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Întrebări fulger, trailere, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate în weekend-uri de echipa noastră video

  • Calin & Flavia Back Stories

  • Back stories: Ionut Mares

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  • Back Stories: Anamaria Antoci and Alex Trăilă

  • Back Stories: Aida Economu

  • Back Stories: Tudor Giurgiu

  • Back Stories: Ștefan Iancu

  • Back Stories: Diana Cavallioti

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  • 3 movie recommendations: American Independent Film Festival

  • 3 movie recommendations: Ada Solomon

  • 3 movie recommendations: Bogdan Theodor Olteanu

  • 3 recomandări de filme: Tudor Mircea

  • FiF x Gopo: Interview with 5 Gopo Winners

  • 3 movie recommendations: Behind the scenes

  • 3 movie recommendations: Eugen Kelemen

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  • 3 movie recommendations: Dorian Boguță

  • 3 movie recommendations: Aida Economu

  • 3 movie recommendations: Paul Negoescu

  • 3 movie recommendations: Olimpia Melinte

     

  • 3 movie recommendations: Anghel Damian

  • 3 movie recommendations: Victoria Răileanu

  • 3 movie recommendations: American Independent Film Festival

    (Română) Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri. Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri

  • 3 movie recommendations: Ada Solomon

    (Română) Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri. Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri

  • 3 movie recommendations: Bogdan Theodor Olteanu

    (Română) Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri. Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri

  • 3 recomandări de filme: Tudor Mircea

  • 3 movie recommendations: Eugen Kelemen

  • 3 movie recommendations: Rodica Lazăr

  • 3 movie recommendations: Dorian Boguță

  • 3 movie recommendations: Aida Economu

  • 3 movie recommendations: Paul Negoescu

  • 3 movie recommendations: Olimpia Melinte

     

  • 3 movie recommendations: Anghel Damian

  • 3 movie recommendations: Victoria Răileanu

  • October’s Trailer Recommendations

    Since Les films de Cannes à Bucarest is one of the festivals that fully meet the tastes of our readers, below is a selection of the five most tempting titles screening at this year’s edition (October 22-31) which starts next Friday. The list of recommendations is completed by a couple of fresh out of the oven trailers, especially one with millions of views in just a few days.

    Dune (Sci-Fi, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

    “Dreams make good stories, but everything important happens when we’re awake”, here’s what Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa) tells his mentee in ways of combat, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), in this new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s famous novel (still the best-selling SF of all time). But when they arrive on the desert planet Arrakis, Paul may interpret his mentor’s advice differently. Villeneuve’s film is the third adaptation of Dune, being the first that seems to satisfy.

    The film comes out in Romanian cinemas on October 22. Films in Frame will publish a review on its premiere day, so stick around.

    Cyrano (drama, musical, dir. Joe Wright)

    An expert in adaptations, British filmmaker Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Anna Karenina) is now turning his attention to Edmond Rostand’s play, with the main part going to the extremely popular Peter Dinklage. We were wondering when he will have the opportunity to play a leading role after the phenomenal success of Game of Thrones when news came of this big-budget adaptation. And casting Dinklage is a far-reaching choice since Wright seems to start from the classic text to challenge us to assess our prejudices about body image, prejudices now cast in a new light by social media.

    With the European premiere in the selection of the Rome Film Fest (October 16), the film does not yet have a release date in Romania.

    House of the Dragon (fantasy series created by Ryan J. Condal, George R.R. Martin)

    Will this fantasy series inspired by George R.R. Martin’s intricate novels wash away the bitter taste left by the last season of Game of Thrones? We sincerely hope so, for the simple reason that the series’ battalion of screenwriters have certainly seen what can happen when you betray your source and at the same time try to fool your fans. The above teaser had millions of views in just a few days, which reconfirms the global enthusiasm for a new foray into the violent realm imagined by Martin. Matt Smith is a completely different prince (after successfully playing Prince Philip in The Crown) in this series in which history does not take into account blood ties and the family tree.

    House of the Dragon appears on HBO in 2022.

    Screening at Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest

    Titane (drama, dir. Julia Ducournau)

    Julia Ducournau is only 37 years old and she is the second woman in history to be awarded a Palme d’Or, the first who didn’t receive it ex-aequo (Jane Campion won for The Piano but shared the award with Chen Kaige, who is the first director in China or Hong Kong to win the Palme d’Or). “Demented”, “pure chaos”, “a punch in the face”, these are just some of the epithets and warnings that accompanied the film which proposes “the most bizarre pairing since The Shape of Water” (Cineuropa). Our recommendation is to get a ticket as soon as the LFC’s program is announced, otherwise you may have to wait months for the film to be released in cinemas.

    Memoria (drama, dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

    Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes, Memoria is Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s first English-spoken film, which stars one of the most versatile actresses today, Tilda Swinton, who easily moves from Marvel superhero movies to super-niche projects. Here, Swinton plays Jessica, a Scotswoman visiting her sister in Bogotá. The mysterious sounds she starts hearing lead to a personal investigation and soon she comes to see her existence with different eyes. A foray of a Thai director into South America, that can only come as intriguing, no doubt.

    Zero Fucks Given (comedy, drama, dir. Emmanuel Marre, Julie Lecoustre)

    This hard-to-class Belgian film is such a small production that it doesn’t even have a proper trailer before its national and French premieres. We can only see an excerpt in which the protagonist, Cassandre (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a flight attendant for a low-cost airline, fails a test with her boss. The reviews present this film as one of the most pleasant surprises in this year’s Cannes’ Critics’ Week and as a unique, almost documentary-like foray (up to a point, at least) into a fast-paced community (“we see sun and snow on the same day”), governed by extremely specific rules (did you know, for example, that flight attendants need to be able to smile convincingly for 30 seconds straight?). All the praise goes to Exarchopoulos, who completely immerses herself in the role.

