Archive for October, 2016

Una dintre glumele clasice in lumea evreilor romani suna cam asa: Bercovici se duce prin anii ’50 la Ministerul de Interne si cere sa-si schimbe numele de familie in Ionescu. Era o cerere destul de obisnuita in acei ani, din motive care cred ca nu trebuie sa fie explicate, si solicitarea este aprobata pe loc. Dupa doua saptamani vine din nou si cere schimbarea numelui in Popescu. De data asta, cererea fiind mai putin obisnuita este intrebat despre motiv. Raspunsul sau este ”Popescu fost Ionescu’ suna cu totul altfel decat ‘Ionescu fost Bercovici’.

Volumul lui Radu Cosasu aparut la Polirom in 2016 mentioneaza pe coperta ambele nume ale autorului, numele de scriitor, ‘romanizat’, al lui Cosasu si numele de acasa al scriitorului, cunoscut de altfel celor care au citit volumele din seria ‘Supravietuiri’. Motivele vor fi evidente pentru cei care vor citi acest volum pasionant, dar ele se descopera treptat, la lectura. In primul rand tematica identitara si dualitatea intre persoana publica si cea privata fac parte dintre firele principale ale cartii. Tactica mentionarii numelor ‘de origine’ ale personalitatilor evreiesti (dar si al celor doar ‘banuite’ de a fi evrei) este o diversiune antisemita cunoscuta. Radu Cosasu nu numai ca nu si-a ascuns originea evreiasca, dar chiar a expus-o domeniului public in momentul in care a putut, transformand propria biografie si confruntarea cu problemele identitare intr-un subiect de literatura. In sfarsit, aparitia pe coperta a numelui sau original este si rezultatul unei promisiuni, facute pe la mijlocul cartii, personajului imaginar al fiului sau. Prima carte in care apare pe coperta numele real al autorului incheie intr-un fel (desi nu putem sti daca definitiv) un ciclu de opera legat de biografia si identitatea scriitorului.

 

sursa http://www.libris.ro/viata-fictiunii-dupa-o-revolutie-radu-cosasu-POL978-973-46-2000-5--p989586.html

sursa http://www.libris.ro/viata-fictiunii-dupa-o-revolutie-radu-cosasu-POL978-973-46-2000-5–p989586.html

 

Prima parte a cartii intitulata ‘Radu Cosasu si fiul sau inexistent’ este o combinatie de mini-eseuri si episoade biografice si auto-biografice camuflate intr-un schimb epistolar asimetric cu personaje imaginare in majoritate, dar si cu cateva reale. Delimitarile dintre viata si fictiune sunt sterse in mod intentionat, si jocul acesta permanent devine parte din delectarea intelectuala a cititorului, care isi pune tot timpul intrebari despre ceea ce este real si ceea ce este imaginat. Cei care au urmarit in timp evolutia si scrierile precedente ale lui Cosasu adunate in volume sau publicate in rubricile sale din ziare vor beneficia si de placerea de a compara si extinde cele cunoscute despre autor, biografia sa, opiniile sale si vremurile in care au fost scrise cartile si articolele sale.

Dialogul cu fiul imaginar, in care intervine din cand in cand si mama imaginara, descrie un conflict de loc imaginar intre generatia lui Cosasu aflata lin momentul preluarii puterii de catre comunisti la varsta visurilor de a transforma lumea, generatie din care unii (inclusiv autorul) au inteles sa adere la procesul de schimbare a societatii.

‘Mi-a aratat scrisoarea ta cu cateva fraze insemnate cu o carioca rosie: ca, pentru tine, 1956 e ca ieri, un soc cat 1984 pentru altii; ca atunci speranta ta in comunism ti s-a dezvaluit ca o iluzie (doua sublinieri ale lui si un semn de intrebare …); ca, o vreme, nu ai vrut sa-ti tradezi convingerile, pana ai inteles cine le-a tradat (o singura subliniere …); ca timp de zece ani – era prima data cand o scrii atat de clar – ai fost un fanatic plin de aroganta orgolioasa si ca de aceasta experienta va trebui sa tii seama toata viata, fara sa devii un oportunist, un carierist, un automat moral … Foarte mult mi-a placut (rareori am folosit acest verb in ceea ce te priveste) cum i-ai scris despre singura ta bucurie despre Budapesta: acea din 1968, cand la invadarea Cehoslovaciei nu ai intrat, ca alti prieteni, in partidul lui Ceausescu …’ (pag. 38-39)

