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Romanian cinema tradition

"Over the past few years, current Romanian cinema has established an extraordinary reputation... Yet this movement did not emerge from a vacuum; since the Sixties, there has been a continuous output of formally innovative and politically daring works, made under remarkably difficult conditions and often running afoul of government censorship," wrote Richard Pena, Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and programmer of the April 2008 film retrospective presented by the Lincoln Center in cooperation with RCINY. Please find below details on all the films included in this retrospective.

Directed by Liviu Ciulei
Original title: Erupția
Romania, 1957,108 min

Ciulei’s impressive debut feature—produced in connection withthe 100th anniversary of the Romanian oil industry—unfolds in a nearly deserted oil town where a few remaining prospectors linger, hoping against hope for the titular rush of black gold.

The Oak
Directed by Lucian Pintilie
Original title: Balanța
Romania/France,1992, 105 min

In 1988, having just lost her father, Nela decides to leave Bucharest to go and teach in a small provincial town. There she meets Mitică, a doctor at the hospital who, like her, no longer believes in either God or man, and who shares her salutary humour. But the couple stirs up bad feelings.

Carnival Scenes
Directed by Lucian Pintilie
Original title: De ce trag clopotele, Mitică?
Romania, 1979, 119 minutes

Directed by one of the most celebrated Romanian filmmakers, Lucian Pintilie, and based on the works of the acclaimed Romanian writer Ion Luca Caragiale, Carnival Scenes was banned by Communist authorities in 1981 and was released only after the revolution of 1989.

Next Stop Paradise
Directed by Lucian Pintilie
Romania, 1998,108 min
Original title: Terminus Paradis

During a hot summer just outside Bucharest, a young waitress and an agricultural worker meet and start a mad affair.

Too Late
Directed by Lucian Pintilie
Original title: Prea târziu
France/Romania, 1996,104 min

Miners in the Jiu Valley are dying mysteriously, but are these accidents or murders? It’s the first case for a young public prosecutor, who soon falls in love with the survey engineer working as his assistant.

The Afternoon of a Torturer
Directed by Lucian Pintilie
Original title: După-amiaza unui torționar
Romania, 2001, 76 min

A young journalist travels to the countryside for an interview with a former torturer, but the afternoon does not go as expected.

Tertium Non Datur
Directed by Lucian Pintilie
Romania/France, 2005, 39 min

In the final days of World War II, a Romanian military unit in the Ukraine comes across some “allies”: high-ranking Wehrmacht officers.

Danube Waves
Directed by Liviu Ciulei
Original title:Valurile Dunării
Romania, 1959,110 min

Ciulei’s second feature recalls the best of Fritz Lang and Michael Curtiz in its WWII-era espionage tale, set on a barge transporting Nazi munitions up the Danube.

Un Unforgettable Summer
Directed by Lucian Pintilie
Original title: O vară de neuitat
France/Romania, 1994,82 min

The goings on in an idyllic Romanian border town in the 1920s lead to a nasty situation for a young army captain and his beautiful bride.

Directed by Mircea Veroiu
Original title: Adela
Romania, 1985, 100 min.

After a brief cultural thaw in the late 1970s, censorship in Romania again became strict in the ‘80s; as discussion of contemporary topics became almost impossible, filmmakers, as so often happens, retreated to period films.

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