Entries tagged with “Undeva la Palilula”.

‘Somewhere in Palilula’ has managed to divide in camps not only film critics but also my friends who have seen it. Reactions ranged from enthusiastic acceptance till total rejection. In Romania it apparently had a fairly short career on screen and then disappeared to re-appear in festivals and at the Gopo Awards ceremony, where it received seven awards. With a little help from friends I managed to see the DVD version that was recently released and I formed an opinion of my own.

One of the Romanian film critics (I think it was the late Alex Leo Serban but I am not not sure) said that there are two main trends in the Romanian cinema today. One is composed of the so-called ‘ Romanian new wave ‘ films that deal with past or present Romania, describing bits of life in a minimalist style sometimes combined with a cruel realism, and leaving Romanian viewers to discern beyond familiar images and characters the meanings or the messages. With films like ’4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days ‘, ‘The Death of Mr. Lazarescu’ or the recent ‘Child Position‘ this current succeeded nicely at international festivals . The second trend addresses reality and history through personal directorial visions, which in turn draw their inspiration from classic Romanian literature starting from the two Caragiales. Characters represent extrapolations of reality and of their own selves, and the stories often end in apocalypse. These films recorded fewer public or critic successes, the most representative production before this film is California Dreamin’ by Cristian Nemescu.

With ‘Somewhere in Palilula’ the second trend has now its first remarkable peak.


sursa www.imdb.com/title/tt2332881/

sursa www.imdb.com/title/tt2332881/


Having left Romania for almost 30 years I have not had the opportunity to see anything directed by Silviu Purcarete on stage during this time and I had to settle with two operas directed by him at famous house operas. I know that he is one of the major Romanian theater directors of today, and I know that he has created a world of his own with imagery, colors, characters and multiple dimensions. Somewhere in Palilula is his first film and his invented world extends from stage to screen with the tools and means of expression of cinema.

Of course, the greatest danger of such an artistic enterprise is ‘ theatricality ‘. It is however a danger only to the extent that the edge of the stage is visible in the movie, and the film misses the relationship between what is taking place on screen and cinema viewers. Theater drives its magic out of the intimacy of the relationship between actor and spectator, the ineffable and imperfect timing, the air and dust that spectators and actors breathe together. Those cannot be reproduced in film, where the viewer must be charmed by the impossible and the ideal created for him on screen. To a great extent Purcarete manages to create the magnetism that makes film viewers to watch fascinated what is happening on the big screen and forget that the media has only two dimensions (even in 3-D the third dimension is an illusion created by special spectacles!).

Purcarete invented almost none of these. Theater (or circus) is the world at Fellini, a universe in a studio theater was already created by Charlie Kaufman in ‘Synechdoche, New York’ and the beginning of the film with the locomotive in snow entering something that resembles another dimension reminded me of the first episode of Harry Potter. But the principal inspiration is my opinion the genial Romanian playright I.L. Caragiale, the mentor of all creators who dare to describe the Romanian universe with the weapons of humor. We can find in this movie dozens, maybe hundreds of replicas of those that are remembered later as worth an ‘anthology ‘ – but beyond the immediate laughs which are not missing, these are the materials of which the world of Purcarete is build of.


(video source undevalapalilula)


I loved the film, the visual experience and the way Purcarete made ​​me live for almost two hours and a half in his world. Trying to understand the reasons many did not like the movie, besides the banal ‘de gustibus … ‘  I guess that some of them could easily fall into the pitfalls of trying to understand what they see on the screen only through the historical context or may have attempted to immediately interpret all visual metaphors or ideas. Careful watching of the introduction, however, should deter somebody walking these tracks . The story of a young physician assigned to the countryside is perhaps inspired by the memoirs of a real person (one may remembers that Chekhov and Bulgakov were also countryside physicians) or all of real characters who lived similar experiences during communism, but the manner the main character is intr0duced, the landscape of the village that seems linked by uncertain roads to the world around, and the introduction of the other characters indicate clearly that this is a different reality – one that was absorbed by the writer director, decanted and recreated as reality into another dimension, with other colors and other tools than those of realistic image playback . There are many interesting and expressive metaphors, but one must avoid excessive interpretation in order to not spoil the viewing pleasure. A film like ‘ Somewhere in Palilula ‘ is the reflection of reality of a painful past and a huge metaphor containing in it a lot of other intelligent and meaningful metaphors, but before anything else it is an invitation to come and live for the duration of the screening in the world created by Silviu Purcarete .

