Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema ope
Mihai Chirilov, Artistic Director of Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema, states, “Following last year’s focus on Anca Damian, who returns this year with her latest mystery puzzle Moon Hotel Kabul, the 13th edition of Making Waves gives space to the brand new wave of female directors in Romanian cinema, with a program that opens the festival at BAM.” He continues, “The line up includes two of the most controversial films of 2018 — Adina Pintilie’s bare exploration of intimacy Touch Me Not and Ivana Mladenovic’s gay drama Soldiers. A Story from Ferentari — the program also features three illuminating documentaries on Romania’s history: Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan’s mordant satire about the rise of nationalism, Free Dacians, Ana Dumitrescu’s touching portrayal of a centennial man who has seen it all, Licu, A Romanian Story, and The Distance Between Me and Me, Mona Nicoară and Dana Bunescu’s personal account of art and politics, fuelled by the convoluted destiny of dissident poet and icon Nina Cassian.”
“The work that the Romanian Film Initiative does to preserve and promote Romanian film internationally is unparalleled,” writes Gina M. Duncan, Associate Vice President for Cinema, BAM. “It’s an especially strong year for Romanian films and we are excited that this edition of the program features a focus on women filmmakers and including the U.S. premiere of Touch Me Not which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.”
The only Romanian director to receive an award at Sundance (for The Tube With a Hat, one of his numerous shorts), Radu Jude took a spectacular turn with his extremely popular third film Aferim! After two contemporary family dramas that employed the trademark stripped-down social realism of the Romanian New Wave (the darkly funny The Happiest Girl in the World and Everybody in Our Family), Jude went back in time to tell this Western-like tale of Gypsy slavery in the 19th century. His interest in the darkest pages of Romania’s history — and specifically the issue of anti-Semitism — grew with his subsequent works (the essay-doc The Dead Nation and his literary adaptation of Max Blecher’s Scarred Hearts), reaching an artistic zenith with his extravagant new work, “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, which kicks off this focus showcasing all Jude’s feature length films to date, presented at BAM.
In addition to “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” and the Golden Bear-winning Touch Me Not, the New Releases showcase at the Jacob Burns Film Center highlights the ever-growing diversity of New Romanian Cinema: from Constantin Popescu’s slow-burning thriller Pororoca, and its maddening quest for a missing child, to Andrei Crețulescu’s strange mix of black comedy and retro melodrama Charleston; from Daniel Sandu’s autobiographical coming of age story, the box-office hit One Step Behind the Seraphim (winner of several Gopo Awards, the Romanian Oscars), to Paul Negoescu’s light-hearted rom-com, The Story of a Summer Lover. Last but not least, there is a screening of veteran film-maker Alexandru Solomon’s fascinating and multi-layered documentary, Tarzan’s Testicles, which examines the troubled state of Abkhazia through the prism of a primate-breeding institute.
Corina Șuteu, Festival President, states, “Making Waves is a film festival more necessary than ever, as it presents in an independent spirit the most recent auteur films. More and more subdued by standard advertising and by a taste for easy entertainment, contemporary audiences are in need of art – as a channel for contrasted emotions and feelings. This is what the Romanian Film Festival in New York brings to the American public – quality, crafty, challenging art!”
This year’s festival also focuses on the intersection between film and literature. Following the screening of “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, Romanian and Romanian-American writers Andrei Codrescu, Andrei Crăciun and Carmen Firan will be in conversation with Corina Șuteu to discuss how fiction interprets historical events, and the manipulations and revelations that can occur as a result.
Guests of this year’s festival include directors Adina Pintilie (Touch Me Not), Alexandru Solomon (Tarzan’s Testicles), Ivana Mladenovic (Soldiers. A Story from Ferentari), Mona Nicoară (The Distance Between Me and Me), Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan (Free Dacians), Paul Negoescu (The Story of a Summer Lover), and director of photography Ana Drăghici (The Story of a Summer Lover). Special guest of the festival is Ada Solomon, producer of no less than ten films in this year’s lineup, including all the films of director in focus Radu Jude, with whom she has developed a strong creative collaboration.
