ARTS & LEISURE

Alexandru Tocilescu and Andrei Blaier passed away

By    Corina Ciobanu

Two of the most beloved Romanian directors, whose films and shows delighted one generation after another, in Romania and elsewhere, passed away last week, leaving Romanian film and theatre a great deal poorer.

The winner of a host of prestigious awards, including a UNITER Honorary Award he received in 2002, the director Alexandru Tocilescu (65) (photo L) passed away last Tuesday at the Floreasca Emergency Clinical Hospital.

According to medical sources quoted by Mediafax, the director, who suffered from a number of medical problems, took an overdose of the treatment prescribed for his heart condition and was rushed to the hospital, but sadly the doctors were unable to save him.

In 1999, Alexandru Tocilescu won UNITER’s Best Play Award for his production of I.L. Caragiale’s “O scrisoare pierduta” at the Bucharest National Theatre and, in 2002, received the UNITER Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, Tocilescu won the Best Director Award for the play “O zi din viata lui Nicolae Ceausescu” within the Romanian Comedy Festival – festCO. This July, the director was awarded a star on the Romanian Walk of Fame, a cultural project dedicated to the “enduring names of Romanian film and theatre”, based in Bucharest’s Time Square.

The films signed by Alexandru Tocilescu include “Bani de dus, bani de-ntors” (2005), “Ultima halta in Paradis” (2002) and “Tristetea vanzatorului de sticle goale” (1981).

The director was buried on Saturday at Bucharest’s Bellu Cemetery. First-rank names of Romanian film and drama, including TNB director Ion Caramitru, the actor Florin Zamfirescu and director Alexandru Darie, attended the ceremony.

Only a few days after this sad parting, on Thursday, Romanian film-lovers were faced with a new shock as they received the news of director Andrei Blaier’s death, at 78. The director died in his own home following a long battle with illness.

Andrei Blaier (photo R) directed an impressive number of feature films and TV series, including “Ciresarii” (TV series, 1972), “Prin cenusa imperiului” (1976), “Lumini si umbre” (TV film, 1979-82), “Divort din dragoste” (1991), etc.

He was also an appreciated screenwriter, signing the scripts for “Ora H” (1956) or “Ilustrate cu flori de camp” (1975), which also brought him the Romanian Filmmakers Association’s award.

The director launched and collaborated throughout his career with celebrated names of Romanian cinema, the likes of Gheorghe Dinica, Marin Moraru, Draga Olteanu-Matei, Maia Morgenstern or Oana Pellea. He was known for his keen interest in preparing a new generation of film and TV directors and was among the founders of the Film Faculty within the Bucharest Media University, whose honorary dean he remained until his death.

The directors Sergiu Nicolaescu and Dan Pita, Gabriela Georgeta Dinica, Gheorghe Dinica’s widow, the director Mircea Bunescu, actor Ion Dichiseanu, senator Radu F. Alexandru, film critic Irina Margareta Nistor, as well as a host of young people, former students of the beloved Romanian director, attended his funeral on Saturday at the Bellu Catholic Cemetery in Bucharest.

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