu.
SUN 29 APRIL 6.30PM
THE WAY I SPENT THE END OF THE WORLD (Cum mi-am petrecut sfarsitul lumii)
Dir. Catalin Mitulescu. Romania-France 2006. 106mins. English subtitles. Cast: Dorotheea Petre, Timotei Duma, Marius Stan.
Bucharest 1989 – the last year of Ceausescu’s dictatorship. Eva struggles to conform to the oppressive rules of her school, while Lalalilu, her younger brother, gets a fever whenever his sister hints at leaving Romania. Since Ceausescu seems to be at fault for Eva’s discontent, the seven year old Lalalilu plots a coup against the dictator. With the assured hand of the director, the cast delivers extraordinary performances.
Followed by a Q&A session in the presence of the film director Catalin Mitulescu, moderated by film critic Mihai Chirilov and a closing night reception in the bar.