    The Worst Person in the World (drama, dir. Joachim Trier)

    It is understandable when critics are ecstatic about a film selected at Cannes; after all, the festival can afford to choose the best productions from around the world. But does the general public have the same reaction to such a film? All we can say is that in the case of The Worst Person in the World the answer is definitely “yes”, maybe because Joachim Trier’s film “ventures where few dare to these days – right into romantic-comedy territory” (Cineuropa). Renate Reinsve (Best Actress Award) is Julie, the girlfriend of a comic-book artist (Anders Danielsen Lie), who is tempted to leave everything behind when she meets a younger man.

    Drive My Car (drama, dir. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

    Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi has without a doubt an exceptional 2021: he won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the Berlinale for Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (screened in Romania at the Transilvania IFF) and the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes for Drive My Car. The film is based on a short story by Haruki Murakami and starts from a chance encounter: when he arrives in Hiroshima, where he has to stage a play, a theater director finds out that he has a chauffeur to drive him around town. The chauffeur turns out to be a woman, and her personality and the dozens of trips they make together pave the way for interesting conversations.

    Since Les films de Cannes à Bucarest is one of the festivals that fully meet the tastes of our readers, below is a selection of the five most tempting titles screening at this year’s edition (October 22-31) which starts next Friday. The list of recommendations is completed by a couple of fresh out of the oven trailers, especially one with millions of views in just a few days.

  • September’s Trailer Recommendations

    Deep breath in and let’s make the most of it while cinemas still have their doors open and are not forced to close once again. We picked up some of the most tempting Romanian films that are scheduled to appear this fall, plus titles that had their world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and a fantasy series all set to make waves in November.

    House of Dolls (dir. Tudor Platon, documentary)

    It’s hard, very hard to find a more charming Romanian documentary than House of Dolls, DoP Tudor Platon’s feature debut as a director. Time catches up with everyone, but we would all like to age as nicely, relaxed, and with a smile on our face as the titular “dolls”, senior women who have stuck to their healthy habit over time: every year, they get away from the daily cares and enjoy a 1-week vacation with their oldest friends. It’s time for sharing secrets, jokes, but also some samples of wisdom.

    Coming out in theaters on September 24.

    Don’t Look Up (dir. Adam McKay, SF dramedy)

    One of the funniest online remarks recently is that Netflix will double the price of its subscription after having to pay the battalion of stars (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Ariana Grande, etc.) who appear in this satire about the extreme experiences of two low-level astronomers who are in for a fair share of surprises when they want to warn mankind of an impending cataclysm. The most interesting question in the movie? What do you do when everyone ignores you, but what you have to say could save or doom the entire human race?

    Coming out on Netflix on December 10.

    Blue Moon (dir. Alina Grigore, drama)

    The first feature film directed by Alina Grigore, known for co-writing the screenplay of Adrian Sitaru’s Illegitimate, competes in the Official Selection of the San Sebastian Festival. The premise is undoubtedly promising and the film could have a long run since it explores the lack of opportunities faced by young women in rural Romania. At the core of the story, we have Irina (Ioana Chiţu), a young woman who dreams of studying in Bucharest, but for that, she has to break free from the family where men have the last word.

    Premiering in cinemas on November 5.

    Madres paralelas/Parallel Mothers (dir. Pedro Almodóvar, drama)

    Almodóvar’s latest film had its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival and received an acting award for Penélope Cruz’s performance. The story revolves around two women giving birth on the same day, each facing this huge personal challenge in different ways. Variety magazine trumpeted that Parallel Mothers be “Pedro Almodóvar’s best film since All about My Mother”, and we wonder if the public will have the same opinion. We mention that Almodóvar’s short film The Human Voice launches in Romania on September 17, on a double bill with Gaspar Noé’s medium-length film, Lux Æterna.

    Scheduled to be released in theaters on February 4, 2022.

    The Hand of God (dir. Paolo Sorrentino, drama, biography)

    “I don’t like reality anymore.” What better invitation to a world of fantasy and fascination with cinema? Paolo Sorrentino’s new film had its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, as well as the Marcello Mastroianni Award, which recognizes the best performances by young actors, now received by Filippo Scotti. He plays a fictional version of Sorrentino himself, who is forced by the harsh reality of 1980s Naples to find his purpose elsewhere.

    The Hand of God will be released on Netflix on December 15.

    The Wheel of Time (created by Rafe Judkins, fantasy series)

    This spring, Netflix’s fantasy series Shadow and Bone was unexpectedly well received by the public, and now, Amazon’s The Wheel of Time could have the same fate. The series is based on Robert Jordan’s novel series of the same name, with over 90 million copies sold since its release in 1990. The premise? A providential meeting of six characters will forever change the balance of forces in a realm where certain people have magical powers. The headliner is without a doubt Rosamund Pike, while the series invites audiences to discover a lot of fresh new names.

    Premiering on Amazon Prime on November 19.

    Otto the Barbarian (dir. Ruxandra Ghiţescu, drama)

    Otto the Barbarian is a difficult film to watch, surely, but also necessary. Marc Titieni plays a teenager thrown into a deep crisis after his girlfriend (Ioana Bugarin, who received a lot of praise for her role as a novice in Miracle, which just had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival) commits suicide. An investigation by social services and the sorrow caused by the loss will make the hero react in unpredictable ways. The premiere is supported by a campaign that raises awareness about mental issues among high school students.

