Film review: Tuesday, After Christmas (MFF 2011)

Tuesday, After Christmas
Marti, dupa craciun
Multi Media Est

STARRING Mimi Brănescu, Maria Popistasu, Mirela Oprisor, Dragoş Bucur, Victor Rebengiuc
WRITTEN BY Alexandru Baciu, Răzvan Rădulescu, Radu Muntean
PRODUCED BY Dragoş Vilcu
DIRECTED BY Radu Muntean

SHOT BY Tudor Lucaciu
EDITED BY Alma Cazacu, Alexandru Radu

Screened at the Milwaukee Film Festival, 2011-09-24

Romanian New Wave film which screened Un Certain Regard in the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

1: Paul. 2: Adriana. 3: Raluca. And three points make a triangle. Tuesday, After Christmas is composed of a series of extended single take shots, which are all so damn impressive and always give the view such wonderful minutiae to observe at all times. Never a dull moment – though I’ll admit that I could imagine how, if one never syncs up to the film’s groove, it could appear to be tremendously dull. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (another Romanian New Wave) was such an experience for this viewer.

We first see Paul engaged in pillow talk with Raluca for five solid minutes, and then the next five minutes are spent in public – with his wife. We have all the cheater couple clichés in their behaviors: the spouse misses everything, seeming to be on autopilot; the cheater is withdrawn, frequently in his head with his secret, has that rarely giving attitude with his spouse; the cheaters have that playful antagonism born from unanswerable longing… ah, hopeless affair love. And we truly get the sense that being in Paul’s marriage (for reasons we can only guess at) is like being underwater as Paul is only ever vibrant, happy and relaxed when he is with his mid-twenties lover (did I mention Paul is in his mid-to-late 30’s?). Perhaps there’s nothing more clichéd. This went to the top five of my “favorites of 2010” list. I would call it perfecto if the ending didn’t leave me wanting just one more scene… See this! See it right away!

written by David Ashley