A Very Unsettled Summer (2013) East End Film Festival London 2014

May 29th, 2014
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director: Anca Damian

Cast: Kim Bodnia, Jamie Sives, Diana Cavallioti, Ana Ularu

98min  UK/Romanian  Erotic Drama

Scottish journalist Daniel (Jamie Sives) lives in Bucharest with his homely girlfriend, Irina (Diana Cavallioti) but is still in contact with his ex-lover, Maria (Ana Ularu). When she offers to be a prostitute in a suggestive fictional role-play, Daniel is drawn back into their erotic love-making, cheating on Irina. But the affair becomes more complex when Maria starts to introduce additional fictional characters, which play on Daniel’s imagination, giving full reign and his emotional insecurity and jealousy. This is largely down to mutual friend Alex (Kim Bodnia), who secretly lusts after Maria, starts to focus his film script on the couple. Reality and fiction gently fuse, as boundaries blur and Daniel starts to lose control, heightening the seductive pull of Maria’s hold over him. Based on a short story by Philip O Ceallaigh, this is a clever, seductive drama that explores the suggestive power of the story-teller in controlling a narrative based on real-life by re-invention and manipulation.

What makes Anca Damian’s drama so authentic and engaging is the smouldering chemistry between the superb leads which is further heightened by the dramatic uncertainties between them, making their sex more passionate and giving in to the notion that sexual passion can be spiced up by drama. It is intensified by the stormy heat of the Romanian summer and judicious use of darkened internal scenes; even the outdoor scenes are often shot at night.  In comparison his live-in arrangement seems tepid and distinctly platonic, despite his deep affection for Irina. MT.


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