vineri, 26 ianuarie 2024

Nu aștepta prea mult de la sfârșitul lumii/Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World (2023)

Psychotronic* film of the Year (on my Top Films of 2023): Nu aștepta prea mult de la sfârșitul lumii/Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World by Radu Jude. 

Just saw this mid Jan. in a theater (Reduta, Brasov), with people, and so I had to change /add this item to the Top. It's at once Bravura filmmaking, Saboteur cinema, punkish anarchistic/nihilistic deconstruction of the language (Godard-like), subversive Meta meta cinema, a pamphlet and a satire, filled with insider jokes that my guess is don't translate, even though the film, premiering in Locarno Film Fest last summer and awarded there the Jury's Special Prize, is on the most highbrow lists, from Cahiers du Cinema, to Sight and Sound and a great Arthouse hit in the US (it will be distributed there in March by MUBI). It was Romania's entry for the Oscars, as surreal as it sounds, not that the film isn't good enough but because it's so experimental and off mainstream someone should be crazy to really think it'll be qualified for an Oscar nod.

Psychotronic* =from Un Chien Andalou to Doogtooth or Mandy, or Perrot Le Fou and Jodorowski, this is the cinema of a FreakOut mind and stream of it. Dada and beyond. A genre of Subversive cinema.

Plot (or should I say Com-plot;):

It's about a day in the life of a production assistant (Angela -a brilliant Ilinca Manolache, chosen as Top Actresses of the year by ICS-International Cinephile Society, see here- and my bet on the Gopo award for lead actress this year), as she drives around Bucharest doing various chores and prepping (preparing) a corporate work safety commercial. She also tick tocks obscenities (funny and absurd ones) under a male avatar and the name Bobiță, as a commentary of the crazy hellish life around her.

This apocaly-pic (in the cinema sense film), is imo Jude's Le Mepris, but as Godard had Fritz Lang, Radu Jude has Uwe Boll -ouch, and I know Uwe well, did a q and a with him at Grossmann years ago, was on the Bucharest set of Bloodrayne, met him as he was self-promoting his films in Marche in Cannes, hiked with him on the hills of Ljutomer and had schpritzer which he hated ;) Uwe is shown filming in a Bucharest studio a sort of Z like Men in Black -and he tick toks freely the F * off and F* all of you-and this for me is the major stunt of the film ;), also it might say something about the state of cinema and the world now, yep. Had a blast watching it, but it's not funny, more like a tragic journey into a hellish Bucharest. Plus auto-referential Jude on his PPM's, commercials background and cameos by him (Glovo man) and Marius Panduru, the DOP, as a hotel doorman, loved them both.  Excruciating longeur (willingly, but hardcore, Cristi Puiu's style)-144 min, bravura one-shot sequence of 40 mins, grainy B & W, as Jarmusch's first fares (but JJ had no money, man), a take on Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues famous cue cards through Vali Sterian's Exercitiu, into the green screen of 'woke" cancel culture of a politically correct message in a work safety corporate video. The film audio track is a world of its own, with the songs played (SPP included;), a copious manea from Tranylvania, the radio comments plus the phone conversations and the interjections from the real people in traffic. Cleo from 5 to 7 in a sordid world with overtime galore (from six am til afterdark, but with time for even a quickie and a shaorma ;)

The film inside the film (in color) is the infamous piece of propaganda, Angela merge mai departe/Angela keeps on going (1981, Lucian Bratu director, written by film critic Eva Sârbu!!!), a Feminist Fare 'cos Elena Ceaușescu (the wife and "balls & brains" of RSR's ex-Cîrmaci, not a coincidence this is posted on his Bday ;) wanted a film about a comrade female worker and she got one. And she is Angela and she is a Taxi driver, ha, Romanian Taxi Driver that is. You gotta understand that in Communist Romania taking a cab was not something anyone affords, only in matters of emergency would be used by the New Breed of People ('Omul nou"). Also I was unfortunate enough to see this in a theater when it came out or on an early 80's re-run. Bummer. Big bummer. Was almost nauseous, bored and offended -cinematically and esthetically, even as a kid!) to the extent of leaving the theater. The title became tho some sort of an urban joke (Angela that keeps going...). Jude takes the protagonist actress of 1981, Dorina Lazăr and brings her in his 2023 universe, but as a character from that film, not as the actress, as if she is a retired cab driver. It's cruel to the actors and misleading to those who think the footage is a documentary about the old Bucharest (incl. the Uranus quarter razed by Ceausescu to build his "House of the People"). Next to Angela/Dorina is her husband, Laszlo Miske, who was credited in the film from 1981, as Vasile Miske (though his character was Gyuri), his name made Romanian, as was the policy of the times. Heavily ironic, a Laszlo made a Vasile... But subversive to the max, Jude puts these characters as the parents of the work accident handicaped son who will star along with its family in the caution commercial for a family fare of 1000 euros. The filming of the commercial is the cream of the crop, a hysterical pastiche of any shot like this, also Jude's own commercials (with Șerban Pavlu as the director and a throwback at Jude s 1st feature, Cea mai fericită fată din lume/The Happiest Girl in the World-2009 where Pavlu was also the director-i's the same director, I guess ), with most of the comments being thrown in off camera, from cynical jokes to film buff comments (like the precious but useless -on purpose-info of how many takes did Charlie Chaplin took on City Lights for a line, even though the film was silent...or the Lumiere brothers Trains Exit being a documentary, Melies shooting a commercial in 1897, etc. Featuring also a clueless Nina Hoss ( German International star of Barbara, Phoenix and..Jack Ryan series) as Doris Goethe, the grand grand grand daughter of That Goethe.

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