Saturday, December 31, 2011


The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin, 1925)

Charlot, all alone on New Year's Eve... {watch the entire scene on YouTube}

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Îngheţată asortată #4

Sleeping Beauty (Julia Leigh, 2011)

La belle endormie/ The Sleeping Beauty (Catherine Breillat, 2010)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Taxi Driver, remade

Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976), un remake de Michel Gondry, stil Be Kind Rewind (Gondry, 2008):

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

La piel que habito: Director's Notes

La piel que habito/ The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar, 2011)

Skin is the frontier that separates us from others: It determines the race to which we belong, it reflects our emotions and our roots, whether biological or geographic. Many times it reflects the state of the soul, but the skin isn't the soul. Although Vera has changed her skin, she hasn’t lost her identity. [...]

A story of these characteristics made me think of Luis Buñuel, Alfred Hitchcock, all of Fritz Lang’s films (from the gothic to the noir). I also thought of the pop aesthetic of Hammer horror, or the most psychedelic, kitsch style of the Italian giallo (Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Umberto Lenzi, Lucio Fulci…), and the lyricism of Georges Franju in Eyes Without a Face. After evaluating all these references, I realized that none of them fit with what I needed for The Skin I Live In. For some months I thought seriously about making a silent film, in black and white, with captions that showed descriptions and dialogue, paying tribute to Fritz Lang and F. W. Murnau. After doubting for months, I decided to go my own way and let myself be guided by my intuition — after all, it’s what I’ve always done — without the shadow of the maestros of the genre, and renouncing my own cinematic memory. I only knew that I had to impose an austere narrative, free of visual rhetoric and not at all gory, although a lot of blood has been spilled in the ellipses that we don’t see. I’ve been accompanied on this journey by José Luis Alcaine, the director of photography, to whom I didn’t explain what I wanted but rather what I didn’t want; he knew how to give the photography the density, the glow, and the darkness that suited it best. The composer Alberto Iglesias, the only artist I know without an ego; tireless, versatile, patient, capable of looking in one direction and then looking in the opposite direction if I wasn’t satisfied, always subject to the dictates of the story and my way of feeling it. And actors who were generous and precise, despite the obvious discomfort of some of their scenes. I’ll name them all: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet, Roberto Álamo, Blanca Suárez, Eduard Fernández, Susi Sánchez, Bárbara Lennie, and José Luis Gómez.
- Pedro Almodóvar, "Some Notes About The Skin I Live In", 
in TASCHEN's Magazine (Winter 2011/2012) [pdf]

Elena Anaya practices the "warrior" position, with a little help from Almodóvar
(Taschen's Magazine, Winter 2011/2012)

Monday, December 12, 2011

La voix humaine (x2)

- după un text de Jean Cocteau -

Anna Magnani in "La voce umana", in L'Amore (Roberto Rossellini, 1948)

Ingrid Bergman in The Human Voice (Ted Kotcheff, 1966)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cântece cu film #4

Cântecul: Balada de la trompeta, Raphael

Filmul: Balada triste de trompeta/ The Last Circus (Álex de la Iglesia, 2010)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Let's dance! #2

Enid (Thora Birch) dances to Jaan Pehechaan Ho in Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)

+ clipul original, fără întreruperi:

Mohammed Rafi - Jaan Pehechaan Ho, extras din filmul indian Gumnaam (Raja Nawathe, 1965)

Împotriva intenţiei regizorului

Înlănţuirea *wink* secvenţelor în ordine cronologică:

Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

(via Vulture)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Îngheţată asortată #3

The Ides of March (George Clooney, 2011)

The Candidate (Michael Ritchie, 1972)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Director's Intro

Přežít svůj život (teorie a praxe)/ Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)
(Jan Švankmajer, 2010)