Oportunism? Autorului ii place sa creada ca nu, si in definitiv are si argumente biografice. Ca evreu putea sa ajunga si in alte parti ale lumii, dar precum alti intelectuali romani de origine evreiasca a preferat sa ramana nu numai in spatiul limbii romane dar si in spatiul fizic romanesc. Ramane in Romania comunista, dar incearca sa traiasca si sa fie activ intr-o sfera dominata de preocupari intelectual-mic-burgheze, fapt sesizat si judecat de fiul imaginar:

‘confunzi filmul cu viata si nu mai suport … Le confunzi fiindca ti-e comod, ai comoditati de burghez care vrea sa traiasca linistit ca in carti si filme … Viata frazei, viata adverbului, viata ca in filmele de cinema, alta viata nu cunosti …’ (pag. 9)

Dialogurile dintre tati si fii, reali sau imaginari, sunt de multe ori dificile. Ii despart nu numai anii care definesc diferentele dintre generatii, dar si experientele de viata, vocabularele – nu atat in cuvinte cat in conceptii si atitudini.

‘Un sef de-al meu, un canadian, avea o expresie formidabila: nu poti sa-i descrii unuia din Congo o furtuna de zapada. Eram exact asa – explica-i unei bridgiste islandeze, in 2008, ce era Scanteia Tineretului la Bucuresti in 1950!’ (pag. 80)

Fiul ii reproseaza tatalui adaptarea care nu putea sa fie lipsita de compromisuri in fiecare dintre etapele prin care a trecut Romania in anii comunismului. In perioada cea mai critica, tatal isi castigase relativa comoditate (mai mult intelectuala decat materiala) prin cateva articole propagandistice, nu dintre cele mai rele, dar suficiente pentru a intra intr-una din ‘antologiile rusinii’. Are insa dreptul noua generatie sa judece angoasele unei perioade cu care nu s-a confruntat? Si este ea suficient de ‘curata’ in actiunile din perioada post-89 pentru a capata dreptul moral de a judeca? A fost ‘generatia Pietii Universitatii’ chiar mai buna decat ‘generatia compromisului’?

Pe de-o parte:

‘… reactia lui violenta la frica dvs. de aventura, la sedentarismul dvs. vinovat, tratat doar cu o imaginatie literara care lui ii repugna. Pe scurt: nu numai ca nu ati plecat din tara  cand ati vazut cum vi se intruchipeaza idealurile, dar ati incercat – cu o demnitate care lui i se putea parea o lasitate – sa va adaptati dezastrului si sa-l educati in acelasi sens.’ (pag. 118)

si ca raspuns, un rechizitoriu ‘din interior’ adresat ‘Pietii’ imediat post-revolutionare:

‘Pentru altii, in Piata, era o placere sa-si spuna cat mai sordid ura pe care o traisera, o viata, in tacere. Unora le rascumpara un pacat sau le dadea iluzia inepta ca trecusera de partea cealalta. (Printre ei erau si cativa care traisera in laturi mult mai condimentate decat celelalte injuraturi pe care si le adresau acum, in fond, lor insisi). Altii nu pronuntau ce considerau nedemn dar ramaneau acolo. Unii veneau, constatau si plecau. Altii au precizat, oportunist, in CV-urile lor din ’96 “activ in Piata Universitatii”. Ma indoiesc ca cei cativa anticomunisti vehementi de azi s-au format in experienta “pura” a Pietii. Dar cunosc destui care au avut revelatia anticomunismului pe la mijlocul lui iunie, privind minerii.” (pag. 150-151)

 

Disputa nu este transata. Personaje reale si imaginare se amesteca in dialog, incearca sa medieze, sa impace. Intransigentul fiu imaginar nu este inca pregatit sa ierte pacatele si compromisele tatalui. Daca o va face, se va intampla in viitor, dupa ce tatal ii va indeplini o dorinta: ‘sa scrie, in fine, o fictiune semnata cu numele acela din actul de nastere.’ (pag. 165)

 

sursa http://www.ziarulmetropolis.ro/radu-cosasu-in-optzeci-si-cinci-de-fragmente/

sursa http://www.ziarulmetropolis.ro/radu-cosasu-in-optzeci-si-cinci-de-fragmente/

 

Aceasta fictiune va fi a doua parte a volumului intitulata ‘Oscar Rohrlich si un sef al cenzurii’. Se deschide cu un articol publicat de autor pe la inceputul mileniului, dupa ce il zarise pe fostul sef al cenzurii cu decenii in urma, in postura unuia dintre acei pensionari cenusii ai perioadei post-89.

