“There is no such thing as a murderer, only people who kill.” With these words director Cristi Puiu qualifies his careful study of contemporary Romanian society and of fatal acts such as murder. The film focuses on 42-year-old Viorel who is going through a gloomy period of life that leads him to the point of killing without it being clear whether or not it’s his divorce and his conflict with loved ones provoking him to open fire. The film attempts to demystify the act of murder, rendering it as something in no way spectacular, just as there is nothing remarkable about a person who commits murder. The director doesn’t psychologize his characters or indicate where they are heading, while his intentionally staid narrative contributes to the overall suspense and lack of certainty. Although Viorel’s behavior doesn’t make him stand out, he gives the impression of having been long divorced from reality. Or is it the whole of society that’s become detached from reality? —Karlovy Vary IFF
Cristi Puiu’s debut as a director was in 2001 with the low budget road movie Stuff and Dough (Marfa si Banii) starring Alexandru Papadopol and Dragos Bucur. The film received several awards in international film festivals and competed in the Quinzaines des Realisateurs section of the Cannes Film Festival. He continued with a short film, Cigarettes and Coffee (Un cartus de Kent si un pachet de cafea, 2004), which was awarded the Golden Bear for best short film at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival.
His second film, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Moartea domnului Lazarescu, 2005), features the drama of an old man who is carried by an ambulance from hospital to hospital all night long, as doctors keep refusing to treat him and send him away. The film was a critical success, being awarded with Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and numerous awards at other international film festivals. Year 2006 brought 47 prizes for his film The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Moartea… read more
Aurora is one of my most loved films. I just saw it today, again - it's been a while. This time it was all about the camera, acting just in the same vein as the main character, even schmoozing him. I assume Cristi Puiu chose such a neurotic character in order to dislocate the general function of an observing camera and take it to Auroras level, where small gestures would only be cheap film realism.
The new Film Quarterly and a round of papers from Boston.
Roundup of the New York Asian Film Festival, the new issue of Film Quarterly, and more.
"For all its willingness to risk audience discomfort by immersing the viewer in the slow, agonizing buildup to the titular event, Cristi
The veritable circus of Bucharest society that swirled around and defined Cristi Puiu’s last film, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, a study of a
Above: Patricio Guzman's Nostalgia for the Light. Aurora (Cristi Puiu, Romania) This film is so long it deserves two notes: (1) If you
"Is this Romania's year at Cannes again, as it was in 2007?" asks Ben Kenigsberg in Time Out Chicago. Aurora is "the long-awaited new film
“hell is other people.”
for about 80% of the watch time, aurora felt confusing. i didn’t know where it was going, but i stuck with it. i wanted to know. the build-up lasted for… read review