    Coming out in cinemas on September 24.

    The Last Duel (dir. Ridley Scott, action, history)

    What strikes at this new historical film by Ridley Scott (apart from the bizarre faces of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Nicole Holofcener) is the timing of the #metoo movement: when the wife (Jodie Comer, fairly known from the successful Killing Eve, seems determined to conquer the big screen too) of a 14th-century French nobleman claims she has been raped by his best friend and squire (Adam Driver), a bloody sequence of events is set in motion. The reviews published after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival weren’t convincing altogether, but we shall see why next month.

    To be released in theaters on October 15.

    Deep breath in and let’s make the most of it while cinemas still have their doors open and are not forced to close once again. We picked up some of the most tempting Romanian films that are scheduled to appear this fall, plus titles that had their world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and a fantasy series all set to make waves in November.

  • July’s Trailer Recommendations

    The Cannes Film Festival dominates the film scene in July, and along with it, the biggest film event in Romania, Transilvania IFF. Let’s celebrate these two festivals with this month’s selection of trailers, where we also add a guilty pleasure from Netflix.

    The Father Who Moves Mountains (drama, dir. Daniel Sandu)

    After making his debut with the promising One Step Behind the Seraphim, director Daniel Sandu returns with a much more ambitious and expensive feature film, unique in Romanian cinema. Adrian Titieni stars as Mircea, a former Intelligence officer whose son is reported missing in the mountains. Arriving at the scene, Mircea notices that despite the rescue squad’s great efforts, his son is not to be found, and the chances of him still being alive are getting slimmer. And what can a parent do if not use even the last bit of power (physical or political) to save his child? The Father Who Moves Mountains is probably one of the very few Romanian titles that really deserve the label “action movie”.

    Coming out in cinemas on July 23.

    Întregalde (drama, dir. Radu Muntean)

    The new film written by Radu Muntean, Alexandru Baciu, and Răzvan Rădulescu is perhaps the most discreet blow you will receive at the cinema this year. What initially seems like a simple premise (three young people arriving in Întregalde, a village in Transylvania, to bring the inhabitants various goods for Christmas, offer an old man a lift in their car) suddenly turns into a thorough analysis of the consequences of our actions. And these actions, no matter how insignificant at first glance, do have consequences. A wider conversation on altruism, volunteer work, and good deeds gradually turns into an analysis of small gestures that can lead to one’s death (or saving their life).

    World premiere at Cannes, national premiere at Transilvania IFF, and theatrical release on August 6.

    Bye Bye Morons (tragicomedy, dir. Albert Dupontel)

    A dark dramedy that constantly reinvents itself and discusses with enthusiasm a series of extremely dramatic topics, this new film by Albert Dupontel is hell-bent on celebrating our vulnerabilities, with a surprising effect. You wouldn’t expect a movie about a 40-year-old hairdresser (Virginie Efira) who finds out she has only a few months to live and goes to great lengths to find the child she was forced to give to adoption as a teenager could lead to this comforting explosion of emotions. A movie that makes you laugh and cry (sometimes at the same time) and teaches you that there’s always a chance for the better, you just need to take a good bite of life.

    Coming out in cinemas on July 9.

    Blood Red Sky (horror, dir. Peter Thorwarth)

    Lately, we’ve been invaded by extremely niche genre combinations (for example Army of the Dead, a heist movie grafted on zombie flick), and here we can mention the German production Blood Red Sky, which combines terrorists and vampires. The premise is exciting, a vampire woman on a flight with her son is forced to act against the terrorist group (among them Dominic Purcell from Prison Break) that is about to hijack the plane. There’s probably far less blood in the movie than what is shown in the trailer.

    Blood Red Sky premieres on Netflix on July 23.

    #dogpoopgirl (drama, dir. Andrei Huţuleac)

    After winning the Best Film Award and the Best Actress Award at the Moscow International Film Festival, expectations for this independent film have skyrocketed, especially since it addresses a current topic: online shaming. The film is inspired by a 2005 incident in South Korea, one of the first cases of doxing (alteration of docs, the act of publicly revealing private personal information about an individual on the internet to help public opinion identify that individual) widely debated in the media. The director uses the same premise (a woman’s dog poops in a subway car, she refuses to clean the mess and the incident is caught on camera and posted online) to bring the story to Romanian lands.

    National premiere at Transilvania IFF, the theatrical release date soon to be announced.

    Apples (drama, dir. Christos Nikou)

    There are several films that explore the subject of the pandemic and that were shot before it took the world by surprise; one of them is The Pink Cloud by the Brazilian Iuli Gerbase (screening in the International Competition of Transilvania IFF), and another one, Apples by the Greek Christos Nikou. Only in this second example, the pandemic causes sudden amnesia. The protagonist, Aris, one of the victims, enters a revolutionary program that helps patients create new identities and thus continue their lives. The way the program works is a direct comment to human psychology and our online behavior.

    National premiere in the TIFF competition. Apples was purchased by a Romanian distributor and will most likely be released in cinemas next year.

    La civil (drama, dir. Teodora Ana Mihai)

    With a similar story to the one unfolding in The Father Who Moves Mountains and also inspired by real events, La Civil is made by the Romanian-Belgian director Teodora Ana Mihai and takes us to Northern Mexico, where the daughter of a middle-aged woman (Arcelia Ramírez) is kidnapped by local gangsters. The mother pays the ransom, but even then the daughter is not released, so she will have to improvise if she wants to save her. Apart from the fact that it discusses how a person’s life can be destroyed in a mere second, the film also comments on the failure and neglect of the authorities, the first to act and bring order in such a situation.