‘Si iar Ti-am multumit, Doamne, pentru ca numai mie mi-ai harazit clipa asta – poate ca eram singurul pe lume care traiam acest eveniment pe viu – in care fostul sef al unei cenzuri nemiloase contempla in mijocul unei multimi dintr-o piata intr-adevar libera, deloc persana, nenumaratele ziare aparute fara stampila “bun de tipar”,  fara stirea si ordinele sale, puterea lui absoluta fiind spulberata.’ (pag. 169)

Se incheie cu o nota ‘informativa’ (‘serviciile’ continua sa existe, nu-i asa?) despre sfarsitul acestuia. Intre ele, un sir de scrisori pe care Artur Reznicek, seful cenzurii romanesti in anii 50 si 60, cel care isi asuma meritul ca ii ghidase mai mult sau mai putin vizibil cariera tanarului scriitor si care fusese martor nu numai al traseului sau in viata dar si a evolutiei intregii lumi culturale din acea perioada, le adreseaza scriitorului ajuns si el acum la varsta senectutii.

Viata nu este simpla, si personajele cu etichete dintre cele mai negative pot avea dimensiuni multiple. Reznicek este in primul rand un comunist dogmatic convins. Ilegalist adevarat, isi traieste viata si isi exprima ideile in limba de lemn a propagandei pana la sfarsit. Limba de lemn, dar corecta gramatical, frazata ingrijit, cu referinte culturale multiple si de multe ori sofisticate. Artur Reznicek nu este un cenzor oarecare si nu este un parvenit cultural, el stie ce face si este constient de rolul sau. Cenzura face parte din modul sau de viata, pana acolo incat la zeci de ani dupa iesirea din functie continua sa-si cenzureze propriile sale scrieri (si volumul este presarat cu dungi negre care neutralizeaza cuvinte sau pasaje puse la index de insusi autorul lor). Cenzorul are o viata intelectuala independenta, lecturi alese dintre cele interzise, si chiar si o biblioteca secreta acasa, pentru uz personal. Este descrisa in partea a doua a cartii (dar sugerata si in prima) o lume intelectuala bucuresteana care are o viata paralela cu lumea reala care in anii 50 insemna teama de Securitate, arestari, condamnari la inchisoare sau Canal, iar in anii 60 emergenta national-comunismului. Acestea nu sunt insa amintite explicit in nici un moment.

Autorul se priveste pe el insusi din perspectiva fostului sau cenzor, si judecata este parca si mai aspra decat cea a fiului imaginar din prima parte a cartii:

‘Cineva l-a numit undeva primul disident – e o impecabila nerozie; nu a fost deloc disident, nu a cerut desfiintarea cenzurii comuniste – asta ar fi fost intr-adevar, scandalos si s-ar fi tratat cu totul altfel -, a cerut imblanzirea ei … Nici un critic anticomunist nu stie ce stie Reznicek; toate Supravietuirile semnate de Radu Cosasu nu sunt decat “povesti de a imblanzi cenzura comunista”. (pag. 197-198)

Exista paralelisme intre personajul-autor Cosasu din prima parte a cartii si cenzorul comunist imbatranit care este eroul celei de-a doua parti. Amandoi se confrunta cu judecata copiilor, Reznicek are o fata care a fost in Piata Universitatii, fata de care in primul rand incearca sa-si justifice faptele.

