AFI presents the 23rd AFI European Union Film Showcase, a selection of new films from EU member states including film festival award winners, box office hits and US premieres. Two Romanian recent films are featured in In this year's selection: TUESDAY, AfTER CHRISTMAS, d. Radu Muntean on Nov 13 & 16, and the 2010 Oscar Selection from Romania for Best Foreign Language Film IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE, d. Florin Serban on Nov 20 & 23.
TUESDAY, AfTER CHRISTMAS
Writer-director Radu Muntean’s follow-up to BOOGIE (2008 European Union Film Showcase) presents another portrait of a middle-class Romanian man approaching middle age conflicted about the life he has chosen. Whereas BOOGIE’s protagonist tended to avoid conflict and hard choices, here, Paul (Mimi Branescu), a man torn between his wife and his mistress, is all about the lead-up to a difficult decision and its unpredictable aftermath. Branescu is excellent, but it’s the performances by Maria Popistasu as his girlfriend and Mirela Oprisor as his wife that resonate the strongest. Using extremely long takes, Muntean allows the characters’ difficult interactions to play out for maximum dramatic effect.
Official Selection, 2010 Cannes Film Festival & New York Film Festival.
IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE
DIR/SCR Radu Muntean; SCR Alexandru Baciu, Razvan Radulescu; PROD Dragos Vilcu. Romania, 2010, color, 99 min. In Romanian with English subtitles. After four years in juvenile detention, Silviu is just five days away from freedom. He steers clear of conflict with the more hardened inmates and is doing well in his release training, having taken a shine to his student teacher, Ana. But when his vagabond mother unexpectedly shows up, informing Silviu that she has moved to Italy and plans to take her younger son Marius with her, Silviu’s mood darkens. Unable to convince the warden to assist with his case, Silviu resorts to drastic action. First-time director Florin Şerban delivers a taut and penetrating character study, sparked by non-pro actor George Pistereanu’s strong performance as the conflicted Silviu.
Winner of the Jury Prize and Alfred Bauer Prize, 2010 Berlin Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Florin Şerban; SCR/PROD Cătălin Mitulescu, based on the novel by Andreea Valean; PROD Daniel Mitulescu. Romania/Sweden, 2010, color, 94 min. In Romanian with English subtitles.