Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 6, 2020

The Romanian New Wave

Filed under: Counterpunch,Film — louisproyect @ 3:25 pm

The 2006 film that signaled the birth of the Romanian New Wave


Although I was only one of the few film critics who did not find Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” worthy of an Academy Award for best film of 2020, I was happy to see a foreign-language film get such an award for the first time. As a fan of two of his earlier films (The Host, Mother), I do count him as one of South Korea’s top directors. As should be obvious from my surveys of South Korean film for CounterPunch, I consider the country to be on the leading edge of filmmaking today, alongside Iran, China and Romania. Ironically, these four nations that have long histories of repression are far more richly endowed cinematically. Perhaps, it is not such an irony in light of our greatest composers having served as court musicians under clerics and monarchs.

Until now, there has only been a single review of a Romanian film on CounterPunch, and it was not mine. It was by the redoubtable Kim Nicolini, who in 2008 described “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days” as “the movie that I’ve been waiting to see for months, and it did not disappoint.”

Here’s the good news. “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days”, which describes the desperate search by a young woman to find someone in 1980s Romania to perform an illegal abortion, is part of a traveling film festival titled “Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema.” Scheduling information is here. The festival includes thirty films, including a number originating before what film scholars have dubbed the Romanian New Wave or New Romanian Cinema.

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1 Comment »

  1. I’m glad to see you keeping your thumbs down on ‘Parasite.’ It’s a cold and mechanical affair. The portrait of the nouveau rich is facile and full of cliches. If these people were so goddamn dumb and clueless how did they manage to get on top of us? Boon Joon-ho did not get better with age. I’ve just seen his ‘Memories of Murder’ of 2003. It’s an unpretentious noir set in the 1980s. The paranoia of the public and the cruelty of the police reflect, without any clumsy underlining, what life was like under the army regime. The excellent Kang-ho Song, reduced to being the father of ‘Parasite’s freeloading clan, plays a pig of a detective hard to forget.

    Comment by Peter Byrne — March 6, 2020 @ 4:39 pm

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