Ladies and gentlemen, we couldn't raise enough cash. This was supposed to be a regular feature film, but since we didn't have the money, we had to use a much simpler technique - paper-cut-out animation, like in the old kids TV programs. So we were able to shoot the whole thing in the studio and keep the transport costs to a minimum. We also saved money on actor's fees, as we mainly used just photographs of them, and on catering - because photographs don't eat. So this is not a formal experiment, just a poor imperfect substitute for a live-action film. A kind of fusion movie. I've called it a psychoanalytical comedy. Psychoanalytical because one of the characters is a psychoanalyst. As for the comedy, I'm pretty sure you won't find much to laugh at. Neither did we when we were shooting. One morning I was woken up by a dream and I said to myself it looked like the opening scene of a film. So I wrote the other scenes. I've always wanted to make a film in which dream blends with reality, and vice versa. As Georg Christoph Lichtenberg tells us: only the fusion of dream and reality can make up the complete human life. Sadly, our civilization has no time for dreams, there's no money. The reason I've included this introduction is not to gratify my narcissism. It is because when we finished cutting the film, we discovered that it was too short. That's what animated films do. They shorten time. They are quite simply faster than live-action movies. Two and a half minutes. Not a lot.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Lost Girl

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin, 2011)

You know them. Those friendly smiling faces who approach you in the street handing you fliers or little magazines. You are aware they're harmless members of a religious organization. However, their recruiting methods bear disturbing similarities with those of a cult. A lonely sad-looking girl seems to be a magnet for these people. And so I always accept their fliers with no comment because, frankly, I do not have the patience to deal with them. For some eluding reason, I once read one of those fliers and I shuddered at the realization that my many affirmative answers to their questions make me the perfect cult victim. At that moment I thanked my lucky star for being too stubborn in my own convictions and too self-centered.

Martha is a lonely lost girl who falls victim to a cult. Sean Durkin never passes that judgement, though. Martha herself never thinks of herself as a victim.

Her story unfolds in two time zones: the now, with her sister and her husband in this big empty house, and the past, with the cult, on the farm, in a crowded house where everything is shared. "You need to share yourself. Don't be selfish.", Martha is told. Nana also shared herself, and her end was a tragic one. Martha's end, on the other hand, we're left wondering about that.

Vivre sa vie (Godard, 1962)

The choice for the double time zone is not some film school quirk. This becomes part of the narrative, an important element in the process of revealing her internal turmoil and confusion. Confusion about her life with the cult, about her leaving, about the past and the present ("Lucy... is this from the past or is this now?" she asks her sister). Conversations and the smallest of things from one time zone have their equivalent in the other time zone. Even the kale juice with ginseng that Lucy bought for her finds its equivalent in the herbal drink sprinkled with drugs offered to the novices who start their "cleansing".

The cleansing, "from the past and the toxins", essentially means getting drugged and raped by the cult leader, Patrick. Patrick, what an appropriately evangelical name. This is an essential, yet not final, act of stripping her of her identity, a process that started with Patrick re-christening her Marcy May the very first time they met. Marcy May, and Marlene when she answers the one phone on the farm.

The next day after she's raped, it is clear the "cleansing" has worked. Martha is no more as Patrick, surrounded by his admirers, bewitches Marcy with a song dedicated to her. "She's just a picture, lives on my wall" goes the "Marcy Song". She is just a picture for him to hang on the wall, next to the other pictures he collected, next to the pictures that are to be collected.

She's just a picture.

She's just a shadow, when she herself helps with the "cleansing" of a novice. This is the final act of her being stripped of her identity. She is no longer just a victim. She's an accomplice. She's one of them. That shadow on the wall is her former self.

She's just a reflection. Her doubling is juxtaposed to her growing paranoia that they're coming after her. Despite previous moments of doubt, it is clear now that she doesn't want to go back, and at this moment her cult self becomes a mere reflection.

Watching Martha Marcy May Marlene is like that creaking under your step you hope no one has heard. It literally takes my breath away as the anxiety just builds up and builds up. Long minutes after the film is over, I can still feel that sense of threat lingering in the air.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Let's dance! #1

Nana (Anna Karina) dances to [unidentified song] in Vivre sa vie (Godard, 1962)

În legătură cu originea cântecului pe care dansează Nana, singurul lucru mai relevant pe care l-am găsit e acest paragraf din Senses of Cinema:
DANCING: Yet another café, an upstairs room. Nana’s freestyle dance (based on “The Swim”) around the billiard table, for the benefit of a shy young man, is the closest thing to “joie de vivre” in Vivre sa vie, a release from the tensions between Nana and her pimp. Legrand’s score abandons its brooding themes for a parody of dance-band banality: “Swim, swim, swim … swim je t’aime … swim tu m’aimes …”.

