Sunday, May 31, 2009

My TIFF - Day 2

music: Conor Oberst - White Shoes

Tokyo Sonata. I honestly thought I was going to see a j-horror. I didn't bother to watch the trailer simply because it was the only Japanese movie playing at TIFF this year, so it really didn't matter what it was about. All I knew was that it was directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who also directed Kairo (I have yet to see this one. I only saw the American remake, Pulse) and Sakebi (saw it and didn't like it). So, going to see Tokyo Sonata and discovering that it was actually a bittersweet comedy was a nice surprise. Communication is at the center of this movie and basically, it shows how unsaid things affect each member of an ordinary Japanese family.

Choke. This is the typical good American movie. There are a bunch of American movies about which you simply cannot say they're bad: the story is very good, also the actors' performance, but there's still sth missing -- that sth that could have made the movie extraordinary. I haven't read Chuck Palahniuk's book yet, but I have the feeling that I'll like it more than the movie.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My TIFF - Day 1


TIFF started early for me. At 10 a.m. to be more exact, when I went to see Il primo giorno d'inverno by Mirko Locatelli. I'll admit this movie is slow and there's not much going on, but I liked it anyway -- I didn't feel that I wasted my time.

The other movie I saw was Zift* by Javor Gardev. I honestly didn't think I would like it. I only got a ticket for it because 'a neo-noir Bulgarian movie with its action placed during communism' sounded like the kind of movie one must see. Well, maybe if it were an American movie, I wouldn't have liked so much. I guess it reminded me of Sin City because it was black and white, but Zift is definitely much better than Sin City. (Now I want to read the book upon which Zift is based, but where could I find a book written by a Bulgarian author?)

(no subtitles, sorry :(

This year TIFF has opened with Amintiri din Epoca de Aur (Tales of the Golden Age), which has already been presented at Cannes. I'll see it next Friday, though, when there will be two 90-minute screenings (the movie is long -- it's a collective). Hm, now I'm sorry I didn't get a ticket for the official opening (I could have seen Tudor Chirila too, haha).

*I know translators receive only the script of the movie, but if you don't bother to illegally download the movie in order to better understand what you have to translate, at least pay attention to the effin context! If you have a prisoner who says his release date is today, how can you possibly translate "release" with "lansare" (=launching)? Where will he be launched? In space? Seriously!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


music: Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Decade

[This year's TIFF (Transilvania International Film Festival) edition will have its start tomorrow and I'm obviously superexcited about it.]

Yesterday, at TIFF Cinematheque I saw Mircea Saucan's Suta de lei (or 100 lei). Growing up, I was under the impression that Romanian cinema consists of films based on the books we had to read for school and Sergiu Nicolaescu's movies based on historic events. But now with all these pre-89 art films I've been watching, it's like I'm discovering a whole new side of Romania. I'm in awe with the quality of these films mainly because I never thought they could make such films in Romania let alone that they actually made such films before 1989.

I loved Suta de lei -- a B&W movie from the 70s. You can tell Mircea Saucan was a poet because this film is indeed very poetic. And Dan Nutu was amazing! I was so sad when I googled him and found out he left the country a long time ago. It's like this country does sth to talented ppl, it's sth that consumes them bit by bit and eventually forces them to leave. I dunno...


I would love it if there were a Cinematheque in Cluj, where I could watch films like this one and of course films by Godard and all the other Nouvelle Vague auteurs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


music: Bright Eyes - The Vanishing Act

I once saw a movie or a tv series, I really don't remember, in which two characters were talking about their... 'social invisibility', let's say. And one of them said sth like 'this is as if sliding doors didn't open for you'. Well guess what? Today it's happened. Today I wanted to enter a building and those damned sliding doors would not open. Nevertheless, I can't really say I'm invisible because sm did notice me and came to the door.

Besides it being embarrassing, this was so effin bizarre!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In the land of Alzheimer

music: Conor Oberst & MVB - Synesthete Song

I've finally had the chance to see Matei Visniec's play, Mansarda la Paris cu vedere spre moarte, directed by Radu Afrim, and wow! It's a bittersweet comedy about Emil Cioran's loss of memory, but also about the ideas from his oeuvre (mainly suicide), his supposed sympathy for fascism, his relationship with Romania etc. I loved it! Ppl were laughing, the actors were amazing and Radu Afrim should direct movies too (I've been wanting to see a play directed by Afrim for a really long time and I'm so glad I wasn't disappointed).

Mansarda la Paris cu vedere spre moarte

Radu Afrim

Mansarde a Paris avec vue sur la morte, as it was seen in Luxembourg (it's quite different from what I've seen in Cluj):


One of the reasons why I'll always prefer cinema to theater: the view. You simply cannot see everything that's going on on the stage. Even if you're in the first row (in which case you have to move your head from right to left and so on -- as if you were at a tennis match; it's ridiculous). But then again cinema will never be able to replace theater (I could smell the orange they peeled on stage :)