Romania. A country most Americans probably couldn't point out on a map but have heard of plenty of times was at the center of attention in Cannes last winter, where critics wanted to proclaim that a different kind of revolution arose in Romanian society. One of cultural importance and not political anarchy. The founding fathers of this 'movement' modestly see it otherwise, feeling that the films they are creating are far from being comparable to what happened in French cinema back in the late 50s and 60s.
Nonetheless, the term 'new wave' has many different faces and the interesting push happening in Romanian cinema has no exception. Their case is very unique and vey fresh having grown out of the struggles of living in a confusing state run by Nicolae Ceauşescu and his Partidul Comunist Român. Those hard times, experienced first hand by the directors being highlighted mind you, has given them the most original and raw material to show the rest of the world...a life primarily dictated by paranoia and secrets. Two films that really stand out to me are Cristian Mungiu's 'Four Months, Three Weeks & Two Days' and Radu Muntean's 'The Paper Will Be Blue'. Both of which feature similar qualities that gave critics even more of an impression that Romanian cinema is currently in a unique state. Although I haven't seen either film, I would love to note some of the qualities I've picked up on after researching the new Romanian lineup.
ROMANIAN 'New Wave' and its unique character:
◦ Harsh yet natural feelings between characters
◦ Despite its real world drama can also be very entertaining and funny
◦ Point of view or Handheld camera style
◦ Most films take place in a single night or day
+ What I find to be the most important detail within Romanian film is that it can be harsh but very funny all at once. This quality is hard to pull off, yet they seem to do so naturally. I feel this is possible due to the fact that each film has some sort of historical 'first hand' factor. The stories that are being told in these movies are not based off of events that happened 50 or 60 years ago but only a couple of decades from the current and are still seen by historians as contemporary events.
The directors close relationship to the movies has contributed not only to the similarities in production value but also to the raw and harsh realness each one brings to the audience, putting you in the forefront of a Communist run Romanian society.
The Paper Will Be Blue
Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days
*note the amount of care that was put into the design of the films' posters & identity.