Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cambridge Film Festival 2011, Day 7

11:30: Discussion about The Romanian New Wave on Cambridge105 Radio. Bums on Seats is a weekly radio show dedicated to film. This week I was invited by host Toby Miller to discuss Romanian cinema and it's future during one part of the show. A podcast will be available soon.

15:15: Niki&Flo (Niki Ardelean, Colonel in Rezerva): the third film by Pintilie to be shown at the festival (I missed the first one: "The Oak").

In the third film by Lucian Pintilie shown during the Romanian New Wave section, we find Niki (Victor Rebengiuc), a retired colonel, who isn’t very happy. His son just died, his only daughter is planning to move to the US with her husband and his wife is sick. On top of this he has to deal with Flo, the father of his daughter’s husband and next door neighbour, an obnoxious and eccentric former hippy, who believes himself to be the smartest and best thing the World has to offer, and who loves bossing people around, especially Niki.
With both his children gone and nothing left but routine, Niki’s feeling of unimportance grows and he quietly yearns for the happiness of the past.

In contrast to his previous to feature films (“The Oak” and “Afternoon of a Torturer”, both shown at this festival) “Niki and Flo” has a more connected and straight narrative, though still avoiding classic story-telling techniques. The film moves forwards slowly, and though little seems to happen on the surface of the scenes, beneath them storms are raging, leading us to a blunt and surprising conclusion, which still makes perfect sense.

At some point the film reminds one of Eugen Ionescu’s “The Rhinoceros” where characters are sitting at a table talking in parallel and over each-other, hardly making room for a conversation, but where Ionescu’s work fell into the Absurd, here the situations remind us of the real life.

18:00: Romanian Shorts: five Romanian shorts selected by Anamaria Marinca. Strung Love a hilarious short film about love in high-school during the communist era with Alexandru Potocean. Music in the Blood (Muzica in Sange) a lighthearted drama about a man who believes his son could be the next big manele singer, with Andi Vasluianu and Dan Bursuc. The Counting Device (Numaratoarea Manuala) a comedy about a man who brings his nephew to work to find him a job, only to find that the young man doesn't appreciate an honest and mundane job. Stopover a great short film about a woman having her wallet stolen in an airport and receiving help from an unlikely source. Oxygen a slow-burning, poetic film about those who tried to cross the Danube to escape the communist regime.

22:30: Silent Running: A classic SF from 1972 with Bruce Dern, about a man who is taking care of the last existing plants somewhere on a space station. When the order comes in to abandon the project and destroy all plants, he decides to fight for what he thinks is the salvation of Earth. 


  1. Comentariile mi se par de prisos la post-urile tale de la Cambridge Film Fest. In sensul in care e atata info si atatea filme trecute pe watchlist incat ma multumesc doar sa le citesc, sa dau interesant, sa zambesc si sa fiu mandru de tine. Toate au inceput. Al tau e in full bloom.
    Idiotule (sa revenim la normal totusi, doar nu vrei sa o dam pe lacrimogene)

  2. Daca as putea sa dau "Like" la comment, as da. si dupa aia as da repede "Unlike". Bravo Kolcs!