+ An Audacious Experiment: The Soundtrack of Vivre sa vie, by Jean Collet (originally published in La revue du son in December 1962)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Woody Allen: A Documentary (Robert B. Weide, 2011)


Woody Allen has typed out every movie he's ever made on a typewriter he's owned since the fifties, but what does the noted technophobe do when he has to change the typewriter ribbon? According to Robert Weide, who helmed a documentary on Allen airing next week, he asked the Midnight in Paris director just that and received an unexpected answer: "He says, 'I’ll throw a dinner party. And I’ll be sure to invite someone who I know knows how to change it ... So right around dessert I’ll kinda sidle up to them and say, Hey, when you were here before, didn’t you change my typewriter ribbon? And they’ll say, Yeah, and I’ll say Hey, do you wanna come up and take a look again?' And then he cons them into changing the ribbon." (Vulture)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dial H for...

Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)


And the spookiest character in Psycho: Bernard Herrmann's haunting score.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fantezii regizorale

Winter Passing (Adam Rapp, 2005)

Mă întreb cum ar fi arătat Winter Passing dacă ar fi fost regizat de Radu Afrim.

Tocmai ce venit-am de la Tg.-Mureş, unde am văzut Hoţul de oase, în regia lui Afrim, după o piesă de Adam Rapp. La un teatru independent se joacă piesa. Teatru 74. Tare, tare simpatic. Sparrow on the Roof ar fi titlul original, dar... succes în a găsi informaţii relevante despre piesa asta pe vreun site american.

Hoţul de oase e abia a treia piesă de Afrim pe care o văd, şi totuşi îmi permit să concluzionez că prima mea impresie nu a fost greşită: Afrim ar trebui să facă şi film. Am convingerea că ne-ar da nişte filme lynchiene, sau cel puţin bizare - ceea ce deocamdată lipseşte din "noua" cinematografie românească.

Revenind la Winter Passing: din păcate, filmul nu reuşeşte să iasă în evidenţă cu nimic. It's your run-of-the-mill indie movie. Iar Zooey Deschanel, deşi e plăcut să o văd in her pre-adorkable days (sorry, "adorkable" is here to stay, and I am not afraid to use it), încearcă puţin prea tare să pară dark şi misterioasă. Aşa că da, sunt tare curioasă ce ar fi făcut Afrim cu scenariul ăsta.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making an enemy of our own future

Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 1986)

Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day. And for once I'm inclined to believe that Withnail is right. We are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell. Making an enemy of our own future. What we need is harmony, fresh air, stuff like that.

un amar "Congratulations."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2 + 2 = 5

Two & Two (Babak Anvari, 2010) (short)

Doi plus doi egal cinci, sau lecţia despre dictatură.

(Two & Two (8 min.) se poate vedea gratis pe MUBI.)

On a lighter note: scurtul ăsta mi-a amintit de principiul "2+2=5", al lui Douglas Coupland:
Principiul "2+2=5": a ceda în faţa unei strategii de marketing care te vizează direct, după ce ai rezistat cu stoicism vreme îndelungată: "OK, bine, o să cumpăr porcăria aia de Cola. Acum lasă-mă în pace."
- Douglas Coupland, Generaţia X: Poveşti pentru cultura cu acceleraţie
(trad. Cristian Ionescu, Humanitas, 2008)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Obiceiuri hikikomori

"Shaking Tokyo" (Bong Joon-ho) in Tokyo! (2008)

În cinstea acestor noi cereale mi-am impus să mă aşez cum se cuvine la masa din bucătărie, cu tacâm şi şerveţel de hârtie. Cei care trăiesc singuri capătă pe nesimţite obiceiul de a mânca vertical: de ce să te deranjezi cu fineţuri când n-ai cu cine să stai la masă sau care să te critice? Dar lejeritatea într-o zonă poate conduce la dereglări în toate.
- Margaret Atwood, Asasinul Orb (trad. Lidia Grădinaru, Leda, 2008)

In honour of this new cereal I forced myself to sit down properly at the kitchen table, with place setting and paper napkin complete. Those who live alone slide into the habit of vertical eating: why bother with the niceties when there‘s no one to share or censure? But laxity in one area may lead to derangement in all.
- Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tu n'as rien vu à Hiroshima



       Tu n'as rien vu à Hiroshima. Rien.


