Sunday, December 6, 2015

Three from Making Waves New Romanian Cinema: MICROPHONE TEST, BUCHAREST NONSTOP and THE UNSAVED

Mircea Daneliuc's satire has a TV soundman's life spinning side ways as one of the story he covers crash into his personal life. An intriguing film to watch since it's juxtapositioning of actual news footage with the dramatic story made me wonder if the authorities in Romania knew what the director was doing. I say that because the sequences now play not only as a historical capsule but also end up revealing the ridiculousness and artificiality of Romanian life. A very good film I really need more time with in order to properly digest.

The title of the film doesn't refer to travel but instead refers to a 24 shop near some block of apartments. Over the course of the film we watch as various people come and go in and around the store and see how their lives intersect even if they don't. We have a girl who is running away, an old couple arguing, and a few others. Good multi-part film could have been truly great had either some of the stories been their own self contained tales or if we had been given a little bit more to each story. For some reason jumping from each story to the next kind of weakens the whatever we leave since in some cases we leave just as something gets interesting. I like the film a great deal but I wanted to love it.

(Full disclosure concerning BUCHAREST NONSTOP- It took me three days and multiple tries to watch the film. The screener I was given didn't work and it wasn't until I used the Festival Scope service that I was able to finish the film, which by that time had become more a chore than something I was doing out of love.)

The 2014 Oscar entry from Moldova, THE UNSAVED is about a teen living in a town where there is no real hope for a future. He earns money in questionable ways and puts his little effort into building a light aircraft  made from a hang glider. Eventually he decides that he has to do something. Good, if low key and dry film is not the sort of thing that I normally gravitate to but at festivals such as Making Waves I'm more than happy to to give it a go.  If you are a fan of ow key films or of Romanian cinem it's definitely worth a look when it plays later today at Lincoln Center. (Tickets can be had here.)

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