‘Din cauza inadmisibilei confuzii dintre idealul nostru si metodele cu care se incerca realizarea lui, ai putea vedea in Reznicek cenzorul comunist, un Oberstrumfuhrer care, de Craciun, se duce la zidul ghetoului sa-i impuste pe toti cei care voiau sa evadeze, ca apoi sa se intoarca in casa, in mijlocul familiei, si sa cante la pian un preludiu de Bach (vezi Malaparte). Sunt constient de ravagiile produse de aceasta “umanizare” in numele complexitatii abisale. Nu am trait nimic abisal, am limitele mele; idealul nostru nu a fost abisal, in nici un caz fascist,  a avut soarta unui om rapus de cancerul sau pe care nu-l poti parasi pana in ultima clipa si nici dupa;’ (pag. 220)

Ne putem pune intrebarea daca acest personaj este descris in culori prea umane. In definitiv acesti cenzori au ingropat vreme de decenii o mare parte din comorile culturii nationale, au persecutat scriitorii si oamenii de cultura care au trait epoca si au refuzat sa colaboreze, au sugrumat si deformat vocile scriitorilor si artistilor vreme de aproape jumatate de secol, au desfigurat cu dungile lor negre operele acestora. Cosasu il trateaza cu oarecare ingaduita, uneori cu sarcasm, alteori cu o nuanta nostalgica si patetica. Oameni de genul lui Reznicek au facut parte din mozaicul perioadei prin care a trecut si supravietuit scriitorul Oscar Rohrlich devenit Radu Cosasu. Existenta lor nu poate fi negata, si nici faptul ca Romania de azi este asa cum este si datorita unei franturi din contributia lor.

 

 

 

 

The principal flaw of Harmonium directed by may be its length. At more than two hours the film is by 20 to 30 minutes longer than the standard, and the extra time is not necessarily best used. Yet, this stylish combination between family drama, thriller and crime story has enough interesting elements in the story, and is so well acted and filmed that it eventually justifies itself and needs not make too many excuses.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5182856/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5182856/

 

We can admire from opening scenes the mastering of the art of describing the characters and the background with very little means, in a few beautifully filmed takes, with even fewer words. We see a family in Tokyo working hard for their living. The father has a metal shop and seems to be an agnostic. The mother is deeply religious and she drives the education of their daughter around ten years old, who tries to learn playing the harmonium. A stranger shows up, he is well mannered, accepted by the father and then by the rest of the family. There are secrets in the relation between the two men, and these secrets of the past will take over the situations that follow.

There are two different parts in the story separated by a jump in time which is one of the several techniques of story telling that are being experimented and combined in a well dosed mix. The story telling is built in a very interesting manner. Two acts of violence happen out of the screen, and viewers as well as most of the characters do not know exactly what happened. The first took place eleven year before the story starts. The second wraps up the first part and triggers the events of the second part, with another gap of eight years. None of them is represented on the screen, the story is not about violence but about its consequences. The final is also open ended, we see what happens, but the interpretation is left to the viewers.

 

(video source Film Fest Gent)

 

I liked more the first part, with its more constraint setting and only with the four characters present on the screen. The development is necessary in the logic of commercial film making nowadays, the jumps and gaps are intentional, but they lack balance. There is wonderful acting from  in the role of the dedicated mother but also of the feminine presence that triggers passion, and from as the dignified and yet mysterious stranger. This film is not flawless, it lasts too long and its changes of direction may not be on everybody’s taste, but it’s a good example about how the Japanese school of cinema continues its great aesthetic tradition, how it combines it with the popular culture genres (like thriller and horror stories) and how it looks carefully to new means of expression in an evolutionary rather than revolutionary approach.

 

 

It’s very difficult to say Farewell. It’s very difficult to make a Farewell movie. I do not know if  knew that ‘Afterimage‘ was to be his last movie. He undertook and involved himself in this film with the same passion, rigor and attention to the detail, with the same mastering of the art and science of film-making as ever. He also did not abandon the major theme of his cinema – the history of Poland seen as a subset of the history of Europe and of all mankind, and as a collection of the stories of the men who made it.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5186236/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5186236/

 

