California Dreamin' View large image
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Film Details

Directed by: Cristian Nemescu

Produced: 2007

Countries & Regions: Romania

DVD Details

Certificate: 15

Length: 150 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 8 September 2008

Cat No: ART385DVD

Extras:
Languages(s): Romanian, English
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Screen ratio 1:1.78
Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital 5.1

Moviemail Details

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California Dreamin'

Cast: Armand Assante , Maria Dinulescu , Jamie Elman , Ion Sapdaru , Alexandru Dragoi , Razman Vasilescu , Andi Vasluianu , Alexandru Margineanu , Sabina Branduse

DVD
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Award-winning satirical comedy set against the backdrop of the Kosovan war of 1999. A Nato train loaded with weapons is brought to a halt... Read More

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Award-winning satirical comedy set against the backdrop of the Kosovan war of 1999. A Nato train loaded with weapons is brought to a halt by Doiaru (Razvan Vasilescu), the local, corrupt chief of a Romanian train station, after it trundles through his sleepy hamlet. Having no official documents, and with only a verbal understanding from the Romanian authorities, the train soon becomes the target for locals intent on exploiting the situation. As the community welcomes the Americans, trying to profit from their presence, Doiaru, a part-time member of the local underworld, has decided he’s not going to look this particular gift-horse in the mouth.
There’s a certain melancholy behind the film’s subtitle Endless, a better translation of which might be ‘unfinished’. The young Romanian director Cristian Nemescu died in a car crash in 2006, while completing post-production on California Dreamin’. Released as a memorial to its maker, the film remains anything but morbid: part Ealing-like comedy, part socio-political epic, it bursts at the seams with messy, glorious life.

The year is 1999: a train carrying American soldiers to Kosovo

approaches the quiet village of Căpâlniţa, expecting easy passage. They picked the wrong day: the train grinds to a halt, and the troops find themselves caught up in labour disputes, the desires of the stationmaster’s daughter to escape, and celebrations to mark the village’s anniversary.

What results is wonderfully expansive, endlessly surprising cinema, finding room for Elvis impersonators, mock Eiffel Towers, and Armand Assante, terrific as the American captain. We’ve recently witnessed two outstanding Romanian films in 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days and 12:08, East of Bucharest; dare I suggest that, even unfinished, California Dreamin’ is more purely pleasurable than either?

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