July’s Trailer Recommendations

14 July, 2021

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.

Ștefan Dobroiu
Born in Piteşti, Romania, in 1980, Ştefan is a graduate from the University of Bucharest, with a degree in Journalism and Communication Sciences. After trying his hand with financial journalism and photography (the latter still being very close to his heart), he put his career on a new path in 2006, when he became the senior editor of Cinemagia. He is also the Romania and Bulgaria correspondent for Cineuropa.org. At Films in Frame he recommends monthly the newest film trailers.