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February 25, 2021

First week-end at Cannes 2016. New Romanian appearances on the screens of the Festival

We are not far from saying “Not a day at Cannes without a Romanian film”. This “wave” of the new waves in the Romanian film industry is, indeed, a performance, although the lack of money and, in particular, of the screening rooms is often claimed.

While Sieranevada is still making echoes (the critics will analyze Cristi Puiu’s film during next week also, for sure), other appearances keep us busy in the two days of the first week-end (Saturday – May 14 and Sunday – May 15). The Festival itself, as a whole, speeds up, suggesting new films of much-awarded authors.

Let’s take a look on the issues which can’t be neglected. For instance, “Libération” provides us with an extended chronicle of Cristi Puiu’s film, describing it as a portrait of the author. It is brought to our memory that in 2007, while he was a member of the jury in “Un certain regard”, he had to suddenly leave the Festival, because his brother announced him from Bucharest that their father just died. You can make a connection, of course, between that unpleasant moment and the story of his last film, Sieranevada. The analysts have noticed Mimi Branescu’s “Olympian calm attitude” surrounded by a hysterical universe in the family, and that led to the term “film-monstre”, specific to a film-direction which was drawn since “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” was made, emphasized in “Aurora”, but with predictable insertions at his debut with “The Stuff And The Money”.

Among other films in competition for Palme d’Or, you should not miss Ma Loute, directed by Bruno Dumont – an adaptation that catches the reality, a mix of melodrama and burlesque, a courageous approach in terms of the aesthetic level which gives it the attributes of an experimental screening.

The Saturday may be dedicated, of course, to a much-awarded and applauded filmmaker, namely Steven Spielberg. The American filmmaker presents, outside the competition, The BTG – a fiction for children, the adaptation of a literary creation with an orphan and a giant. The screening from Grand Théatre Lumière was followed by a second one at The Bazin Theatre.

This first week-end seems to be especially dedicated to the three women who are film-directors and who have entered the competition in this edition. Nicole Garcia, well-known by the critics and the public at Cannes (she competed 8 times, being awarded 4 times), suggests us a sentimental, even a passionate drama, with powerful characters who are not capable of any compromise. Gabrielle must marry Joseph, but soon she will have the opportunity to approach with all hear heart to André, a lieutenant wounded in the war in Indochina. The main feminine character was given to a real star – Marillon Cotillard -, whom we’ll also meet in the film of the Canadian Xavier Dolan, Just la fin du monde. The title of the Nicole Garcia’s film, Mal de pierres (From the Land and the Moon) comes from the disease of the boy that Gabrielle is forced to live with from now on. He has kidney problems (“kidney stones”, as we say), so he goes to treat himself at the thermal baths… England comes with the film made by Andrea Arnold, American Honey. The third title signed by a woman is Toni Erdmann. I left it at the end for several reasons. It’s a co-production of Germany, Austria and Romania (Ada Solomon is the Romanian co-producer). The story refers to Romania. A 65 years old father comes from Germany to meet his daughter, Ines (37 years old), who works in Romania. Thirdly, the casting includes well-known and appreciated Romanian actors: Vlad Ivanov, Victoria Cocias, Alexandru Papadopol.

We’ll not end the today’s report without mentioning the entering in the competition, at the section “Un certain regard”, of Bogdan Mirica’s film, Dogs (Caini) which, of course, we will not leave unanalyzed.

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