       J'ai tout vu. Tout.


Hiroshima mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cântece cu film #3

Cântecul: You And Me, Penny And The Quarters

Filmul: Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, 2010)

+ The Playlist: Mystery Singer Of Penny & The Quarters Song 'You & Me' Featured In 'Blue Valentine' Found

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Îngheţată asortată #2

Mr. Nobody (Jaco Van Dormael, 2009)

Man, I just had the weirdest dream back on the bus there. Do you ever have those dreams that are just completely real? I mean, they're so vivid, it's just like completely real. It's like there's always something bizarre going on in those. I have one about every two years or something. I always remember 'em really good. It's like there's always someone getting run over or something really weird. Uh, one time I had lunch with Tolstoy. Another time I was a roadie for Frank Zappa. Anyway. So this dream I just had, it was just like that... except instead of anything bizarre going on... I mean, there was nothing going on at all. Man. It was like The Omega Man. There was just nobody around. I was just traveling around... you know, staring out the windows of buses and trains and cars, you know. When I was at home, I was, like, flipping through the TV stations endlessly, reading. I mean, how many dreams do you have where you read in a dream? Wait. Man, there was this book I just read on the bus. You know, it was my dream, so I guess I wrote it or something. But, uh, man, it was bizarre. It was like, uh... the premise for this whole book... was that every thought you have creates its own reality, you know? It's like every choice or decision you make... the thing you choose not to do... fractions off and becomes its own reality, you know... and just goes on from there forever. I mean, it's like... uh, you know, in the Wizard of Oz... when Dorothy meets the Scarecrow and they do that little dance at that crossroads... and they think about going all those directions... then they end up going in that one direction. I mean, all those other directions, just because they thought about it... became separate realities. They just went on from there and lived the rest of their life. I mean, entirely different movies, but we'll never see it... because, you know, we're kind of trapped in this one reality restriction type of thing. Another example would be like back there at the bus station. As I got off the bus, the thought crossed my mind... you know, just for a second, about not taking a cab at all. But, you know, like maybe walking, or bummin' a ride or something like that. I'm kind of broke right now. I should've done that probably. But, uh, just 'cause that thought crossed my mind... there now exists at this very second... a whole 'nother reality where I'm at the bus station... and you're probably giving someone else a ride, you know? I mean, and that reality thinks of itself as this - it thinks of itself as the only reality, you know. I mean, at this very second, I'm in that - I'm back at the bus station just hangin' out, you know... probably thumbin' through a paper. You know, probably goin' up to a pay phone. Say this beautiful woman just comes up to me, just starts talking to me, you know? Uh, she ends up offering me a ride, you know. We're hitting it off. Go play a little pinball. And we go back to her apartment, I mean, she has this great apartment. I move in with her, you know. Say I have a dream some night... that I'm with some strange woman I've never met... or I'm living at some place I've never seen before. See, that's just a momentary glimpse into this other reality... that was all created back there at the bus station. You know, shoot. And then, you know... I could have a dream from that reality into this one... that, like, this is my dream from that reality. Of course, that's kind of like that dream I just had on the bus, you know. The whole cycle type of thing. Man, shit. I should've stayed at the bus station.
Slacker (Richard Linklater, 1991)

(Okay, cele două filme nu au mai nimic în comun, dar ascultând acel prim monolog din Slacker, conexiunile mele strigau Mr. Nobody - permiteţi-mi astfel această asociere uşor forţată.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Educate yourself: Outfest 2011

Până pe 17 iulie, pe MUBI se pot vedea trei scurte cu tematică LGBT din selecţia festivalului Outfest. (Dacă vă aflaţi pe alte meleaguri, aveţi acces chiar la mai multe filme. Lucky you!)

+ Lust Life (Lynda Tarryck, 2011)
+ Same Difference (Catherine Opie & Lisa Udelson, 2011)
+ Change (Jeff McCutcheon & Melissa Osborne, 2011)

Cele trei nu sunt printre cele mai grozave filme LGBT out there, dar merită văzute şi pentru simplul fapt că asemenea filme ajung mai rar la noi.

