Romanian Cinema: From Modernity to Neo-Realism (Essay)
Film Criticism, 2010, Winter-Spring, 34, 2-3
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Cinema was definitely a popular art in Romania before 1989. Adaptations, usually of classical material, were a staple of that cinema, which only proves to what extent, on the one hand, the political regime in place was wary of contemporary subjects and, on the other hand, how the communist cultural establishment, with literature as its crowning art, relegated cinema to the margin--as literary "illustration" at best. Turning something "safe," namely classic Romanian novels, into something even safer, namely films based on such novels, was really the law before 1989--and so was history. Historical movies were an even safer bet when it came to manipulating audiences: everything was being controlled, so making cosmetic alterations to history to make it say what one liked was easy. The Communist regime that took over ruling Romania in 1948 needed cinema as a powerful tool of propaganda. Whether the general public was aware of that or not, people still enjoyed going to the cinema to watch historical action flicks directed by Sergiu Nicolaescu--the Romanian Cecil B. De Mille, who occasionally played in his own films--and silly comedies that, not surprisingly, were also very much ideological. Occasionally, bold attempts to put reality back into the movies such as Reconstituirea / The Reenactment, by Lucian Pintilie (1969), Proba de microfon / Microphone Test, by Mircea Daneliuc (1981), or Secvente / Sequences, by Alexandru Tatos (1982)--would hit the big screens, causing either epiphanies among discerning viewers of late revelations among censors; the former had lasting effects--and these films are still duly respected and revered; the latter prompted the censors to hastily take them off the screens ...
- 2,99 €
- Category: Performing Arts
- Published: 22 December 2010
- Publisher: Allegheny College
- Print Length: 32 Pages
- Language: English