    La Civil has its world premiere in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, and since the film is co-produced by the Romanian company Mobra Films, it will certainly be distributed in Romania as well.

    The World to Come (dramă, dir. Mona Fastvold)

    Two farmer’s wives, Tally and Abigail (Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby) fall in love with each other in this period drama. The action takes place around 1865, and the love story will soon be discovered and cause a stir in the farming community. Praised for its performances and the sensibility of the story, The World to Come was shot almost entirely in Romania. For example, all the exteriors of the two farms were made in the Carpathian Mountains, the picturesque (but also wild) places being mentioned in almost all the reviews published after the world premiere in the competition of the Venice Festival. The film received the Queer Lion, the trophy awarded to the best LGBT feature film in the festival selection.

    The World to Come will screen at Transilvania IFF. The film has a Romanian distributor, but we don’t know yet when it will be released on the big screens.

    The Cannes Film Festival dominates the film scene in July, and along with it, the biggest film event in Romania, Transilvania IFF. Let’s celebrate these two festivals with this month’s selection of trailers, where we also add a guilty pleasure from Netflix.

  • June’s Trailer Recommendations

    Cannes Film Festival has recently announced the Official Selection for 2021 (we can’t overlook Radu Muntean’s Intregalde in the Directors’ Fortnight / Quinzaine des Réalisateurs section), so it’s only fair that this month we get a glimpse into their program. At the same time, we can’t miss out on the latest titles showcased by streaming platforms and available in cinemas nationwide.

    Bergman Island (drama, dir. Mia Hansen-Løve)

    “You do realize we’re going to sleep in the bed where they shot Scenes from a Marriage, the film that made millions of people divorce?” This could be the opening line of a romantic thriller where the “victim” that is killed by being “stabbed” dozens of times is none other than the relationship of the protagonists played by Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth. They’re both film directors and come to the isolated island of Fårö to finish their new script. The spectrum of Ingmar Bergman and the proximity of the places where, among others, Persona and The Passion of Anna were shot will certainly become a challenge in this new feature by Mia Hansen-Løve.
    Bergman Island has its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it competes for the Palme d’Or.

    Sweet Tooth (fantasy drama, series created by Jim Mickle)

    Sweet Tooth is perhaps the most watchable series released on Netflix in a long time. The SF outset (a deadly epidemic decimates the human race, while women give birth to hybrid babies, born part human, part animal) is just a pretext to address topics such as the fear of the unknown and the other, but also what makes us human (or the opposite). The hero of the series is Gus, a hybrid deer-boy brought by his father to a nature reserve where the kid grows up without any worries, but only until his father dies. Gus will have to venture into the wide world and, for someone his age (he’s only ten years old), he has a lot to say about what he sees around him. A great series for the whole family, especially since it does not avoid difficult topics, sometimes very difficult.
    Sweet Tooth was released on Netflix on June 4th.

    The Exit of the Trains (dir. Radu Jude, Adrian Cioflâncă)

    What we have above is not actually a trailer, because the format chosen by directors Radu Jude and Adrian Cioflâncă cannot accommodate a classic trailer. This documentary essay presented in the Forum section at the 2020 Berlinale deals with Romania’s denial regarding the Holocaust, reconstructing pieces of stories pertaining to the Jews that were brutally murdered during the Iasi Pogrom in June 1941. It’s hard to look at the succession of images of the victims and listen to the testimonies depicting their fate, but it’s even more difficult to realize that the documentary presents only a few hundred out of more than 13,000 victims of the mass murder.
    The film comes out in cinemas on June 18, almost at the same time as the 80th anniversary of this dark moment in the history of Romania.

    Katla (Sci-Fi drama, series created by Sigurjón Kjartansson, Baltasar Kormákur)

    A young woman disappears during the eruption of a volcano in Iceland. The family has been looking for her for a year and now the young woman appears as if by magic, disoriented and covered by a thick layer of ash, but otherwise alive and well. Could this Icelandic production be the new Dark? The trailer for this series developed by Sigurjón Kjartansson and the ever-present Baltasar Kormákur seems to suggest exactly that, looking very promising as far as dark revelations go, and of course, it all takes place in the breathtaking setting of Iceland.
    Katla premieres on Netflix on June 17.

    No Sudden Move (drama, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

    1955, Detroit. Several small-time criminals need to get over their personal issues and work together on what seems to be a simple job. But their plan goes horribly wrong and the heroes realize that in order to save themselves, they need to uncover the mysterious organization that hired them, throwing them into a lion’s den. No Sudden Move is directed by Steven Soderbergh but the film’s style is extremely different from his other movies with hustlers, from the Ocean’s series to Logan Lucky. Nevertheless, Soderbergh can’t help but populate his movie with a lot of stars: Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbor, Ray Liotta, Jon Hamm, and Brendan Fraser are on the poster.
    No Sudden Move premieres on HBO Max on June 18.

    Wild Romania (documentary, dir. Dan Dinu, Cosmin Dumitrache)

    After a long period of traveling only in our minds, there can be no better invitation for those brimming with wanderlust than this documentary directed by Dan Dinu and Cosmin Dumitrache. With a production that lasted more than a decade, no doubt that the directors had plenty of images of some of the most beautiful regions of our country to choose from, as if inviting us to visit them all, no matter the season. And we’re pretty sure that this film didn’t slip any images of animals that do not even live in our country, as did another much-promoted documentary, Untamed Romania.
    Wild Romania has its world premiere at the Transilvania IFF in July, and its theatrical release is scheduled for September 17.

