TIFF 2014: Romanian Film Shorts II: Start Anew World/O Lume Noua; A Walk; To die of wounded love
article by Florian-Rareş Tileagă
translated from Romanian by Claudia Moscovici
That state of euphoria, when you see that Romanians can do what foreigners can and that, at last, we enter the ranks of the much-praised West, is in fact the state of being you experience multiple times when you watch Romanian film shorts. And, still, from too much national humility, we forget that maybe we can do things much better than foreigners, that we beat them a long time ago (in specific instances, not as a whole), and that we have good reasons to feel proud of ourselves. The films below, even if they’re not big-budget and even if they’re not the epitome of the art of cinema are, nonetheless, important films. I’d call them “checkpoints” because they mark important, indisputable landmarks of quality in Romanian cinema. It’s as if once they made these movies, there’s no turning back. What follows is a continual upgrade. As I wrote in an earlier article about Romanian film shorts, I’m very curious to see how, when and where we’ll hear about these titles. Unfortunately, we’ve become used to seeing them presented by film festivals. We need them. It’s as if we wanted to consume more, but we can only do it with film stamps, like back in the day. Rationed films, as it were…
Start Anew World/O Lume Nouă (Directed by Luiza Pârvu, România – Hungary – SUA, 2014). The year 1908, the epoch of the first emigration of Romanians across the ocean. A Transylvanian arrives in Pennsylvania in the house of a friend, her husband’s cousin. Their forbidden love prevents them from speaking to each other naturally. Luiza Parvu’s film fits into precisely this “space” of stunted and inexpressible things that, from the start, creates a climactic tension. What is not said is therefore more powerful than what is formally articulated. The two actors construct such a dense and credible story that this film short seems to be taken from an excellent feature film. Maybe some will not appreciate the affected tone of the story, similar to a soap-opera. However, for what it wants to express, Luiza Parvu’s film short is real cinema. And it’s a great example of good use of film equipment, which exploits colorfully the details of movement, scenography and gestures, somewhat in the style of Caranfil.
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Claudia Moscovici, Literature Salon