As well as introducing these filmmakers’ voices to U.S audiences, Making Waves aims to help them connect to, and network within, the American film industry. For the second year running, an industry event will also accompany the festival screenings and gala events.
Making Waves was founded by the Romanian Film Initiative and is co-presented in partnership with BAM and the Jacob Burns Film Center. Co-founded in 2012 by Corina Șuteu, Mihai Chirilovand Oana Radu, the independent Romanian Film Initiative aims to preserve and enhance the festival’s critical and creative spirit.
Lead support for the 13th edition of Making Waves is provided by The Trust for Mutual Understanding, the Romanian National Film Center and the Filmmakers Union of Romania, along with numerous individual donors.
Monday, November 26, 7:00 pm, BAM
Touch Me Not (125m). NR, DCP
Free Dacians (61m). NR, DCP
Licu, A Romanian Story (86m). NR, DCP
Moon Hotel Kabul (90m). NR, DCP
The Distance Between Me and Me (89m) [Preview Screening]
Soldiers. A Story from Ferentari (119m). NR, DCP
“I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians” (138m). NR, DCP
“I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians” (138m). NR, DCP
Touch Me Not (125m). NR, DCP
The Dead Nation (83m). NR, DCP
The Happiest Girl in the World (99m). NR, DCP
Scarred Hearts (141m). NR, DCP
Tarzan’s Testicles (105m)
Everybody in Our Family (107m). NR, DCP
Aferim! (106m). NR, DCP
One Step Behind the Seraphim (147m). NR, DCP
Charleston (119m). NR, DCPWednesday, December 5, 7:00 pm, JBFC
The Story of a Summer Lover (100m). NR, DCPWomen Directors (BAM)
Touch Me Not
Mon, Nov 26, 7:00 pm
Director Adina Pintilie in attendance“Tell me how you loved me, so I understand how to love.” This mantra reveals its meaning during this bold cinematic exploration of human intimacy. Highly tactile and unlike anything you’ve seen,Touch Me Not follows the emotional journey of the debut director Adina Pintilie and her three brave protagonists, walking the thin line between fiction and documentary. Craving intimacy yet deeply afraid of it, they work to overcome taboos so they can finally be free. Provocative, yet touched by an unexpected candor, this immersive tour de force won the top award at this year’s Berlinale. With plenty of nudity and sex, this film is unrated but is for adults only.
Tue, Nov 27, 7:00 pm
2018. 61m. Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan & Andrei Gorgan. NR. Romania. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Director Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan in attendanceLike the Romans in Italy and the Vikings in Scandinavia, the Dacian people who occupied much of ancient Eastern Europe continue to loom large in the imaginations of present-day Romanians. This humorous and engaging documentary sheds light on the enduring fascination with – and divergent opinions on – Dacian mythology through profiles of historians, researchers and role-players who express their passion for the culture through reenactment.
Tue, Nov 27, 9:00 pm
2017. 86m. Ana Dumitrescu. NR. Romania. In Romanian with English subtitles.
U.S. PremiereAt 92 years old, Licu has seen and experienced entire worlds come and go, lived through war, peace, revolution, communism and post-communism. Alone with his memories, he reflects on his life, the passage of time and the last century of Romanian history as he has witnessed it. Strikingly shot in evocative black and white, this intimate documentary is both a poignant portrait of a life and a meditation on the ways in which the past suffuses the present.
Wed, Nov 28, 7:00 pm
2018. 90m. Anca Damian. NR. Romania/France. In Romanian and English with English subtitles.
U.S. PremiereOne of Romania’s most restlessly innovative directors, Anca Damian (the focus of last year’s Making Waves spotlight) returns with this multilayered, puzzlebox inquiry into the elusive nature of truth. While on an assignment in Kabul, a cynical journalist’s world is turned upside down by the suicide of a woman with whom he had a one-night stand – plunging him into a dangerous investigation into the mystery of her life and death.