    Petrov’s Flu (drama, dir. Kirill Serebrennikov)

    Petrov’s Flu‘s itinerary is overshadowed by the fact that director Kirill Serebrennikov (Leto, The Student) is banned from leaving Russia until June 2023, so he cannot be present at Cannes, where his film has been selected in the main competition. Petrov’s Flu presents a day in the life of a comic book artist in post-Soviet Russia. Sick with the flu, he lets his imagination run wild to break free from his gray reality and escape into his own world. We can’t help but wonder if the images showing the protagonist’s wife killing a bunch of abusive men with a kitchen knife are in fact part of reality in this film that has little chance of pleasing the Kremlin regime. The subtitled trailer can be watched here.
    Petrov’s Flu will have its world premiere at Cannes and there’s every chance a Romanian distributor will buy it and release it in our country.

    The Cannes Film Festival has recently announced the Official Selection for 2021 (we can’t overlook Radu Muntean’s Intregalde in the Directors’ Fortnight / Quinzaine des Réalisateurs section), so it’s only fair that we get a glimpse into their program. At the same time, we can’t miss out on the latest titles showcased by streaming platforms.

  • May’s Trailer Recommendations

    Yasuke (anime series, created by LeSean Thomas)

    Race, skin color, and social status -related biases are scrutinized in this anime series loosely based on a historical figure: African warrior Yasuke is the first black person mentioned in historical documents in Japan, in the 16th century. The series embellishes the historical truth with fantasy elements, but also talks about the rise of the hero known as the “Black Samurai” in the service of the powerful daimyo Nobunaga, whose tormented history is also presented in Kagemusha by Akira Kurosawa. Yasuke was also praised for its soundtrack, composed by Flying Lotus.
    The series has been available on Netflix since April 29.

    Benedetta (biography, drama, dir. Paul Verhoeven)

    Religion, faith, and especially God’s plan for us are some of the most frustrating topics of discussion, for the simple reason that the same argument can serve both the believer and the atheist in a possible confrontation. Paul Verhoeven seems to have hit a nerve with his new film, Benedetta, about a nun (Virginie Efira) who converts from “God’s anointed” to “Satan’s tool” after being drawn into a lesbian relationship. The inability to find meaning in the mysterious ways of the Lord is perfectly described by the superior mother (Charlotte Rampling): “Perhaps God plunged Benedetta into a trance, or perhaps He only sent us a lunatic who sets His work in motion through the nonsense coming out of her mouth.”
    Benedetta will have its world premiere in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival (July 6-17).

    Annette (musical, dir. Leos Carax)

    Leos Carax’s English language film debut, Annette, is based on an original story by the Sparks’ founders, Ron and Russell Mael, and portrays the love story between a stand-up comedian (Adam Driver) and an opera singer (Marion Cotillard). The fruit of their passion, little Annette, will be born with a unique gift. “Every Leos Carax movie is an event, and this one really lives up to expectations! Annette is exactly the gift that cinema, music and culture enthusiasts were hoping for, and the film I have been looking forward to all year”, here’s how the president of the Cannes Film Festival, Pierre Lescure, presented the musical.
    Annette has its world premiere on July 6, as the opening film of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (horror, dir. Michael Chaves)

    If the number of Covid cases doesn’t get “cheeky” again, The Conjuring 3 could be one of the first new films available in cinemas across the country in early summer. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprise their roles as paranormal experts Lorraine and Ed Warren, who will investigate the sensational case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. The film is based on real events: in 1981, Johnson killed his landlord, and in court the defense claimed that a demon possessed him, forcing him to commit the crime.
    The film premieres in Romanian cinemas on June 4.

    Oxygen (Sci-Fi, horror, dir. Alexandre Aja)

    After the success with the American production Crawl, the French horror expert Alexandre Aja returns to his native language with Oxygen, a Sci-Fi horror about a woman (Mélanie Laurent) who wakes up in a cryogenic chamber with no recollection of who she is or how she got there. Her only companion is MILO (voiced by Mathieu Amalric), an AI program that notifies her regularly that the oxygen level in the chamber is constantly decreasing. The reviews published so far make endless use of the word “intense” and suggest that Laurent gives the performance of her career in this claustrophobic horror.
    Oxygen premieres on Netflix on May 12.

    West Side Story (musical, dir. Steven Spielberg)

    Loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, the musical West Side Story was released on Broadway in 1957 and adapted for screen in 1961, and 60 years later a new adaptation comes from none other than Steven Spielberg. The story also takes place in the 1950s, which will allow Spielberg to comment on racial conflicts. It stars Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler, a young actress of Colombian-Polish descent, chosen from the 30,000 aspiring actresses who auditioned for the role. In the teaser above, we also hear Rita Moreno singing, the legendary Puerto Rican actress returning to the NYC Upper West Side after playing a leading role in the 1961 version.
    Scheduled to be released in theaters on December 10.

