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Alexandru Tatos, 1986
Romania | 100 minutes
Free screening and panel discussion! Director of Photography Florin Mihăilescu in person!
Ask almost any director of the Romanian New Wave which classic Romanian films influenced their work and you will hear two titles mentioned above and beyond all others: Lucien Pintilie’s Reenactment and Alexandru Tatos’ Sequences. Like Reenactment, Sequences is a film about filmmaking: a Romanian Day For Night that follows a film crew (played by Tatos and his actual crew) during the shooting of a feature film in which life frequently imitates art and vice-versa. In the first of the film’s three extended set pieces, the words of the film-within-the-film’s protagonist come to describe the director’s own life. In the second sequence, a restaurateur’s seemingly insignificant family drama conceals deeper tensions off the set. In the startling final episode, two extras threaten to upstage the stars of the scene as they discover a shared secret from their long-ago past. Full of provocative political metaphors, Sequences is a powerful meditation on the role of the arts in rigidly controlled society.
Screening as part of our Alexandru Tatos retrospective, followed immediately by a panel discussion focusing on the Romanian context—with visual artist Dan Perjovschi, producer Ada Solomon (Everybody in Our Family, Best Intentions), director Mona Nicoara (Our School), and essayist Eszter Babarczy, moderated by Mihai Chirilov—and a reception celebrating Romania’s National Day.
Creative Freedom Through Cinema: Romania and Hungary
Among the highlights of the festival this year is a special program addressing the important political and cultural policy changes that have been taking place in Romania and Hungary in the recent past. Entitled “Creative Freedom Through Cinema: Romania and Hungary” and curated by Corina Suteu and László Jakab Orsós, this program aims to offer a better understanding of the sociopolitical context in these two countries and to address the relationship between arts and politics. Special screenings of Sequences (Alexandru Tatos, Romania, 1982) and Time Stands Still (Peter Gothar, Hungary, 1982) will be followed by two panel conversations with Romanian, Hungarian and American artists and cultural critics. Participants include film director Mona Nicoara (Our School), visual artist Dan Perjovschi, and essayist Eszter Babarczy, with more participants to be announced soon.
Alexandru Tatos Retrospective
A towering figure of Romanian cinema, and a key influence on the directors of the recent “new wave,” Alexandru Tatos (1937-1990) made his directing debut in 1976 with the politically charged medical drama Red Apples, about a brilliant and idealistic young surgeon refusing to conform to the accepted compromises of a corrupt system. Over the next 15 years, Tatos would bring that same iconoclastic touch to a broad range of historical dramas and one of the most revealing films ever made about the filmmaking process itself (Sequences). In the words of the critic Manuela Cernat, "Where Tatos excels with unparalleled gusto is the movie with few characters and the minimum narrative elements, on which he capitalizes with the utmost ingeniousness, matchlessly blending lyricism and sarcasm, and displaying an unusually keen sense of true-to-life psychological and environmental details." We are thrilled to include this special program of three of Tatos’ greatest films as part of this year’s Making Waves festival.