I can not conclude without saying a few words about the special effects, set design and costumes that reach a level in my opinion unique so far in Romanian cinema. It was a movie that solicited to the extreme the team of actors, each of them managing to create expressive and colorful characters that take their place and become part of the universe created by the director. I will mention only that Aron Dimeny has the physiognomy  and expressiveness fit to the lead role, and George Mihaita who at his peak performed here a remarkable role at the other pole than another big film role in the history of Romanian cinema – ‘Reconstitution’ by Lucian Pintilie. Pintilie is the co-producer on Somewhere in Palilula. Which closes another circle .

‘Undeva in Palilula’ a reusit sa-i imparta in tabere nu numai pe criticii de film ci si pe prietenii mei care l-au vazut. Paleta reactiilor a fost impartita intre acceptare entuziasta si respingere totala. In Romania a avut se pare o cariera destul de scurta pe ecrane dupa care a disparut pentru a apare in festivaluri si la festivitatea decernarii premiilor Gopo, unde a obtinut sapte premii. Am reusit in fine cu ajutorul prietenilor sa vad versiune pe DVD iesita recent si sa-mi formez o opinie proprie.

Unul dintre criticii de film romani (cred ca era Alex Leo Serban dar nu sunt sigur) scria ca exista doua curente principale in cinematografia romana de astazi. Unul este reprezentat de filmele asa-zisului ‘nou val romanesc’, filme care se ocupa de trecutul apropiat sau de prezentul Romaniei, descriind franturi de viata in stil minimalist combinat cu un realism cateodata crud, si lasand spectatorii romani sa discearna dincolo de imaginile si personajele familiare sensul sau mesajul. Cu filme ca ‘4 luni, 3 saptamani, 2 zile’, ‘Moartea domnului Lazarescu’ sau recentul ‘Pozitia copilului’ acest curent a inregistrat succese si la festivalurile internationale. Al doilea curent abordeaza prezentul prin prisma viziunii regizorale, care la randul sau isi trage inspiratia din clasica literaturii romanesti incepand de la cei doi Caragiale. Viziunea este personala, personajele reprezinta extrapolari ale realitatii si ale lor insisi, si de multe ori finalul se sfarseste in apocalipsa. Acest gen a inregistrat mai putine succese de public sau critica, cea mai reprezentativa productie inainte de acest film fiind California Dreamin’ al lui Cristian Nemescu.

Cu Undeva la Palilula si acest al doilea curent are acum primul sau varf remarcabil.


sursa www.imdb.com/title/tt2332881/

sursa www.imdb.com/title/tt2332881/


Fiind plecat din Romania de aproape 30 de ani nu am avut ocazia sa vad de tot atata vreme spectacole de teatru regizate de Siviu Purcarete, trebuind sa ma multumesc cu doua spectacole de opera puse de el in scena la marile teatre de opera din lume. Stiu ca este unul dintre marii regizori de teatru ai Romaniei de astazi, si stiu ca a creat o lume a sa, cu imagistica, culori, personaje si dimensiuni proprii. Undeva la Palilula este prima sa creatie cinematografica si lumea sa se extinde de pe scena pe ecran cu uneltele si modalitatile de exprimare ale cinematografului.