There is one major difference though. Many of his previous films focused on political characters, they were about men who changed history, about victors at least at the historical scale – Danton, Walesa – even if they sometime paid with their lives. The hero of this film, the avant-garde Polish artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski was defeated by history, and the film is the story of his defeat, of his physical but also moral decay. It’s a story quite typical about the manner Communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe treated their artists, and even if I did not know anything about him before this movie, his story was well known to me as the same fate (or worse in some cases) was imposed on artists who did not compromise in Romania where I was born and I lived half of my life. We see him at the beginning admired and valued as a teacher and artist, he also was a companion of modernist artists who were associated with the Russian revolution, but this did not help him either. He was not an anti-Communist, but he valued true art, could not accept enrollment of art as a tool for propaganda and the norms of the dogmatic ‘realism’, and his refusal to compromise cost him his teaching position, his membership in the artist’s union, the very possibility of painting. The humiliating tentative to find a way to survive had no chance, the regime was still in the Stalinist period and crushed all opponents according to the principle ‘the one who is not with us is against us’. Even the help and support of a handful of students who stood by their beloved teacher and mentor could not save him.

 

(video source Orzeł Biały)

 

The lead role is played with a lot of restraint and dignity by , his flame is interior, he shows the artist far from being a flawless person, actually sharing some of the guilt of not being able to maintain his family and especially help his teen daughter (exceptional acting of 14 years old ). There are many very well constructed scenes, some of them full with details bringing back to life with controlled anger that dark period of transformation, when Poland and Eastern Europe were postponing hope for a few decades and were transitioning from one nightmare to another.  Wajda’s last film is not a testament, it’s an integral part of his opus of work.

 

rin

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Cristian Raduta is a Romanian sculptor, born in 1982. His works feature rhinos as a recurrent theme. Rhinos were also used by Eugene Ionesco in a famous play which was once presented in Bucharest at a time of early and short liberalization of the Romanian culture under the Communist rule. The symbolism of Ionesco’s play and of Raduta’s sculptures is nowadays more actual than ever.
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4.jpeg.jpg-resized-Cristian-Raduta-Rhinos-2007-Fibreglass-epoxy-paint-sand-33-x2-x10-.-Installation-View.--300x199
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sources of photos:
http://www.theclayandglass.ca/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/perspectives-of-innocence/
https://contemporaryartineasteurope.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/cristian-raduta/
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art
raduta

The landscape plays a central role in Dogs (Caini) the first long feature film of Romanian director . Visuals, actually, together with acting play the most important tasks in this film, which is very different from many other features that can be seen on commercial screens or in festivals. One may say this is at the expense of story telling, although there are a few very interesting elements in the story as well. It takes place in a frontier land, at the Eastern border of Romania, where wild fields burnt by the sun meet the Danube at the end of its trip across Europe. As many frontier spaces, it’s a place with its own rules, where applying state laws and even morality or simple human laws implies risks. It is also a space which is far from cities and civilization, but not from the side effects of urban crime and especially of corruption which seems a recurring theme in all Romanian movies (it was featured in all the three Romanian films I have seen at the International Film Festival in Haifa).

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5088794/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5088794/

 

There are two sources of inspiration for this combination of strong drama and violent thriller. The first can be found in the deep hisotry of Romanian literature which had a distinct naturalistic trend at the end of the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century, with tough stories and characters in short stories and novels about family feuds, conflicts about owning land, and erotic passionate intrigues, mostly located in the Romanian rural space (which was at that time the dominant social environment). The second one is from the gangster and horror movies of the last two decades. I do not know whether Tarantino has seen this film, but I am pretty sure that Mirica has seen Tarantino’s, as well as some of the Korean horror movies. The combination of the two sources of inspiration together with the excellent sound and image work, plus a dose of humor, make some of the toughest scenes that I have seen lately surprisingly palatable.

 

(video source TransilvaniaFilmRO)

 

Acting is in many cases the strong part in Romanian films, which owes so much to an excellent local school of theater acting. I will start with the relatively weaker role – the one of the young man from the city who inherits his grandfather’s property and comes in the strange area, triggering the events. fights with a role that is incompletely conceived, maybe intentionally. This weaker part is compensated by the splendid role of the old policeman (), dying of an incurable disease, whose last and pathetic fight to fix things that have gone wrong so many years, a role which brings together moral fiber, emotion, and humor. The trio is completed by the local gang leader played by , one of the top actors of Romania today, if not simply the best, an actor who cannot do wrong.

‘Caini’ belongs to a new phase of the Romanian cinema. No more ‘New Wave’, no more Communism or transition as principal themes. Another type of story, a different approach to film making. Aesthetics are at least as important as the story. There are many good reasons to see this film, quite different from many other. Go for it.

