Thursday, February 01, 2007

ROMANIAN CINEMA

12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST is a Romanian black comedy about a call-in show's questions about the 1989 revolution which removed Communism from the country.

It's a very interesting film in many ways. Almost half of the film takes place in a single scene, most of it from the same camera angle, which is deliberately badly shot. It's a fascinating study of three simple characters. But it's not a film for everyone.

Last year there was a fantastic film from Romania called THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU. This is undoubtedly one of the most depressing films ever made. It shows in almost real time the case of a man who calls for an ambulance and is bounced from hospital to hospital under the terrible health care system in Romania (which is not that much worse than the uninsured in the U.S.), until the title becomes inevitable. Because different awards have different rules, last year it won the Independent Spirit Award (quite deservedly), and this year it was submitted for the Oscar, but did not get nominated. If you don't mind a depressing film, I would highly recommend watching it; it's one of the best films I've seen in years. But be warned, you will be emotionally drained at the end.
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