Cristian Nemescu – California Dreamin’ (Nesfarsit) (2007)

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Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com

Romanian director Cristian Nemescu’s comedy California Dreamin’ unfolds against the backdrop of the Kosovo War, circa 1999. A NATO train rolls through a Romanian hamlet, transporting a plethora of weapons across the country – without official documents, and equipped only with the verbal consent of the Romanian authorities. The transport thus grows intensely vulnerable to the locals – particularly the head of the railway station, who moonlights as a mobster. Continue reading

Radu Muntean – Marti, dupa craciun aka Tuesday, After Christmas (2010)

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“Tuesday, After Christmas” (Marti, dupa craciun, 2010) is the latest film from Romania to hit the film festival circuit and cause a stir. I saw it at this year’s Chicago International Film Festival.

A great many of the films coming from Romania have all been fiercely political. There was “12:08 East of Bucharest” (A Fost sau n-a fost, 2007), “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” (4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile, 2007), “How I Spent The End of the World” (Cum mi-am petrecut sfarsitul lumii, 2006) and the movie which started this recent “new wave” in Romanian cinema “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” (Moartea domnului Lazarescu, 2006). But “Tuesday, After Christmas” is much different. There is absolutely no mention of politics or even social injustice. Continue reading

Bogdan Mustata – O zi buna de plaja aka A Good Day For A Swim (2007)

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winner of the Golden Bear 2008 for International Short Film

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This harrowing short film — winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival — follows the trail of a trio of young sociopaths as they pick up a young woman they find at the side of the road and take her to the beach for a day of amoral pursuits. Not for the squeamish.

“The compelling story, sparingly told, of three juvenile delinquents who break out of prison. The beach beckons. Violence is nothing but a game. And the wedding is celebrated in handcuffs.“ (Maike Mia Höhne) Continue reading

Mircea Daneliuc – Legiunea straina aka The Foreign Legion (2008)

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Plot / Synopsis

For many years, three Romanian village boys, Stelica, Aurel and Mitu, have remained the closest of friends. In their youths, they planned to pursue careers as shepherds, but in time their individual paths diverged – leading Mitu into the military, Stelica into the local police force and Aurel into the employ of Maricel, a wealthy resident of the community. The men’s worlds change forever when a newcomer arrives in the hamlet – a young woman named Lilica, accompanied by Maricel. She’s toting two trucks full of Dutch chickens with her, which inadvertently spreads the bird flu to much of the local populace. The boys, however, soon realize how they can ingeniously turn this potential crisis into a solid profit-making venture for themselves. Continue reading

Catalin Mitulescu – Loverboy (2011)

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It’s summer on the Danube river. The music is loud, the cars are fancy, the girls are tanned. Beautiful and exuberant Veli runs away from home. Handsome Luca falls in love with her. This is no fairytale romance. Luca, a 20-year-old boy from a Romanian village, makes girls fall in love with him in order to lure them into prostitution networks in a town nearby. In the language of the police he is a loverboy. Continue reading