Romanian film review – Holiday treats
Christmas is around the corner and if you need an alternative to the usual sentimental fare on TV or on-demand channels, here are a few tips.
Many cinemas close between Christmas and the beginning of January, but in Bucharest, for example, Elvire Popescu stays open and will have none of the lazy, cozy Christmas stuff. The venue is screening Marie Kreutzer’s Corsage, a sharp, spiky take on what it means to turn forty as the now-legendary Austrian empress Elisabeth (popularly known as Sissi), and one of the year’s finest releases. What unexpected, brilliant programming: Their Christmas film is a classic, but not one of the expected ones, although just as moving. Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante (1934) is so much more than a love story in its dazzling, playful mix of reality and dream. The 23rd of December is dedicated entirely to Vigo, who died tragically at the age of 29, and whose other two great films are part of the double (or rather triple) bill: À propos de Nice and Zéro de conduite.
The classics that do come to mind for any holiday are still screening today at cinema Eforie. Part of a series of Charles Chaplin films, you can catch one of his best, and probably most famous, The Great Dictator. Another golden oldie, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, is also screening today. A staple of the holiday season, there is a reason for its ubiquity: it is unabashedly sentimental and life-affirming, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you must be one of the very few.
Cinema Arta in Cluj, also reliable in their offerings, has launched its online platform until 1 January. It has a a mix for all, and is thankfully unbothered by the popular need to show easy content: from children’s pics and recent favourites (Céline Sciamma’s ravishing Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Joachim Trier’s wise The Worst Person in the World) to more ambitious fare, because why not watch experimental, demanding, political cinema that can be also hilarious (Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book). They also show the absolute monster of a decadent end-of-the year movie, Paolo Sorrentino’s homage to Rome and opulence, The Great Beauty. A GRAND present indeed.
A joyful, harmonious Christmas, everyone!
By Ioana Moldovan, columnist, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Photo: Cinema Elvire Popesco Facebook Page)