Film Index PROFILE
CRISTIAN MUNGIU Born 27 April 1968
Background The graduate of the Bucharest Film School became the first Romanian director to win the Palme d’Or with 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Before becoming a full-time director, Mungai, the son of a doctor, worked as a teacher and a journalist. What’s he up to now? Mungiu has written and produced the portmanteau film Tales from the Golden Age, about the idiosyncratic behaviour of the Romanian people living under the Communist dictatorship of Ceaucescu. The film is made up of five short films (Mungiu has also directed one of the segments himself) which undermine the myth and propaganda put forward by Ceaucescu that Romania was living in a ‘golden age’ under his regime.
On producing a portmanteau project ‘I decided to have other people come in and direct bits of the film because it was conceived like this, it was episodic. At the beginning I only knew that Hanno Höffer would do one of the episodes, as he is a partner in my company. After winning at Cannes I decided that it would make sense to have less well known people do the project as I knew that I could help them become visible and I needed people who were 35–40 who have not made the first film but knew life under Ceaucescu. This was important.’ On Ceaucescu ‘During that period, we weren’t paying too much attention to Ceaucescu; we were trying to pretend he was not there, he was already in life too much. It’s fair to say that most of the clashes were with our parents. I was 21 when he collapsed.’
Interesting Fact Different countries are seeing different versions of the film. There are seven short films that have been made and the film is being released in two parts as Tales of Power and Tales of Love in Romania and France. In England we have five, while in Italy they’re seeing four. ■ Tales from the Golden Age is on selected release now.
50 THE LIST 5–19 Nov 2009
The Gift (Il Dono) (15) (Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy, 2003) Angelo Frammartino, Gabriella Maiolo, Valentino Audino. 80min. Set in a remote village in Calabria, Frammartino’s film focuses on two very different characters – a 16-year-old girl who is believed to be possessed by evil spirits, and an old man living alone in the mountains above the town. Following this screening, the Director will take part in a Q&A session. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
✽✽ The Girl from Monaco (La fille de Monaco) (15) (Anne Fontaine,
France, 2008) Fabrice Luchini, Louise Bourgoin, Roschdy Zem. 95min. Anne Coco Before Chanel Fontaine presents a comic thriller about a middle-aged defence lawyer’s entangled love affair with his body guard’s ex. Part of French Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Goodbye Solo (15) ●●●●● (Ramin Bahrani, US, 2008) Red West, Souleymane Sy Savane. 91min. Bahrani continues with his highly successful less-is-more approach to filmmaking, using authentic locations and non-professional actors to portray and comment on the lives of those on the margins of American society. His latest effort is an evocative and eventually transcendent depiction of a relationship between an elderly white Southerner (West) and a Senegalese taxi driver (Souleymane). Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Halloween II (15) ●●●●● (Rob Zombie, US, 2009) Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie, Scout Taylor-Compton. 105min. Rob Zombie makes his own sequel to his remake of the horror classic where he puts putrid flesh on the bones of that ultimate senseless killing machine Michael Myers. Although a potentially pointless exercise, Zombie’s singular stylistic flourishes are still well worth a look. Selected release. Harry Brown (18) ●●●●● (Daniel Barber, UK, 2009) Emily Mortimer, Michael Caine, Iain Glen. 103min. Urban revenge thriller with Caine as a former Royal Marine who takes things into his own hands. Selected release.
✽✽ Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (15) ●●●●● (Serge
Bromberg/Ruxandra Medrea, France, 2009) Romy Schneider, Serge Reggiani, Jacques Gamblin. 100min. See preview, page 44 and review, page 46. Glasgow Film Theatre. The Hourglass Sanitorium (15) ●●●●● (Wojciech Has, Poland, 1973) Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Kondrat, Irena Orska. 124min. Winner of the Special Jury Award at Cannes in 1973, Has’ seminal work sees young man Jozef (Nowicki) travel on a strange train to visit his ailing father in a sanatorium. Existing in a microcosm of warped time, the sanatorium enables Jozef to slide through portals of fantasy and the unconscious to confront people and experiences from his past. Part of Wojciech Has season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (U) ●●●●● (Carlos Saldanha/ Mike Thurmeier, US, 2009) Voices of Simon Pegg, Seann William Scott, John Leguizamo. 93min. Life is changing for Scrat, Manny, Ellie and co in many different ways in this the latest installment of popular animated series. Cineworld Fountainpark, Edinburgh. Identity of the Soul (PG) (Thomas Høegh, Various, 2009) Vanessa Redgrave. 60min. A five-screen event comprising Ibsen’s poem ‘Terje Vigen’, Mahmoud Darwish’s poem ‘A Soldier Dreams of White Lilies’, filmed images and a soundtrack of Scandinavian, Arabic and contemporary electro music. Five screens will be specially installed in the cinema to accomplish this. Cameo, Edinburgh. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (12A) ●●●●● (Terry Gilliam, US, 2009) Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Johnny Depp. 122min. After Ledger’s death, the film only saw the light of day once Depp, Law and Colin Farrell stepped in. The typically Gilliam- esque story focuses on immortal carnival owner Dr Parnassus (Plummer) as he enters a wager with the Devil and, given the trauma surrounding it, is a return to form for the director: an enthralling morality tale with his trademark visual panache. Selected release.