    The Underground Railroad (drama series, created by Barry Jenkins)

    The reviews of this new series created and directed by Barry Jenkins (the Oscar for Moonlight) say that Amazon Prime should have not released all ten episodes of the first season at the same time, because the extremely dense and brutal story is not at all suitable for binge-watching, each episode needs time to be digested properly by the viewers. The series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead, and follows two slaves from the mid-19th century fleeing the enslaved South with the help of a secret railroad. The novel and the series present an alternate history, but the Underground Railroad actually existed, helping through its network of tunnels, hidden routes and safe houses tens and tens of thousands of enslaved African-Americans to gain their freedom in the abolitionist North in the 19th century.
    The Underground Railroad will be available on Amazon Prime starting with May 15.

    Just a few more months until this year’s edition of Cannes Film Festival, and starting with June, going to the cinema may become a viable option all over the country. Until then, we continue our leisure time on streaming platforms.

  • April’s Trailer Recommendations

    The Woman in the Window (dir. Joe Wright)

    With three Oscar-winning actors in the cast, this film by Joe Wright (Atonement) will without a doubt make it to no.1 on the Netflix Top 10 after its release. The story sounds somewhat familiar – a woman witnesses a murder from her window; the screenplay written by actor and playwright Tracy Letts (the Pulitzer Prize for the play August: Osage County) raises the issue of the agoraphobic protagonist’s mental health and the suspicion with which society views those suffering of various mental illnesses.
    The Woman in the Window comes out on Netflix on May 14.

    Welcome to Utmark (created by Dakur Kári)

    Icelandic director Dagur Kári (Noi Albinoi, Virgin Mountain) tries his hand at television productions with Welcome to Utmark. This eight-episode drama takes place in the far north of Norway, where the surrounding wilderness is seen through the eyes of the new teacher working at the local school in this small border town whose name is featured in the title. The protagonist will soon discover that the only person in this town that might act as a grown-up is a 12-year-old girl, and the strange inhabitants will offer her more than bizarre experiences.
    Welcome to Utmark will be available on HBO GO starting with April 18.

    Four Good Days (dir. Rodrigo García)

    Selected last year at Sundance and with a long-delayed premiere due to the pandemic, Four Good Days shows Mila Kunis in an atypical role, that of a drug addict who wishes to enter a detox program, but for that she must show that she can stay clean for four days. And who should the young woman turn to for this challenge if not her estranged mother, Molly (Glenn Close, nominated for an Oscar this year for her role in Hillbilly Elegy)? Obviously, the premise invites the two protagonists to set free the grudges they have for each other.
    Four Good Days will have a limited theatrical release in the US at the end of April, and from May 21 it will be available on streaming platforms.

    Ammonite (dir. Francis Lee)

    After introducing Romanian actor Alec Secăreanu to the global audience in God’s Own Country, director Francis Lee returns to LGBTQ issues with Ammonite. The film depicts a love story taking place in 1840 between paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and geologist Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), while talking about the injustices suffered by female scientists in the 19th century, when they were often overlooked by their male peers, no matter how prepared and educated they were. Secăreanu makes an appearance in the director’s second feature film as well, starring as a doctor.
    Ammonite is available on Amazon Prime.

    Those Who Wish Me Dead (dir. Taylor Sheridan)

    Angelina Jolie returns to the big screen with this action film about Hannah, a survivor of a devastating fire who keeps an eye on the forests of a gigantic nature reserve from her wooden watchtower. Her new challenge is not some puff of smoke, but the appearance of a terrified little boy (Finn Little), whose father was brutally executed by the two assassins sent to kill him. Hannah offers to help him, but the assassins (the ones and only Nicholas Hoult and Aidan Gillen) have no plans to leave survivors behind.
    Those Who Wish Me Dead will be distributed in Romanian cinemas by Vertical Entertainment from May 14.

    Handmaid’s Tale, season 4 (created by Bruce Miller)

    At the end of the previous season, June (Elisabeth Moss) managed the unimaginable: to save dozens of children from Gilead and send them by plane to Canada, to the new free world. What we understand from the trailer above is that this act leads to a real declaration of war from Gilead, but also that June cannot be satisfied with saving the children of others, when her own daughter, Hannah, is still a prisoner in the totalitarian country. And the heroine’s decision to return to the society that traumatized her in every way possible invites a lot of dangers.
    The 4th season of Handmaid’s Tale premieres on April 29 on HBO GO.

    Songs My Brothers Taught Me (dir. Chloé Zhao)

    Chloé Zhao’s rise in world cinema was thundering and even unique, as one might call it: she debuted in 2015 with Songs My Brothers Taught Me (selected at Sundance and Cannes), now it’s five years later and she wins the Golden Lion and becomes a favorite at the Oscars with Nomadland. Moreover, Zhao is the director behind the Marvel mega blockbuster – Eternals, with a budget of 200 million dollars. To celebrate Zhao, we return to Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which invites us to a Native American reservation in the United States to explore the difficult choice that awaits teenagers here: they can either resign themselves to the lack of opportunities in the reservation, or leave without looking back.
    Songs My Brothers Taught Me is available on Mubi.

    In Treatment, season 4 (created by Rodrigo García)

    This series inspired by an Israeli production (with a version that was also made in Romania) gets a reboot with the fourth season. This time, in the center of attention is psychotherapist Brooke Taylor (played by the incomparable Uzo Aduba, who also plays Suzanne Crazy Eyes in Orange Is the New Black). The 24-episode season will explore at length the multiple effects the pandemic has had on everyday people.
    The 4th season of In Treatment will be available on HBO GO starting with May 23.

    Is it really possible for cinemas to reopen anytime soon? This month’s trailer offer includes a movie that will be released in theaters on May 14 (fingers crossed!). Otherwise, the focus remains on streaming platforms.

