The Romanian Wave continues with the release of Stuff and Dough, the debut feature by Cristi Puiu, critically acclaimed director of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu. Combining genres (the road movie, the buddy movie, the slacker story), he takes us in a rattle-trap van with a naïve young man, his pal and the pal's girlfriend en route to Bucharest to deliver a mysterious parcel for a local gangster.
Their conversation and the action veers from the mundane and the idiotic to the sinister and the bizzare. Puiu's sense of humor is never far from the surface, but neither is his notion that Romania is a land of serious contradictions, corruption, foolishness and brutality. — Film Forum, New York’s leading movie house for independent premieres and international art films since 1970.
Director: Cristi Puiu
Original title: Marfa şi banii
Romania, 2001, 90 min
This film is part of the series The Romanian New Wave, a special Cinemondo presentation brought to you by Link TV in association with the Romanian Cultural Institute, New York.
Starting in 2001, Romanian cinema surprised the world with a group of new filmmakers in their late thirties. Their movies - intense, dark humored and down to earth - were consistent with a radical belief that film in Romania could break through artistically. Responding to the hectic and sometimes chaotic post-Communist landscape, they took simple life stories and urban fables, and turned them into globally affecting films.
Broadly acclaimed by the international film press, and stubbornly productive despite a lack of resources, these young directors were regarded at first with disdain by Romanian critics. Yet slowly but surely they gained legitimacy, winning awards at Cannes and other major film festivals, and in the process putting Romanian cinema on the world map.
The films in this special series all come from this “new wave” of Romanian filmmakers. Few of them have had any theatrical exposure in the U.S., and through Cinemondo will reach a nationwide TV audience for the first time. Among the many highlights are Cristi Puiu’s Stuff and Dough, Porumboiu’s 12:08 East of Bucharest, Muntean’s The Paper Will Be Blue, and Nemescu’s Marilena From P7. Because documentary filmmaking has flourished alongside fictional films in Romania, three outstanding works are included in the series: Bar de Zi, Cold Waves and Testimony.
The Romanian New Wave series is a joint project of Link TV and the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, which arranged for these gems of world cinema to appear on Cinemondo and reach millions of American homes. Enjoy!
Corina Suteu, Director, Romanian Cultural Institute in New York
Steven Lawrence, Vice President, Music & Cultural Programming, Link TV