The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York and the Facets Cinémathèque are proud to present the first Chicago retrospective on the cinema of Lucian Pintilie, a Romanian-born director whose career in theater, opera, film and television provided international recognition. One of Europe's finest filmmakers, his work has explored questions of tyranny and remorse—often relating directly or allegorically to the history of his own country. His work also evokes the remembrance of the tolerant and cosmopolitan nature of his hometown, a German village within Southern Bessarabia which he describes as a halcyon polyglot and multicultural community, a key detail which has informed his body of work. He fled Romania in the 70s, and returned to his home country following the end of communism, and then made extraordinary films about life and its absurdities, beginning with The Oak (1992) and continuing with such acclaimed films as Afternoon of a Torturer (2001) and Niki and Flo (2003), "a mordant almost-comedy that represents a bridge—and also a battle—between the old Romania and the new." (A. O. Scott, The New York Times) As Pintilie has observed about his own work, "What is the survival strategy of a community in a state of perpetual catastrophe?... And when does making fun—the assumed irresponsibility, the dark humor that we, Romanians, are so proud of—stop being an impenetrable shield? This is the number one matter in all my movies." He has been both a prolific auteur and a supporter of a new generation of filmmakers. This complete retrospective of 10 films concludes with the artist's most recent work, the short film Tertium non datur (2005).
All the prints come from the Romanian National Film Center in Bucharest.
This program had its U.S. Premiere on March 1-12, 2012 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film), presented in association with the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, and in collaboration with the Romanian Film Festival in New York and the Romanian National Film Center. With the support of Transilvania International Film Festival and Mihai Chirilov.
For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114.