Tales from the Golden Age DVD
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Directed by Cristian Mungiu, Constantin Popescu, Ioana Uricaru, Razvan Marculescu, Hanno Hofer
Produced in 2009
Main Language - Romanian with English subtitles
Ion Sapdaru, Emanuel Parvu, Teodor Corban, Alexandru Potocean, Tania Popa, Virginia Mirea
Michael Brooke enjoys this portmanteau film of communist-era 'urban myths' from the director of 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days.
Romanian director Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) offers up another time capsule of the Ceausescu years, though the tone here couldn’t be more different from that grim masterpiece – it’s not just the domestic presence of an illicit porker that recalls Alan Bennett’s A Private Function.
Scripted by Mungiu, but made in collaboration with four other directors, this features five short stories, each drawn from urban legend. A village goes to ridiculous lengths to become a model example for a fleeting official visit, photographs of Ceausescu are modified for ideological reasons, a poultry delivery man hooks up with a restaurateur who (to quote Woody Allen) needs the eggs, the pig needs to be slaughtered without attracting attention from jealous neighbours, and a young couple becomes a low-rent Romanian Bonnie and Clyde, swapping bottles and bags for bullets and banks.
The title is deeply sarcastic, but these funny and poignant vignettes celebrate people’s infinite capacity for survival in the face of officially-sanctioned absurdity.
Michael Brooke on 21st December 2009
Author of 135 reviews
An unconventional history of the late Communist period in Romania, told through its urban myths from the perspective of ordinary people. The film portrays life in Eastern Europe during the late Communist era of the 1980s through a sequence of five comic vignettes in which various surreal scenarios unfold as the citizens cheerfully flout the often absurd rules of the state, retaining a dark sense of humour and a tender humanity under the grim exterior. Scripted and partly directed by Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days).
Length: 138 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 widescreen
Cat No: TF006
Format: DVD Colour
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