  • March’s Trailer Recommendations

    Genera+ion (series, created by Zelda and Daniel Barnz)

    HBO has been keeping up with the issues of teenagehood for several decades now, with shows like Girls and Euphoria, and Genera+ion is taking a new step in this direction, looking fairly determined to defy new prejudices and taboos. Genera+ion focuses on a diverse group of high school students, and what’s new to this series produced by Lena Dunham (Girls) is that creator Zelda Barnz was actually the protagonists’ age (now she’s 19 years old) when she started writing the screenplay together with her father, Daniel. It looks like Genera+ion might be the series of a new generation, and that parents might need to take a look at it to discover the challenges their teenage children have to face nowadays.
    The show premieres on HBO Go on March 11.

    Sky Rojo (series, created by Álex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato)

    The creating team behind the phenomen La casa de papel returns with a new project that has the same hyperkinetic approach, brimming in violence and plot twists. Its March premiere is also justified by the fact that the series celebrates emancipation no matter what, introducing three protagonists – Coral (Verónica Sánchez), Wendy (Lali Espósito) and Gina (Yany Prado) – who run away from their pimp and his aides. And the three of them will stop at nothing to reassure themselves that playing nice with men is something that they will never have to do again. The creators’ approach seems to pay homage to the last season of another Spanish hit, Vis a vis, also available on Netflix Romania.
    The show premieres on Netflix on March 19.

    Mare of Easttown (miniseries, created by Brad Ingelsby)

    One of the many productions put on hold due to the global health crisis, Mare of Easttown will undoubtedly gain popularity due to the fact that Kate Winslet plays the main role, a policewoman from a small town in Pennsylvania. The British actress rehearsed for months to master the very specific accent of Easttown (the series was shot in this very town). In Brad Ingelsby’s miniseries, it all starts with the discovery of a child’s body and continues with the police investigation, setting the whole town on fire and threatening the protagonist’s peace which is already hanging by a thread.
    Premiering on HBO Go on April 18.

    Shadow and Bone (fantasy series, created by Eric Heisserer)

    In 2019, The Witcher became the most popular Netflix title – to be dethroned only at the end of last year by Bridgerton, and Shadow and Bone seems determined to continue the long run of fantasy shows revolving around supernatural creatures. Inspired by Leigh Bardugo’s novels, the new Netflix series takes pride in having the first non-Caucasian protagonist: the British actress Jessica Mei Li plays Alina Starkov, a young woman who wakes up in the middle of a phenomenal battle between good and evil after realizing that she possesses a miraculous power that could prevent the terrible danger threatening the magical realm.
    Shadow and Bone premieres on Netflix on April 23.

    Without Remorse (action, thriller, dir. Stefano Sollima)

    Michael B. Jordan is one of the “It” actors who haven’t failed in choosing the right roles for them so far, from the intense Chronicle to Fruitvale Station and from Creed to Black Panther. Although there are few spy movies that succeed in avoiding the trap of the predictable and cliché locations, let’s offer Jordan a chance, as he takes over the character of John Clark (previously played by Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber) from Tom Clancy’s novels. After his family is killed in an attack by elite Russian soldiers, Clark will uncover a larger conspiracy that threatens the safety of his own country. And we know all too well that there is no protagonist more dangerous than the one who has nothing more to lose.
    Without Remorse premieres on Amazon Prime on April 30.

    Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (black comedy, dir. Radu Jude)

    Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is without a doubt the film of the pandemic, and the Romanian audience is certainly looking forward to seeing it, aroused both by its recent success at the Berlinale (the winner of this year’s Golden Bear) and by the slight scandal associated with the porn clip included in the film.
    The decision by the Romanian authorities to close the cinemas overnight, due to a new increase in the Covid-19 cases, makes it impossible for the film’s distributors to schedule a theatrical release anytime soon: we will most likely have to wait for the warmer months to see the film in an open air location. Until then, you can read the Films in Frame review of the film.

    Voyagers (Sci-Fi, dir. Neil Burger)

    Although it explores the immensity of Space and the soul abyss, the new Sci-Fi by Neil Burger has more to do with Romania than it would seem so: it was shot at the Buftea studios in the summer of 2019, and several young Romanian actors such as Theodor Soptelea, Vlad Popescu, Irina Artenii, Ioana Brumar and Ioana Nimigean make an appearance in some of the scenes, starring alongside Colin Farrell. The film follows the crew of a ship that should colonize the Space, but it doesn’t take long and the young people on board begin to realize that the pressure of their mission and the claustrophobic Space become more unbearable than they initially thought.
    We don’t know yet when the film is going to be released in local cinemas (in the US, it premieres on April 9), but its link to Romania makes us believe that we will certainly have a national premiere sometime this year.

    Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell (documentary, dir. Emmett Malloy)

    Pushed to become a jazz singer, little Christopher Wallace quickly realizes that he wants to do something completely different music-wise. Thus begins the story of soon to become The Notorious B.I.G., whose iconic lyrics will sing of the hardships and lack of endemic opportunities in African-American ghettos. Emmett Malloy’s documentary brings together rare images from the rapper’s childhood and adolescence and the testimonies of his loved ones, showing not only how Biggie came to “tell the story” of his peers, but also how different he was from his public persona.
    The documentary has been available on Netflix starting with March 1.

    With cinemas being closed once again by the authorities and the summer days that carry the promise of outdoor screenings still far away from us, there’s nothing else to do but remain online, at least for some of these trailer recommendations. FYI, our offer also includes a Hollywood blockbuster with several young Romanian actors starring in supporting roles.