(Serile Filmului Gay se bucură de o asemenea promovare încât timp de doi ani am trăit cu impresia că la Cluj nu se mai ţine acest mini-festival. Abia acum, dând un search pe Google, am aflat că au schimbat locaţia, ceea ar explica într-o anumită măsură dezinformarea mea, dar nu şi faptul că nu am văzut mini-festivalul promovat pe site-urile de evenimente din Cluj.)

 As Kurt might say: Educate yourself!

Glee (season 2, episode 18: "Born This Way")

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Edipo Re (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1967)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Îngheţată asortată #1

Womb (Benedek Fliegauf, 2010)

Birth (Jonathan Glazer, 2004)

Monday, June 13, 2011

My TIFF #6

TIFF, ziua 9 / ziua 6 şi ultima pentru mine:

Dacă bobul nu moare (Sinisa Dragin, 2010)

La Cérémonie (Claude Chabrol, 1995)

Jacqueline Bisset & Tudor Girgiu (Cinema Florin Piersic)

My TIFF #5

TIFF, ziua 8 / ziua 5 pentru mine:

Adem/Oxygen (Hans Van Nuffel, 2010)

V Subbotu/Innocent Saturday (Aleksandr Mindadze, 2011)

(Trailerul german e mai reuşit. Apoi, tocmai am descoperit că întregul film e pe YouTube, aşa că dacă ştiţi rusă puteţi vedea V Subbotu aici.)


Din APERITIFF, ediţia specială:
I first attended TIFF in 2004, with two short films, Liviu's Dream and A Trip to the City, when I won the Best Romanian Film Award. I get quite nostalgic when I think of those times. The festival was small, with a somewhat closed circuit, you'd get to meet everyone, including people you couldn't see in Bucharest for years. They were all there. Those pioneering days, when we were all starting out and you couldn't feel the pressure that even I am experiencing nowadays, are still very dear to me.
- Corneliu Porumboiu, My TIFF

(de data asta, nu am furat sintagma "My TIFF" de la el ;))

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My TIFF #4

A patra zi la TIFF:

Smukke Mennesker/Nothing's All Bad (Mikkel Munch-Fals, 2010)

Kóngavegur/King's Road (Valdís Óskarsdóttir, 2010)

You Don't Know Jack (Barry Levinson, 2010)

My TIFF #3

A treia zi la TIFF, preponderent magyar:

Csicska/The Beast (short) (Attila Till, 2011)

A Zöld Sárkány Gyermekei/Children of the Green Dragon (Bence Miklauzic, 2010)

The Imperialists Are Still Alive! (Zeina Durra, 2010)
(the trailer doesn't do it justice)

A Torinói Ló/The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr, 2011)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My TIFF #2

TIFF ziua 5 şi doar a doua mea zi la festival:

The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project (Srinivas Sunderrajan, 2010)

All Flowers In Time (short) (Jonathan Caouette, 2010)

Principii de viaţă (Constantin Popescu, 2010)

Friday, June 3, 2011

My TIFF #1

Bănuiesc că TIFF-ul nu mai are nevoie de introducere, aşa că trec direct la filme.

Prima mea zi la TIFF a arătat aşa:

Womb (Benedek Fliegauf, 2010)

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin/Nader And Simin, A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)

Primele impresii despre aceste filme le-am schiţat pe Twitter, şi deocamdată mă rezum la atât. Un festival nu mi se pare cel mai grozav context de recenzie. Cel puţin nu pentru mine. După festival mai îmi completez lista de vizionări (de Fliegauf am văzut doar Tejút/Milky Way, care e mult prea experimental faţă de Womb, deci nu e cel mai bun termen de comparaţie, iar de Farhadi n-am mai văzut nimic). Apoi, probabil că o să-mi permit şi eu să-mi dau cu părerea pe-aici (pentru că blogul acesta e locul în care îmi voi permite, din când în când, să fac exerciţii de scris; mda, titlul poate sugera că mă pricep deja la filme, dar adevărul e că sunt în perioada de formare cinefilă, acesta fiind caietul meu de notiţe - Cahiers d'une cinéphile era titlul iniţial, dar am ajuns la concluzia că suna mult mai pretenţios decât Cinefil, adjectiv :).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cântece cu film #1

Cântecul: Linda Linda, The Blue Hearts

Filmul: Linda Linda Linda (Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2005)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

În loc de editorial

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988)