California Dreamin' DVD
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Directed by Cristian Nemescu
Produced in 2007
Main Language - English / Romanian with English subtitles
Alexandru Dragoi, Armand Assante, Ion Sapdaru, Jamie Elman, Maria Dinulescu, Razman Vasilescu
Mike McCahill thinks the unfinished California Dreamin' could be the best Romania's film industry talent has offered yet.
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?
Mike McCahill on 26th August 2008
Author of 264 reviews
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.
Tragically, Nemescu was killed in a car crash before he could complete post-production on the film, which was awarded the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
Publisher: Artificial Eye
Length: 150 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 8th September 2008
Cat No: ART385DVD