 

The Romanian ‘New Wave’ is not that new any longer. For the last decade Romanian directors succeeded to surprise viewers and juries with their films dealing with hardships of life under the Communist dictatorship, and about the period that followed immediately, a time that carried the sequels of the dictatorship in the difficult transition that the country has undergone. It’s kind of a revenge and recovery both from an artistic but also an attitude point of view, because Romanian cinema was deeply affected by censorship, and the directors of the previous generations enjoyed less freedom than their colleagues in other former Communist countries, having to either compromise, or had their movies severely chopped of, if not simply interdicted. The result was that with very few exceptions both the value and the message of the Romanian films before 1989 was null. More than a decade had to pass, and a new generation of film makers to appear in order to fix and start the recovery process. Results are however briliant.  is one of the best representatives of the new school of directors, maybe the best. All his projects are followed with interest, and they do not disappoint, including ‘Bacalaureat’ (Graduation)

Interestingly enough, the films are differently perceived by the Romanian and foreign audiences, and this was clear in the reception and commentaries at the Haifa International Film Festival where I saw the film, as well as in the questions that lead role actor  was asked from the audience after the screening. He was quite careful in pointing that the film should be taken as what it is, meaning one film representing maybe one facet of the Romanian reality, but not all of it.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4936450/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4936450/

 

There are two main themes in the film: First it’s about the generation gap, about parents sacrificing everything for what they perceive as best for their kids – but is this ‘everything’ the best or even good? Same as in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, the film that brought him the Palme d’Or, the hero of Mungiu’s latest film  crosses the borders of law and buries his own moral rules in order to help. It’s just that here it’s not about helping the best friend, but his own kid (same them as in another Romanian production that I liked – Child’s Pose) but by doing this he becomes the master of her destiny – is this really for her good? His goal is to save her from the generalized atmosphere of corruption, from the endless chain of relations the Romanian society and life seem to be built upon, but in order to save her from the system he needs to become part of it. This is the second important theme. The Romanian director seems to look around in anger, at his own broken dreams, at the lost opportunities of his generation who could have made a difference but did not have the courage to do it, ending in compromise.

 

(video source Mobra Film)

 

The role of  is very similar with the one in Illegitimate which I had seen in the previous evening at the festival, but more complex, and the direction style is very different. Mungiu seems to control very tight his actors and makes sure that all intended nuances are there, while , the director of Illegitimate gave much more freedom to the actors, who could improvise and build their own version of the characters. The result is impressing in both movies, confirming  Titieni as one of the best film actors of his generation.

Interestingly enough, the two movies end both in similar manners, with a still snapshot photo – in this case the traditional picture of the high-school class at the end of the graduation ceremony. Everybody smiles to the future, but what all the film told us is that the future is uncertain. Will the next generation have the courage and the luck to be the generation of the change?

‘Ilegitim’ (or ‘Ilegitimate’ in English) starts with a very normal family scene. Around the family table we see the father (), a man in his late 50s (we’ll soon learn that he lost his wife one year and a half ago), and his four children, the elder in the 30s, the younger (brother and sister twins) just out of their tween-age. Father gives a small conference filled with platitudes about time, which the kids seem to follow jokingly, less than half interested. They speak quite vulgarly for a family of intellectuals (father is a surgeon, the elder brothers follows the same professional path) but this is normal in today’s Romania as I hear (I do not live there for more than 32 years). The end of the movie is again very normal, a still family photo where everybody is smiling happily to the camera. However, nothing is normal with this family between the opening and the closing scenes of ‘s film.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt5002394/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt5002394/

 

There are several reasons not to like this film, which does not avoid shocking its viewers, although I would say it’s doing it not in an ostentatious manner.  I have already mentioned one – the high amount of profanities. The other one is certainly approaching one of the last taboos not yet completely explored by cinema – incest – although there are precedents (for example in Bertolucci‘s The Dreamers). But then, the Italian maestro was not afraid to take risks and to shock in several key (and top) points of his career. I can understand people who are inhibited by these reasons when watching ‘Ilegitim’ but I believe that they are losing quite a lot. The film is very well conceived, interestingly made, and continues some of the themes already taken upon by the Romanian cinema (forced aborting during the communist rule and the dilemma pro life – pro choice after the change of the regime, responsibility for the attitude or lack of attitude during the previous regime, the children’s right to question the behavior of their parents). There also is here a beautiful although twisted love story, which is again to understand and maybe sympathize, or to hate.

