What is going on with the Romanian cinema? (Slovakian View on UNATC Collection for VFF 2012)


There is simply something going on with the Romanian cinema, as in the recent years the world already met a great number of talented directors. How is that even possible? Did their film universities teach them something other universities don´t? Let’s see. The National University of Theatre and Film is ready to offer some talented students that may be the future of Romanian cinema. The winners from the 2011 International student festival offer some valuable insight into what’s really going on with the student’s cinema. 

Donna must Die is humours homage to the comic books and pulp film, with the story taken directly from the big old book of comic’s troops. Nothing new, nothing world-breaking, but still very entertaining. Just an amusing tale of a misunderstood man who wants to have a peaceful life and desires to kill his wife Donna. Calm centre creates peaceful atmospheres, small room stuffed with and with too many annoying customers on the phone. Working in such an environment is exactly as frustrating as everyone can imagine.

However, for what it seems as that everyone is running from somewhere, or from something. Just-married couple wants to get away from the misunderstanding, the man from his wife. And there is also this boy, a promising tennis player. At least that’s what his father thinks. Thus running away from his father’s dream by faking an illness seems like a logical option. Two heroes from the short feature Edge are at the end of their powers. Running frantically, they struggle to hide, to survive. But where are they running, what’s their direction? Their secret is hidden, same as their purpose. What is left is the feeling of loss and desperation. And sometimes that´s enough to keep us falls through the edge. 

The only ones that are not running are the revolutionaries from the short documentary Stremt 89. It’s not like they don’t want to. It seems as if they are rather happy to be stuck at one place and in a certain time. After all they already fought for their cause. Locked in the remains of the Romanian history they share their stories and feelings. However, the fact they are still able to look at their past with irony 

It looks like that the Romanian cinema isn´t afraid to laugh at its own history. That´s a valuable lesson every east European filmmaker should learn. And the students are on a great way to become as good as their teachers. Maybe that’s exactly what´s expected from them. Or maybe that’s exactly what they expect from themselves.

Vladana Hrivnakova

Calm Center (Ispas Alexandru 2011), Donna Must Die! (Ismail Jamaludin, Dragos Dulea 2012), Edge (Anda Puscas 2011), Stremt ‘89 (Anda Puscas, Dragos Dulea 2012), Wedding Duet (Goran Mihailov 2011)

Vladana Hrivnakova is an aspiring hybrid of a writer/screenwriter and journalists. She is known for her passion for reading, living or creating stories that are constantly haunting her head. She has a knack for black humour, really enjoys talking about Buster Keaton films or about bizarre aspects of an Asian cinema. Her current greatest wish is to be the first east-European to write Doctor Who episode and she still wishes to work and write for Bioware.