Wed, November 28, 9:00 pm, BAM
2018. 89m. Mona Nicoară. NR. Romania. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Poet, musician, intellectual and committed communist Nina Cassian wrestled for decades with the central contradiction of her life: How to reconcile her artistic ideals with the strict censorship imposed by Romania’s Communist Party – a tension that put her at odds with the totalitarian Ceaușescu regime and eventually led to her exile. Interweaving archival footage with first-hand interviews, this thought-provoking documentary illuminates the complex relationships between art, politics and personal truths.
Thu, Nov 29, 7:00 pm
2017. 119m. Ivana Mladenovic. NR. Romania/Serbia/Belgium. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Director Ivana Mladenovic in attendanceAn unexpected romance blossoms between two men amid a ramshackle Bucharest neighborhood in this tender, offbeat love story. When Adi, an anthropologist researching regional pop music, meets Alberto, a burly Roma ex-con, the two lonely souls enter into a relationship that tests the societal and moral taboos of their community. Documentarian Ivana Mladenovic brings a wonderfully loose-limbed, vérité naturalism to her auspicious narrative debut.Director in Focus: Radu Jude (BAM)
Fri, Nov 30, 7:00 pm
Introduced by producer Ada Solomon & followed by a conversation with writers Andrei Codrescu, Andrei Crăciun and Carmen Firan
A young activist artist is planning to stage a meticulous reenactment of a historical event from1941, when the Romanian Army carried out a notorious act of ethnic cleansing on the Eastern Front. In its bold exploration of one of the darkest pages of Romania’s history, and specifically the sensitive issue of anti-Semitism, this new fictional work from Radu Jude ingeniously touches on Hannah Arendt’s writings on the banality of evil and invites unexpected contemporary parallels. The result is a meta-drama about art versus reality and history repeating itself as farcethat hits the viewer with a strong emotional punch. This was Romania’s submission for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
Sat, Dec 1, 2:00 pm
2017. 83m. Radu Jude. NR. Romania. In Romanian with English subtitles.Composed entirely of archival still photographs, this shattering docu-essay charts the rising tide of fascism and anti-Semitism in 1930s and 40s Romania. Contrasting the images – of everyday Romanians posing and smiling innocuously for the camera – with radio broadcasts and diary entries that document the offscreen horrors of Jewish persecution and genocide, Jude crafts a quietly radical, haunting reflection on national guilt and remembrance.
Sat, Dec 1, 4:30 pm
2009. 99m. Radu Jude. NR. Romania/Netherlands. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Sat, Dec 1, 7:00 pm
2016. 141m. Radu Jude. NR. Romania/Germany. In Romanian with English subtitles. A Big World Pictures Release.
Producer Ada Solomon and director/actress Ivana Mladenovic in attendance
Sun, Dec 2, 4:15 pm
2012. 107m. Radu Jude. NR. Romania/Netherlands. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Sun, Dec 2, 6:30 pm
2015. 106m. Radu Jude. NR. Romania/Bulgaria/Czech Republic. In Romanian with English subtitles. A Big World Pictures Release.
Producer Ada Solomon in attendance
New Releases (Jacob Burns Film Center)
Thu, Nov 29, 7:00 pm
Producer Ada Solomon in attendance
Fri, Nov 30, 7:30 pm
Sat, Dec 1, 7:15 pm
2017. 105 m. Alexandru Solomon. NR. Romania/France. In Russian with subtitles.
Director Alexandru Solomon in attendance
Sun, Dec 2, 5:00 pm
2017. 152 m. Constantin Popescu. NR. Romania/France. In Romanian with English subtitles.
New York PremiereIt is every loving parent’s worst nightmare: the devastating disappearance of a beloved child, and then their desperate struggle to stay sane while trying to save their marriage. The long scene in which the little girl goes missing in a park full of people is a movie in itself, masterfully staged by Constantin Popescu (Tales from the Golden Age), and challenges us to pinpoint the exact moment when everything goes wrong. It makes for intense viewing that is only more visceral thanks to Bogdan Dumitrache’s raw performance playing the father consumed with guilt and obsession.