 

(video source Agentia de Film)

 

The script is co-writen by lead actress and by director who created the background and the situations, while letting the actors decide on the exact words and gesture that translate those into life. The result of this script writing and directing style is a spontaneous, natural, and sometimes naturalistic screen rendition, which looks fresh and authentic. Actors enter well the game, and the mix of professional actors mixed with non-professional works well. Best are  again who creates the portrait of the young woman whose feelings and way of life are put to a hard test and succeeds to enter the role with a winning combination of fragility and determination, and who plays a role quite similar in the general linesto the one in ‘s ‘Bacalaureat’ (Graduation), and a similar terrible choice to make between his moral convictions and the perceived ‘good’ for his child.

There is a breaking point in the story telling, just at the place where in more ‘traditional’ scripts the climax of the action slides into the solution (which can be a car chase, or gun shooting, or the heroes living happily together. You need to see the film (which I highly recommend) in order to learn what the writer and director decided to pick, I will just say that this is one of the possible solutions, and not necessarily the most obvious. The film could have ended in tragedy, in happy end, or something in-between which is called life.

 

It’s a small and dull city as many other in Belgium and Europe. It is inhabited by a mixed population, ‘local’ Europeans, more recent but well integrated Europeans (some of them are police inspectors), recent immigrants, some legal, some not. Again, as in many other cities of Belgium and Europe. This quite typical landscape of a place like many other in an Europe in change is the setting for ‘La fille inconnue’ the most recent film of brothers and and as in many of their recent movies the characters fight not only the dullness of life and problems in communication but also face moral choices and need to assume responsibility for their acts.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4630550/mediaviewer/rm788532992

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4630550/mediaviewer/rm788532992

 

The lead character is a young doctor in the community, who deeply cares about her patients. Being just a professional is not enough if you are a physician, this kind of message is quite obvious and smartly developed, as the best scenes in the film are the ones where we see doctor Jenny Davin interacting with her patients, taking care of their bodies but also of their life conditions and eventually of their souls. When faced with the guilt of not having answered a ring at the door much later than her work hours, which led to the tragic death of a young woman apparently followed by some bad people, the feelings of guilt will lead her to run her own inquiry with the main goal of discovering the identity of the victim and ensuring her family knows her fate, and that she is properly put to rest. This will let to the eventual discovery of the murderer, in a case that involves a non-negligible dose of shared responsibility of the people who surrounded her.

 

(video source Cinéart Nederland)

 

The film is very much based on the lead character, one of these people who are capable of showing compassion and giving almost everything in there personal lives in order to help their human fellows. From this point of view it resembles another film of the Dardenne brothers which I liked a lot -  The Kid with a Bike (Le gamin au velo). There are bad people in this world, but there are also good ones, and it’s worth making films about them – this seems to be the shared message of the two films. ‘La fille inconnue’ however lacks the magnetism of The Kid and although gives a remarkable performance, this is not enough to fill in for the lack of pace and the rather unconvincing ending. Brother Dardenne’s characters may seem to good to be true, and they do not owe anybody an explanation for being so – that’s fine, but in the absence of a solid motivation there need to be more dramatic substance in the story. This is exactly what is missing in this film, just seeing good people in action in a difficult community may be enough for a documentary, but not for a full feature.

 

 

Works by Romul Nutiu (1932 – 2012), a formidable Romanian artist influenced by Abstract Expressionism, carrying it further and developing it into a flamboyant and solid corp of works.

