The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
THE CINEMA OF LUCIAN PINTILIE
(A Complete Retrospective)
"A provocative, unruly filmmaker deserving of a wider audience in America" -Chicago Reader
The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York and the Facets Cinémathèque are proud to present the first Chicago retrospective on the cinema of†Lucian Pintilie, a Romanian-born director whose career in theater, opera, film and television provided international recognition. One of Europe's finest filmmakers, his work has explored questions of tyranny and remorseoften relating directly or allegorically to the history of his own country. His work also evokes the remembrance of the tolerant and cosmopolitan nature of his hometown, a German village within Southern Bessarabia which he describes as a halcyon polyglot and multicultural community, a key detail which has informed his body of work. He fled Romania in the 70s, and returned to his home country following the end of communism, and then made extraordinary films about life and its absurdities, beginning with The Oak (1992) and continuing with such acclaimed films as Afternoon of a Torturer (2001) and Niki and Flo (2003), "a mordant almost-comedy that represents a bridgeand also a battlebetween the old Romania and the new." (A. O. Scott, The New York Times) As Pintilie has observed about his own work, "What is the survival strategy of a community in a state of perpetual catastrophe?... And when does making funthe assumed irresponsibility, the dark humor that we, Romanians, are so proud ofstop being an impenetrable shield? This is the number one matter in all my movies." He has been both a prolific auteur and a supporter of a new generation of filmmakers. This complete retrospective of 10 films concludes with the artist's most recent work, the short film Tertium non datur (2005).
All the prints come from the Romanian National Film Center in Bucharest.
This program had its U.S. Premiere on March 1-12, 2012 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film), presented in association with the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, and in collaboration with the Romanian Film Festival in New York and the Romanian National Film Center. With the support of Transilvania International Film Festival and Mihai Chirilov.
"Reenactment (1970) stands among the exemplary works of its region and time. Subtle, difficult and brave, it represents a powerful statement of artistic honesty in a culture of official lies and evasions" -New York Times
Recommended! -Chicago Reader
Critics' Pick! -TimeOut Chicago
After two friends drunkenly injure a waiter, the police force them to recreate their crime for an "educational" filmwith disastrous results. Immediately banned in communist Romania, Reenactment is one of the key films of the Romanian cinema (voted best Romanian film of all time by 40 Romanian film critics) and stands among the exemplary works of its region and time.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, Romania, 1969, 35mm, 106 mins. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Facets Film Dialogue
Thomas Pavel, Distinguished Service Professor in Romance Languages and Literature, Comparative Literature, the Committee on Social Thought, Fundamentals, and Creative Writing at the University of Chicago will be here to introduce the 7 pm screening of Reenactment on Friday, May 4th.
Fri., May 4 at 7 pm
Fri., May 11 at 7 pm
Sun., May 13 at 5:30 pm
NIKI AND FLO (NIKI ARDELEAN, COLONEL ÎN REZERVĂ)
Critics' Pick! "Fascinating... its observant naturalism infused with a delicate, almost coy sense of the absurd" -New York Times
A very black comedy (and virtually unknown in the U.S.), Niki and Flo is about ill-suited neighbors united by marriage. Angela and her husband have decided to leave Romania for a better life in the United States. Niki, Angela's father, who is also a former colonel in the Romanian army, is torn between his wish to see his daughter happy and his desire to have her close by; meanwhile Flo, the father of Niki's son-in-law and a domestic tyrant of sorts, slowly exerts his control over Niki. Courtesy of Filmex Romania.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, Romania, 2003, 35mm, 95 mins. In Romanian with English subtitles. Followed by 17-minute video interview with Pintilie.
Fri., May 4 at at 9:15 pm
Wed., May 9 at 7 pm
Fri., May 11 at 9 pm
Sun., May 13 at 1 pm
THE OAK (BALANŢA)
New 35mm print!
Best Actress European Film Awards Romanian Union of Filmmakers Geneva Film Fest
"This relentlessly bleak farce is a movie of imaginative hysteria that rattles with sustained fury" -Village Voice
"The world it evokes is completely alien to contemporary American experience. Though sometimes baffling, it is never boring." -New York Times
"Pintilie builds elaborate arabesques of rage and mordant comedy" -Chicago Reader
In 1988, Nela, a young schoolteacher, tries to carry out the will of her late father, an officer of the Securitate (Ceausescuís secret police) who wants his body to be used for medical research. She decides to leave Bucharest to teach in a small provincial town, where she meets Mitica, a doctor at the hospital who is obsessed with saving the life of a Christlike patient whom the authorities wish to let die. They both share an odd sense of humor and see themselves as kindred spirits, but their relationship produces less than welcome results. The Oak is a vivid look at Romania before Ceausescuís downfall.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, Romania/France, 1992, 35mm, 105 mins. In Romanian with English subtitles.
