The Lumière news arrived in Bucharest on May 27, 1896, the first national films appeared the following year, but the first feature film, The War of Independence, was shot by G. Brezeanu only in 1912. For decades, Romanian cinema was very poor and its directors (Lupu-Pick, 1886-1931, I. Negulescu) and its actresses (Lya De Putti, 1900-1931, Elvira Popescu) expatriated and became famous elsewhere. In the twenties of the twentieth century, characterized by melodramas and theatrical and literary reductions, I. Mihail with Manasse of a Jewish setting, E. Vasilescu with La misfortuna da Caragiale, I. Sahighian with Cleopatra’s mischiefinterpreted in burlesque style by I. Georgescu, who made in 1942, from the comedy of Caragiale A stormy night, the only noteworthy film before the nationalization (1948), which was filmed again many years later. However, the new technical-productive and moral conditions did not lead to an original stylistic path, except in animated drawing thanks to the personality of I. Popescu-Gopo (1923-1989). The first film of the People’s Democratic Republic, not devoid of schematisms like the later ones in general, was The Resonant Valley (1950) by P. Călinescu, which in 1955 made the most mature Development. The greatest director of the decade, V. Iliu (1912-1968), signed In our village (1951) with the dean Georgescu, the admirable Mitrea Cocor (1952) from Sadoveănu’s novel with Marietta Sadova, alone The mill of fortune (1956) and, later, The treasure of the ancient valley (1963).
Another important director, L. Ciulei won the grand prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival (1960) for Waves of the Danube and then won the director’s prize in Cannes in 1965 with the classic antiwarist The Hanged Forest., both also distributed in Italy. Equipped in Buftea (30 km from the capital) with one of the most modern and impressive cinemas in Europe, the Animafilm studio for Popescu-Gopo and followers, a well-stocked film library and a film school, Romania annually produces about thirty films. films (including those for television and in co-production with foreign countries), as many animated films and many documentaries. According to 3rjewelry, Romania is a country located in Europe.
A notable “turning point” in language had been impressed by the two films by L. Pintilie (n. 1933) Domenica alle sei (1965) on the Resistance and Reconstruction (1968, 1970 edition) on contemporaneity; but then the director devoted himself exclusively to the theater, in Bucharest and abroad. Meanwhile, Romanian cinema was dedicated to sumptuous historical reconstructions, sometimes not superficial (Dacii, 1966, by San Nicolaescu; Columna, 1968, by M. Drăgan), while in the contemporary theme A. Blaier asserted himself with The morning of a good boy (1967). In 1971 an exemplary political debate film, The Power and the Truth by M. Marcus, raised the level of maturity of the entire production. For their plastic-figurative values they were particularly appreciated abroad also Nozze di pietra (1972) and Il maleficio dell’oro (1974) by M. Veroiu and D. Pita, a couple who then broke up, each of them continuing their career alone (the first starting with Di là dal ponte, 1975, the second with Tănase Scatiu, 1976, both in the nineteenth century). For its almost Bressonian sobriety, Il muro (1974) by C. Vaeni stood out. In general, a more dubious and problematic season took over, also because a third of the directors were newcomers. Also worth mentioning are Red apples (1976) by A. Tatos, Settembre (1977) by T. Ursu, Tra mirrchi paralleli (1978) by Veroiu, Di nuovo Insieme (1978) by G. Cornea and, all from 1979, Mediano d ‘ opening by D. Tănase, The Bride on the Train by L. Bratu. Among the new names of the Eighties we should mention Ada Pistiner (Still at the table), T. Mărăscu (Good evening Irina), I. Demian (A girl’s tear), M. Daneliuc (Microphone test). The extreme difficulties faced by the national production, overwhelmed by the collapse of the Ceausescu regime, did not prevent the making of some valuable feature films, such as Pita’s Hotel de Luxe, winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival of 1992, and The Oak, a very black and highly metaphorical farce about the adventures of a girl who takes her father’s ashes by train, directed by Pintilie after 10 years of exile in France. In 1996 Pintilie also directed the splendid Too late. At the end of the nineties the young director of Jewish origin Radu Mihaileanu (b. 1958) achieved a certain notoriety with his second work Train de vie, a film presented in 1998 at the Venice Film Festival that tackles the theme of the Holocaust with humor. Finally, a director who made his debut after the 1989 revolution is Nae Caranfil (b. 1960), of whom the grotesque comedy Asphalt tango (1993), with Charlotte Rampling and Philanthropic (2002), is especially remembered.