Desigur, cel mai mare pericol al unei asemenea intreprinderi artistice este ‘teatralismul’. Acesta este insa un pericol numai in masura in care marginea scenei este evidenta in film, si in care raportul dintre ceea ce se petrece pe ecran si spectator nu are dimensiune cinematografica. Ce inseamna aceasta? Teatrul are o magie a sa care deriva din imediatul relatiei dintre actor si spectator, din inefabilul si imperfectia momentului, din aerul si praful pe care spectatori si actori il respira impreuna. Asta nu poate fi reprodus in film, unde spectatorul trebuie fermecat de imposibilul si idealul creat pe ecran. In foarte mare masura Purcarete reuseste sa creeze magnetismul care face ca spectatorul sa urmareasca fascinat ceea ce se intampla pe ‘panza’ si sa uite ca mediul are numai doua dimensiuni (chiar cand are trei tot doua are, a treia este o iluzie creata de ochelarii speciali :-) ).

Purcarete nu a inventat aproape nimic din aceste tehnici. Teatral este si Fellini, o lume intr-un studio de teatru (sau in cazul lui Purcarete in halele decrepite ale uzinelor ‘Republica’) a creat si Charlie Kaufman in Synechdoche, New York iar inceputul filmului cu locomotiva in ninsoare intrand parca intr-o alta dimensiune mie mi-a amintit de primul episod din Harry Potter. Inspiratia prinicipala este insa dupa parerea mea tot Conu Iancu Caragiale, mentorul tuturor creatorilor care se incumeta sa descrie lumea romaneasca cu armele satirei, si anume acel Caragiale din D’ale Carnavalului. Sunt in acest film zeci, sute de replici din acelea pe care mai tarziu ni le amintim ca fiind ‘antologice’ – dar dincolo de umorul imediat care nu lipseste nici el filmului ele se impletesc pentru a tese materialul din care este plamadita lumea lui Purcarete.


(video source undevalapalilula)


Mi-a placut foarte mult filmul, si vizual si prin modul in care Purcarete m-a facut sa traiesc vreme de aproape doua ore si jumatate in lumea sa. Incercand sa inteleg motivele celor carora nu le-a placut filmul in afara de banalui ‘de gustibus …’ cred ca se poate cadea cu usurinta in capcanele incercarii de a intelege ceea ce se vede pe ecran doar prin intermediul contextului istoric sau a tentativei de a interpreta intelectual imediat orice metafora vizuala sau de idei. Urmarirea atenta a introducerii ar trebui insa sa inlature aceste piste. Experienta doctorului tanar repartizat la tara este poate inspirata din memoriile unui personaj real (si Cehov si Bulgakov au fost doctori la tara) sau a tuturor personajelor reale similare care au trait anii comunismului, dar modul in care personajul principal este intr0dus in actiune, felul in care ajunge in satul care pare legat de lumea din jur prin drumuri sovaielnice, si introducerea celorlalte personaje indica cu claritate ca este vorba despre o alta realitate – imaginata de regizorul scenarist prin absorbirea, decantarea si recrearea realitatii intr-o alta dimensiune, cu alte culori si cu alte unelte decat cele ale redarii fotografice realiste. Metaforele sunt multe, interesante si expresive dar si aici trebuie cred evitata interpretarea excesiva in dauna placerii vizionarii. Un film ca ‘Undeva la Palilula’ este si oglindire a unor realitati trecute dureroase, si o metafora uriasa care cuprinde in ea o multime de alte metafore inteligente si semnificative, dar este inainte de acestea o invitatie de a intra si a trai pentru durata proiectiei in lumea creata de Silviu Purcarete.

Nu pot sa inchei fara a spune cateva cuvinte despre efectele speciale, scenografia si costumele care ating un nivel dupa parerea mea unic in cinematografia romaneasca pana acum. A fost un film care a solicitat la extrem si echipa de actori, fiecare dintre ei reusind sa creeze personaje expresive si colorate, care isi ocupa locul si devin parte din universul creat de regizor. Singurii pe care ii voi mentiona sunt Aron Dimeny cu o fizionomie si expresivitate parca inascute pentru rolul principal, si George Mihaita care la apogeul carierei realizeaza aici un rol remarcabil, la celalalt pol decat rolul sau in alt mare film al istoriei cinematografiei romanesti – Reconstituirea lui Lucian Pintilie. Lucian Pintilie este si co-producator la Undeva la Palilula. Ceea ce inchide un alt cerc.