LONDON: Contemporary Romanian films @ Tate Britain

Friday 2 January 2009, 6.00 - 9.30 pm, on a loop

One could only fear entering a festival competition featuring a Romanian short film lately. Four years after the winning double bill in Berlin and Cannes (with Coffee and Cigarettes and Traffic), history has been repeating itself in 2008, with A Good Day for a Swim and Megatron winning golden awards in both major festivals.

 It's refreshing to witness a brand new generation of directors approaching issues that have nothing to do with the big History. Although the New Romanian Cinema has developed a positive obsession for the country's past, the present requires its own chroniclers. And that's where the short films enter.

This 6-title pack not only captures the spirit of our times, but also portrait a country in transition. Ranging from drama to comedy and faux thriller, the shorts are realistic slices of life, unfolding almost in real time and smartly hiding sweet, bitter or bitter-sweet social comments.
Mihai Chirilov, director of TIFF (Transylvania International Film Festival)


  •  The Boxing Lesson (2007) by Alexandru Mavrodineanu
    A businessman from Bucharest takes his 12 years old son to boxing classes. But Vlad refuses to take the first training. To teach him a lesson, the father enters the boxing ring himself.

  •  Megatron (2008) by Marian Crisan
    Maxim lives with his mother in a village near Bucharest. It's Maxim birthday; he's turning 8. His mother takes him to Bucharest, to McDonald's. Maxim will do anything to meet his father who lives in the city.

  •  A Good Day For a Swim (2007) by Bogdan Mustata
    It's early in the morning and a 36 years old prostitute is waiting at a crossroad for the next client. A van stops and she's pulled inside. The vehicle descends on a deserted beach and three wild boys start playing adult power games.

  •  Life's hard (2008) by Gabriel Sarbu
    In one of Bucharest's endless traffic jams, a bag snatcher strikes up a strange relationship with his female victim.

  •  Waves (2007) by Adrian Sitaru
    A beautiful Western woman asks a Gypsy to watch her four-year-old child while she is taught to swim by a flirtatious married man. Then she disappears into the sea.

  •  The Yellow Smiley Face (2008) by Constantin Popescu
    A moving comedy about two parents who do not know anything about computers, but try to use Yahoo Messenger for chatting with their son in America.

Contemporary Romanian films is part of Late at Tate Britain's Renewal programme, including visuals, sound and performance by Savage Messiah, a stunning live set from electro-pop deconstructionists Petit Mal, an original sound work from Peckham's dynamic artist-curator duo Pat and Trevor and a live networked performance with renegade independent publishers Publish and Be Damned.

The project is developed by the Romanian Cultural Institute in London and it was successfully shown at the Cambridge and Brighton Film Festivals as well as at FACT Liverpool earlier this year.

When: Friday 2 January 2009, 6.00 - 9.30 pm;
Where: Manton Studio, Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
Admission: free.

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