 

Blue Dynamic Universe - source https://www.wikiart.org/en/romul-nutiu/blue-dynamic-universe

Blue Dynamic Universe – source https://www.wikiart.org/en/romul-nutiu/blue-dynamic-universe

 

Underground Vegetal Structure V - source http://artguideeast.com/viennacontemporary-2016-cee.html

Underground Vegetal Structure V – source http://artguideeast.com/viennacontemporary-2016-cee.html

 

Cross section through fertile soils - source http://www.artnet.com/artists/romul-nutiu/past-auction-results

Cross section through fertile soils – source http://www.artnet.com/artists/romul-nutiu/past-auction-results

From the Wikipedia article dedicated to the artist:

‘Periods and Styles of Nutiu’s oeuvre Following Nutiu’s oeuvre through the decades helped to define the different stages of his artistic unfolding. The first steps towards abstraction were the modular compositions from the early 60s, all of which were paintings on canvas. At the same time he also created objects called assemblage, by using different canvases stuck on each other which created a three dimensional effect. Nutiu was always tempted to expand his works beyond the canvas, by leaving the bi-dimensionality. He referred to the works of this period as Utopias. After composing these objects he returned to painting and began a theme called Dynamic Universe; these paintings were made in the 1970s. In this period Nutiu got the idea to build several vessels with dimensions of about 160×160 cm having a depth of 10 cm, which he filled with water and industrial paints that were usually used to paint cars. These colours could not be absorbed by the water, and floated by their own inertia creating unforeseen shapes. The artist influenced those shapes by intervening with a bar until he liked the outcome. Subsequently he arranged a canvas on the water’s surface. The canvas absorbed the paint composition which was a moment earlier in the water. Generally the canvas was covered entirely of these “risky effects” produced in print. In some cases Nutiu intervened with a few brushstrokes or he erased some areas. The very innovative object in space “Sapte forme pictate” (means seven painted shapes) from 1969 was also achieved with this technology transfer in water, while some areas have been painted over. In the 1980s Nutiu was inspired by vegetal structures, especially roots and he subsequently labelled this phase of his artistic production as Sections through Fertile Soil. This title clearly reveals that his abstract works were inspired by nature. Further to this title he was also a passionate fly fisherman and he confessed that the roots of the plants and trees he observed on the other side of the shore inspired him. In the 1990s Nutiu entitled his body of work Beyond Appearances. The paintings became more graphic and symbolical which is evidenced seen in the artwork Blue Universe from 1999. The paintings were of course abstract and in the 1990s extremely colourful, sometimes colour spots surrounded by a line like a cloisonné. At the end of the 1990s he was attracted by water – running in rivers or falling in cascades and until the early 2000s he was extremely engaged with this subject. In the last years of his life Nutiu returned to his earlier themes, one of which was Sections through Fertile Soil. For Romul Nutiu the source of inspiration is especially the plant, its stem and root, as it feeds from the soil and returns fertility to it and in this permanent struggle for survival it is akin to man. He re-explored painting the element of water as he had done at the beginning of the 2000s. In 2011 Nutiu achieved his largest painting called Dionysiacal Space which was almost 3 metres long and 2 metres wide. This monumental work is although structured also directed by spontaneous intuition and reveals the semantic complexity of the artist. Throughout his life Nutiu’s art always evolved and challenged himself to try new paths and develop new techniques. Although Nutiu used different dimensions of canvases, in his eyes, any surface could become a territory and was able to involve any kind of shades, plans, volumes of colour and different tonalities. This means that he did not need a certain type of canvas or a size as he used his colours and geometrical forms in a way that fit onto every surface. Nutiu had always expressed interest in objects and the objectual space as it could offer him a new field to reveal his spirit. While making objects in space he used the same attitude towards colour, but complicated the conformation so the objects would gain individuality. Sometimes the object could be perceived from all sides and therefore had a higher autonomy. Nutiu above all remained a painter in everything he did whether he used wood panels or sheets of paper; colour was always one essential dynamic that kept all his works together. He liked to play with colour and transferred all his emotions and tensions into it; this can be seen when one observes the canvas directly. He always painted abstract, gestural resulting in experimental art. Nutiu also thought about the objectual reality of the image he painted, that there should be a sensitivity to grasp it. His art could be described as a synthesis between lyricism and rationalism. Most of his works have allegorical meanings.’

source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romul_Nu%C8%9Biu

 

Transcending - https://viennacontemporarymag.com/2015/08/21/viennacontemporary-2015-reflections/romul-nutiu-2011/

Transcending – https://viennacontemporarymag.com/2015/08/21/viennacontemporary-2015-reflections/romul-nutiu-2011/

 

 

Iguazu - source https://www.wikiart.org/en/romul-nutiu/iguazu-2011

Iguazu – source https://www.wikiart.org/en/romul-nutiu/iguazu-2011