Bibliography for Romanian cinema contemporary or less contemporary is limited, at the least. And trying to study Romanian film in the United Kingdom wasn’t exactly the smartest decision I could’ve taken. But, one of the reasons for starting this website was exactly the reduced number of textual materials on Romanian film and the fact that they aren’t accessible, being mostly in Romanian and in Romanian libraries or antique book stores. Therefore, most of my research was based on reading the few materials that I had access to, but mostly watching interviews with actors, directors, producers, read mostly all of the film reviews from critics or cineastes for the films that I focused on, and go through “piles” of comments from the public.
Considering that the project was born from my interest in the relation between the Romanian public and its film, reading people’s comments on different films, helped me shape an idea about the reasons behind the like or dislike (mostly dislike) of Romanian films. Also, the interviews, the ones with the public mostly, served the same purpose. The outcome from this type of research was identifying what the public doesn’t like, and why and using this knowledge to write detur la Preciziei’s content as to explain why the films are the way they are, and why they deserve to be watched. It was mostly being “in touch” with the public that helped me find my tone and style.
Why doesn’t Romanian public like Romanian films?
- it’s too “intoxicated” with commercial cinema, with block busters, special effects, action scenes.
- the films lack when it comes to their promotion, they simply don’t get to the public. There are cities with no cinema halls, except for that from the malls, which never screen Romanian films
- the 30 (less than 30 now) cinema halls aren’t as comfortable and modernized as the ones in malls, so the public prefers to go to the later ones, which only makes even the few cinemas still alive to close their doors.
- besides the aesthetics that the public cannot always digest, the film’s pace that the public isn’t accustomed to, it is mostly the stories. In a post communist society that still bears the memory of the totalitarian regime, the films come to make those memories more vivid. As Romanians, we have not yet made peace with our past, and we are scared to look it in the eyes, even on screen.
From reading different reviews, I identified what might work, what works, but I want to avoid, what doesn’t work at all.
What might work: a friendly tone, a relaxed language, with just enough references, but not too many, a focus on aspects in the story and characters that are deeply human, and how are those integrated into the film’s context.
What definitely works, but I’ll avoid it: there is a certain degree of anger in some of the most read film reviews, a sort of “violent” tone, and an inclination to criticize the result, or certain aspects of with, just for the sake of criticism.
Romanian film websites:
http://aarc.ro/ – not all their articles are translated in English even though the website has that option
http://romfilmdevelopment.org/en/news/ – only 4 film reviews
http://cinepub.ro/site/ – a website with Romanian films, a film library, so it’s probably the best (legal) source for free Romanian films
- Solid information, good insides on the industry, bilingual content, interviews.
- All websites are run by a group of people and are part of larger publics.
What will my website bring new?
Firstly, being only 2 Romanian film websites, it cannot be said that the area is “over populated”. Detur la Preciziei won’t be better or worse than those, but it has a slightly different approach. It is a bit more focused on films than the industry as a whole:
- http://romfilmdevelopment.org/en/news/ only has 4 film reviews so far, while detur la Preciziei already published 7; plus this one is dedicated only to contemporary films, while detur la Preciziei tries to also incorporate older films, for a larger context).
- its focus is not exclusively on Romanian cinema, but there are articles about international films, recently released – detur la Preciziei has a long term plan of maybe extending its area over East European Cinema, but it would discuss films in context, in the context of East European cinema, how it developed over the years, how each country has a specific cinema, and actually one cannot generically name any film produced in the East-central part of Europe an East European film
- http://aarc.ro/ is a good data base for films, they have an index with (I think) almost all Romanian films, and virtual published articles about those films – but not all of their material is bilingual even though the site has that option; detur la Preciziei has all its articles translated and intends to continue like this
- what detur la Preciziei does differently and is focused on, while the other websites aren’t, is developing a dialogue with the public (through the interviews, for now). Detur la Preciziei is interested not only in what critics or people in the industry say about certain films or Romanian cinema in general but also in what the public says. As shown, our participants in the public interviews (the Romanians) have articulated opinions about Romanian films in general and films in particular, that deserve to be taken into consideration.
- detur la preciziei is looking to extend this public dialogue with people outside Romania as well, plus, in contrast to the others, the main interface of the website is in English, not Romanian, which makes it more approachable for the international readers.