"A stylistically graceful period piece" -Chicago Reader
In 1925 Romania, young Marie-Therese Von Debretsy refuses the flirtatious advances of her husband's commanding officer. As a result, the cosmopolitan family is reassigned to a brutally bleak and dangerous outpost on the Bulgarian/Romanian frontier where both their relationship and humanity are severely tested. With Kristin Scott-Thomas.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, France/Romania, 1994, 35mm, 82 mins. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Sat., May 5 at 5 & 9 pm
Sat., May 12 at 3 pm
SUNDAY AT 6 (DUMUNICĂ LA ORA)
"The naturalism of the lead actors as well as the extras gives this a timeless quality" -Chicago Reader
Critics' Pick! -TimeOut Chicago
Set in the 1940, Sunday at 6 has an intentionally mysterious, nonlinear narrative which traces the arc of a romance between two Communist revolutionaries who find their mutual affection at cross-purposes with the interests of "the Party"a juxtaposition of individual and national identities that Pintilie would revisit throughout his career, and which has proved a dominant subject of interest for Romania's New Wave directors. (The Village Voice) Sunday at 6 has a contemporary style which so upset the censors that he could not make his second film,†Reenactment, until four years later.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, Romania, 1965, 35mm, 83 mins. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Dumitru Costa, a young trainee prosecutor is entrusted with the investigation about the suspicious death of a Jiu Valley coal miner in today Romania. Accident or murder? Costa is being helped during this investigation by Alina, an attractive topographer engineer and it is love at first sight between them. Two other miners are killed, and the relentless investigation led by Costa soon begins to trouble the local authorities. The mine management is trying to control the discontent among the miners who live under the threat of the mining development being shut down. As the officials strive to hush the matter up, Costa and Alina begin to receive threats over the phone.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, France/Romania, 1996, 35mm, 104 mins. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Sun., May 6 at 3 & 7 pm
CARNIVAL SCENES (DE CE TRAG CLOPOTELE, MITICĂ?)
Based on a theatrical text by Romanian writer Ion Luca Caragiale (1852-1912), who was a bitter and funny witness of the turn-of-the-20th-century Romanian bourgeois mores, Carnival Scenes manages to preserve and further enhance the slightly hysteric atmosphere of his plays. Pintilie creates a strange combination of carnival scenes which is brought to the screen as a burlesque, fast-paced, screwball comedy with a meditative undertone. This film was banned in Romania for a decade until the death of Ceausescu in 1989 and was only released after the 1989 revolution.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, Romania, 1979, 35mm, 132 mins. In Romanian
with English subtitles.
Mon., May 7 at 7 pm
Thurs., May 10 at 7 pm
Sun., May 13 at 7:30 pm
WARD 6 (PAVILJON VI)
In Tsarist Russia, a doctor in a provincial hospital encounters a former student in the mental ward and he harbors a fascination with his rebellious patient. The doctor believes that he is intellectually superior to everyone except for this political prisoner. Listening to his patient, the doctor develops a new view of reality, much to the displeasure of his colleagues. Ward 6 is a metaphor on life under repressive governments, conformity versus individual expression.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, Yugoslavia, 1973. Digibeta, 92 mins. In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles.
Tues., May 8 at 7 pm
Wed., May 9 at 9:15 pm
NEXT STOP, PARADISE (TERMINUS PARADIS)
New 35mm print!
The level of disinterest in personal affairs has become so cynical in Bucharest, that people cheer even an inept army and police manhunt. Meanwhile, Mitu and Elena get to know each other in the course of a vodka drinking contest and discover that they are both dissatisfied with the status quo. Mitu is about to begin military service and Elena is to be married to a man she does not love. They decide they are meant for each other and plan on a different future, one that is on a collision course with the authorities, and start a mad affair.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, Romania, 1998, 35mm, 108 mins. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Tues., May 8 at 9 pm
Sat., May 12 at 5 pm
THE AFTERNOON OF A TORTURER (DUPĂ-AMIAZA UNUI TORŢIONAR)
Frant Tandara, former torturer in Romanian communist prisons, is ready to confess his crimes to a journalist and a former victim. The two meet him at the train station in Giurgiu, where Tandara, a man with a shy demeanor, welcomes them by offering them flowers. But the confession presents problems right from the start: the tape recorder does not work, Tandara talks too fast or too slow. Frant tries to begin the tale by talking about the least significant parts of his life: his father in the military, his education, his wandering at the end of the war. The journalist tries to get him with direct questions about his career as a butcher but only gets evasive answers. Tandara's wife intervenes to ask them to stop torturing her husband, and the afternoon does not go as expected. This is a film about people's failure to let memory do its job.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, Romania, 2001, 35mm, 76 mins. In Romanian with English subtitles. Followed by a video interview with Pintilie.
TERTIUM NON DATUR
It is the end of the Romanian war against the Soviet Union (but not the end of the WWII), as Germany and Romania are allies, but in a few weeks they will be enemies. Two German officers stop for a lunch with a group of Romanian officers and as the story develops, a pair of rare postage stamps are acquired in very different occasions, which underlines the differences between the group of officers. This deceptively simply short film has many complex ramifications about history, honor, about how material value translates in life and survival. Director Pintilie works beautifully with his actors, especially Victor Rebengiuc (a preferred actor of Pintilie) and his use of visual space in a small room is both inspired and effective.
Directed by Lucian Pintilie, Romania/France, 2005, 35mm, 39 mins. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Sat. May 12 at 7 & 9:15 pm
Sun., May 13 at 3:15 pm