In the Night Garden: Hide & Seek (U) (Dirk Campbell/Alex Kirby, UK, 2009) 28min. An episode of the BBC TV programme in which The Pontipines and the Wottingers have a raucous game. Glasgow Film Theatre; Cameo, Edinburgh. In the Night Garden: Mind the Haahoos (U) (Dirk Campbell, UK, 2009) 28min. The inhabitants of the Night Garden all go for a ride on the Ninky Nonk in this cinema screening of the CBeebies bedtime favourite. Glasgow Film Theatre. In the Night Garden: Sneezing (U) (Dirk Campbell/Alex Kirby, UK, 2009) 28min. Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, The Tombliboos and Makka Pakka start sneezing in this soothing episode of the BBC TV programme. Glasgow Film Theatre; Cameo, Edinburgh. The Invention of Lying (12A) ●●●●● (Ricky Gervais/Matthew Robinson, US, 2009) Ricky Gervais, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner. 99min. Whimsical but likeable romantic comedy starring Gervais as a writer who discovers the power of lying in a world where it doesn’t exist. Selected release. Ip Man (15) ●●●●● (Wilson Yip, Hong Kong, 2008) Donnie Yen, Simon Yarn, Fan Siu-Wong. 110min. Biopic of Wing Chun, the kung fu and sifu master who taught Bruce Lee his killer moves. See profile, page 48 and review, page 58. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. James Ellroy & Screening of LA Confidential (18) ●●●●● (Curtis Hanson, US, 1997) Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger. 135min. Adapted from James Ellroy’s neo-noir novel, the best American film of 1997 evokes a glitzy post- World War II Los Angeles underpinned by an all-pervasive, festering corruption. An intricate plot links bent cops, good cops, Hollywood star lookalike prostitutes and the mob. This screening offers the rare chance to see Ellroy in discussion before the film and speaking about his book and the film it became. Glasgow Film Theatre. Jem Cohen’s Streetsongs: New York Notebooks (15) (Jem Cohen, US, Various) 72min. New York-based filmmaker Jem Cohen examines the casual abuses of power which have come to define the City in the last decade, particularly in post-Giuliani New York. Glasgow Film Theatre. Jennifer’s Body (15) ●●●●● (Karyn Kusama, US, 2009) Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons. 102min. A darkly original take on the teen-horror genre, featuring Transformers star Fox playing a slutty cheerleader who develops a taste for the blood of the high-school hottie. The script features über-smart, quick-fire teen jargon and the warped girl rivalry of Fox and co-star Seyfried provides an interesting focus. General release. Jim Poole Short Film Award (E) (Various, UK, 2009) 60min. And the winners are . . . Fabulous award ceremony to announce and screen the winning films from the tenth Scottish short film award named after the great Jim Poole. Cameo, Edinburgh.
