When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism (2013) 10th Romanian Film Festival in London 2013

November 27th, 2013
Author: Meredith Taylor

CAND SE LASA SEARA PESTE BUCARESTI SAU METABOLISM

Director/writer: Corneliu Porumboiu

Diana Avramut, Mihaela Sirbu, Alexandru Papadopol

89min   Romanian with English subtitles   Drama

Do directors always cast women they fancy in their films?.  Of course they do, and preferably those they can impress with their finely -tuned intellect. But they try not to get too involved until the end of the shot.

Here director Paul (Bogdan Dumitrache – Child’s Pose) is so taken and obsessed with his lead that delays proceedings film-wise (feigning illness – an ulcer) in order to clinch a romantic deal with Alina (Diana Avramut).  So, a simple love story gains banal intricacy as is dissected to within an inch of its life as every single subtle nuance of the script is analysed in minute detail between the two: dinner, differing World cuisines, language and finally her body come under the same scrutiny of approach so he can spends as much time with Alina as possible, during the lengthy filming project –  even forcing her (albeit fully-clothed) to act out shower scenes in excruciating detail, over-intellectualising every element of life in the country, through cinema.  This is meta cinema but the approach feels stifling, ponderous; constricting any freedom of movement and Paul’s haunched figure chain smokes through the entire feature – so clearly evolution has moved a long way.  And what has Alina learnt in drama school having neither heard of Antonioni or Monica Vitti. Evidently, these are sophisticated times in Bucharest.

Tudor Circea confines his camera to long-take static shots through small openings; doorways; car interiors or dinner tables always centring on the characters and their lengthy dialogues. Very similar in style to his previous feature, Police, Adjective this metaphysical style piece won’t appeal to all audiences but nevertheless masterfully explores the connection between truth in (male/female) relationships and reality in Romanian cinema.  Keats or even Karl Popper would have a field day but possibly they’d be happier in a field. MT

WHEN NIGHT FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM SCREENS DURING THE 10TH ROMANIAN FILM FESTIVAL IN LONDON AT THE CURZON SOHO. TICKETS HERE

 

 

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