Mon, Dec 3, 7:00 pm
2017. 147m. Daniel Sandu. NR. Romania. In Romanian with English subtitles.
New York Premiere
Producer Ada Solomon in attendanceA 15-year-old who wants to become a priest is admitted to a Romanian Orthodox seminary, only to realize that the system is totally rotten. Trying to fit in but eventually caught in a power struggle between a two-faced priest (the ever excellent Vlad Ivanov, also seen in Dogs and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) and a crooked secular teacher, the student-turned-rebel learns that lying, cheating and betraying are the tools he has to acquire in order to survive the abusive institution. Inspired by first-time director Daniel Sandu’s experience in a similar seminary, this is a captivating coming-of-age movie of epic proportions with an ambivalent religious twist.
Join us for light refreshments at our Member Mingle, Dec. 3, 5:30-7:30 in the Jane Peck Gallery.
Tue, Dec 4, 7:30 pm
2017. 119 m. Andrei Crețulescu. NR. Romania/France. In Romanian with English subtitles.
New York PremiereA few weeks after his wife is fatally struck by a car, a grumpy chain-smoking man in his forties celebrates his birthday drunk and alone when he receives a surprise visit. His guest is his wife’s former lover, a shy younger man having trouble coping with his own grief. Starting with a couple of punches and ending with a bittersweet handshake, Andrei Cretulescu’s wry and entertaining pas-de-deux about vulnerable masculinity and finding closure moves swiftly, and is enriched with cinephilia, black humor, vivid Technicolor-style imagery and resonant musical choices.
Wed, Dec 5, 7:00 pm
2018. 100 m. Paul Negoescu. NR. Romania/Bulgaria. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Director Paul Negoescu and Director of Photography Ana Drăghici in attendanceThe eponymous summer lover is a forty-something math professor who seemingly has it all: a satisfying career, close friends and an open relationship with his girlfriend. Despite his freedom, he decides to break up with her – and discovers that she is pregnant and actually wants to dump him. This is the beginning of Paul Negoescu’s charming urban romantic comedy, a light-hearted investigation of a male psyche in crisis with a satisfying nod to Woody Allen’s classic neurotic love stories, in which the city of Bucharest shines throughout.
BAM: Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
JBFC: Jacob Burns Film Center, 364 Manville Rd., Pleasantville, NY 10570
BAM: General admission: $15, Members: $7.50, Students & Seniors: $11. Visitwww.bam.org/film for more information.
Jacob Burns Film Center: General admission: $14, Members: $9. For the opening night screening, followed by a reception, tickets are $10 (members), $15 (nonmembers). Visitburnsfilmcenter.org for more information.The Romanian Film Initiative (RFI) was formed in 2012 to safeguard the existence and the spirit of the Romanian film festival in New York, rebranded as Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema, and co-presented with the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Created by Corina Șuteu, Mihai Chirilov and Oana Radu, the core team that initiated and organized the festival since 2006, RFI is a flagship of Film ETC. Association in Bucharest. Along with the continuation and expansion of Making Waves, RFI aims to develop and contribute to other projects interested in promoting Romanian cinema in the U.S., and the professionalization of the cultural sector, both in Romania and internationally. www.filmetc.orgBAM Film. Since 1998 BAM Rose Cinemas has been Brooklyn’s home for alternative, documentary, art-house and independent films. Combining new releases with a year-round repertory program, the four-screen venue hosts new and rarely seen contemporary films, classics, work by local artists and festivals of films from around the world, often with special appearances by directors, actors and other guests. Since 2009, the program has also produced BAMcinemaFest, New York’s home for American independent film, and has championed the work of filmmakers like Janicza Bravo, Andrew Dosunmu, Lena Dunham and Alex Ross Perry.www.bam.org/film