✽✽ Jour De Fete (U) ●●●●● (Jacques Tati, France, 1948) Jacques Tati, Guy
Decomble. 80min. A rural French postie sees a film about the efficiency of the American mail service and decides to smarten up his act. This debut feature by Tati, effortlessly builds visual set-pieces and establishes the amiable duffer of a central role that was later to become the unforgettable M Hulot. Part of French Film Festival. Glasgow Film Theatre. Journey Into Fear (U) ●●●●● (Norman Foster & Orson Welles, US, 1943) Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio, Ruth Warrick. 71min. Cotten plays US Navy engineer Howard Graham in this strange, obsessive tale of espionage and threat. Set to return to the US after a business conference in Istanbul, Graham soon realises that someone is after him, and is shipped to secret police quarters where intelligence chief Haki (Welles) explains that his pursuers are Nazi agents. Part of O For Orson season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Just One Kiss (15) (Sami van Ingen, Finland, 2009) 45min. Sami van Ingen attempts to construct the meta-story of the fall of Ned Kelly using unrelated found footage images. The screening will be accompanied by a specially composed live
electronic soundtrack by Martin Parker and Owen Green. Part of Diversions film festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Karamazovs (12A) (Petr Zelenka, Poland/Czech Republic, 2008) Martin Mysicka, Michaela Badinkova, Igor Chmela. 110min. Zelenka uses a Prague theatre company, visiting Krakow with the intention of performing Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, to explore issues of faith, immortality and salvation. Part of Czech cinema season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Kurdi (18) (Doug Aubrey, UK/Kurdistan, 2008) 84min. Peri Ibrahim tells the story of the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s chemical gas attack on the town of Halabja, his experiences of burying his best friend, and his long walk west. Glasgow Film Theatre.
✽✽ Lads & Jockeys (PG) (Benjamin Marquet, France, 2008) 100min.
Equestrian documentary following thirty 14- year-old boys and girls who enter a boarding school in Chantilly specialising in the education of jockeys and stable lads and girls. Part of French Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
✽✽ Lady Jane (15) (Robert Guèdiguian, France, 2008) Ariane Ascaride, Jean- Pierre Darroussin, Gèrard Meylan. 104min. When fifty-something Muriel’s (Ascaride) son is taken hostage by an unseen kidnapper, she is forced to face her shady past – part of a criminal gang decades before, which the now vulnerable Muriel must now regroup as a member. Part of French Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Lars Laumann – Film Screenings (E) (Lars Laumann, Norway) 120min. Norwegian director Laumann combines documentation with found material to create complex and unsettling documentaries. Shut up Child, This Ain’t Bingo, which tells the story of the collaborative artistic relationship between Norwegian artist Kjersti Andvig and Carlton Turner, a Texan death row inmate, will be screened alongside Berlinmuren, which documents the unusual story of a Swedish woman who is sexually attracted to the Berlin Wall. Tramway, Glasgow. Light Cone Essentials (15) (France, Various) 81min. French experimental film distributor Light Cone presents a selection of works from its recent catalogue. This anthology of films from all over the world, featuring work by filmmakers such as Patrick Bokanowski and Christophe Girardet, offers an insight into the state of contemporary experimental film and video. Part of Diversions film festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Little Otik (Otesanek) (15) ●●●●● (Jan Svankmajer, Czech Republic, 2000) Veronika Zilkova, Jan Hartl, Jaroslava Kretschmerova. 131min. Utilising an old Czech folk tale, Svankmajer focuses on a barren couple who go to extreme lengths to become parents. Coming on like a cross between Eraserhead and The Beast In The Cellar, Svankmajer’s eye for a beautifully framed image is flawless for the first 20 minutes, but wears thin as soon as the overlong, repetitive story takes hold. Part of Czech cinema season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. London Dreams (12A) (Vipul Amrutlal Shah, India/UK, 2009) Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan, Asin. 90min. Two childhood friends make their way from their home in rural india, to the stage of Wembley. Selected release. Looking for Eric (15) ●●●●● (Ken Loach, UK, 2009) Steve Evets, Eric Cantona, Stephanie Bishop. 146min. Shot without frills, this sentimental, feel good comedy is much less conspicuously political than Loach’s previous films. It centres upon protagonist Eric Bishop (Evets), a middle- aged Mancunian postman, who is prone to panic attacks. Gazing up one night over a spliff at a bedroom poster of Cantona, Eric is amazed to see the Frenchman appear, and Cantona proceeds to act as a life coach to the mixed-up Eric. Odeon Braehead, Renfrew. Lost and Found (U) (Philip Hunt, UK, 2008) 40min. Based on the popular picture book by Oliver Jeffers, this tells a magic tale of penguin friendship. Part of Weans' World. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
✽✽ Magic! (Magique!) (PG) (Philippe Muyl, France/Canada, 2008) Marie
Gillain, Cali, Antoine Dulery. 100min. An