  • February’s Trailer Recommendations

    Usually, February feels like entering a wormhole when it comes to news on movie releases, since many of the upcoming productions are waiting either to get selected in festivals or for the official announcement of these selections before they can kick off their promo campaigns. So, we turned to guilty pleasures, superheroes, a bit of voyeurism and … the “CODA case”.

    Cosmic Sin (film SF, r. Edward Drake)

    OK, maybe Cosmic Sin (who would’ve thought that there would ever be such an assertive action Sci-Fi movie as to be called just that?) goes way beyond “guilty pleasures”, but Bruce Willis and his mischievous look – probably the most important feature in his acting set – might bring a lot of memories for some of us (think about the first film you saw with Bruce Willis, that might be a good reminder of how old you really are). The trailer might suggest that Edward Drake’s film wants to try a bit of everything. We only hope that in order to save the human race it doesn’t come to sacrificing a hero willing to drop a bomb in the middle of the invaders’ lair …

    The US premiere on March 12th.

    The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Marvel miniseries, created by Malcolm Spellman)

    15 hours and four million views on Marvel Entertainment’s youtube page alone for this trailer announcing the new series with The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan, “our” Romanian), which seems to please the Marvel fans after WandaVision threw them into confusion. We have the same witty camaraderie, and Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl, who seems to have traded his homeland career for Hollywood) is just as determined to fight the superheroes until the very end, in order to avenge his family he lost in Segovia …

    The miniseries premieres on March 19 on Disney+, when most of our homies will probably storm the torrent sites.

    Old (film horror, r. M. Night Shyamalan)

    The romance between the audiences and M. Night Shyamalan came to an end after Unbreakable, but the director went on about his work without any fuss and made some of the worst movies in the last two decades. Now the filmmaker comes to intrigue with Old, whose teaser trailer includes a combination of statements (“we were chosen for a reason”, “there is something wrong with this beach”) which have the potential to captivate the viewers. On the beach where the action takes place time moves differently, and Gael García Bernal’s character will learn about it the hard way. His family included …

    The movie will be released in July.

    The Nevers (HBO series, created by Joss Whedon)

    Clearly, Joss Whedon finds it very difficult to stay away from creatures with supernatural abilities. The “papa” of the Avengers departed from the project in November (citing exhaustion as decision factor), not without offering all his love to this HBO production that takes us to Victorian England to witness the challenges encountered by a gang of women who, following a mysterious phenomenon, find themselves with all kinds of superpowers. “Their mission might even change the world”, the HBO synopsis purrs with excitement …

    The Nevers premieres in April.

    Est (drama, r. Antonio Pisu)

    Three young Italian men traveling to communist Romania? How can it not arouse our curiosity? Antonio Pisu’s film was selected in the Venice Days section of the Venice Film Festival, and on Friday it was released on seven streaming platforms throughout Italy. “We are not afraid of Romania”, assert the three protagonists as they are getting closer to the border, but how long will their innocence last once they step inside the communist country? The threat becomes even more palpable on account of a secret mission: they submit to the desperate plea made by a Romanian dissident from Budapest of delivering a suitcase to his family in Romania. Since the action (inspired by real events) takes place between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of communism in Romania, Est captures our country at a time which couldn’t be more relevant for our history …

    We don’t know yet when we’ll get to watch it in our cinemas, but we’ll sure be surprised if it doesn’t make it into at least one of the local festivals.

    Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel (miniserie documentar, r. Joe Berlinger)

    Netflix is not a newbie when it comes to releasing incredible documentaries that have a flair for creating a stir, and Berlinger’s film has every chance to make it into this category. The four-episode documentary follows two main lines: first, giving a rough introduction to the violent history of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, an establishment known as “Hotel Death” for the considerable string (on Wikipedia you can even find a list of the violent deaths and suicides carried out in who knows what room of the hotel) of lethal events that have taken place here over more than eight decades. Then, it presents the disappearance case of Canadian student Elisa Lam, last seen in a surveillance video taken inside one of the hotel’s elevators. The more than bizarre behavior of the student made the video go viral, leading to a massive stir among the public opinion and turning it into a high-profile case, the social phenomenon being also analyzed in the documentary. For a more chic visit to the Cecil Hotel: the music video for Where the Streets Have No Name by U2 was shot right in front of the hotel and also contains some opinions on the infamous reputation of this LA area.

    Scheduled to premiere on February 10th on Netflix.

    CODA (Family Movie, r. Sean Heder)

    You’ll have to forgive us, but we haven’t yet found a trailer for CODA, the big winner at Sundance (even though it’s the remake of a French film), so instead, we present you this short video of deaf actress Marlee Matlin discussing the importance of authentic representation of people with disabilities on screen. However, apart from a few more current jokes, CODA doesn’t seem to say more than the original 2014 French film, the heartfelt La famille Bélier, but rather translates its essence to a different type of audience. The big difference between the two is the fact that in the original film the deaf-mute characters were played by non-disabled actors, whereas in CODA the performers are deaf-mute actors. So we’re dealing with a pressing question: what should festivals reward in the end? Originality and innovation or the inclusive message, which might come as nothing but an echo of a past film?

    CODA was purchased by Apple for a record $ 25 million and will be distributed worldwide exclusively on Apple TV+.

    Usually, February feels like a black hole when it comes to news on movie releases, since many of the upcoming productions are waiting either to get selected in festivals or for the official announcement of these selections before they can kick off their promo campaigns. So, we turned to guilty pleasures, superheroes, a bit of voyeurism and… the “CODA case”.