4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)

One needs to know before seeing 4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile what Romanians themselves know: that abortion (as well as the use of contraception) was illegal in Romania in 1987, during the Communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceauşescu, who wished to maximize his country’s population, but it became legal shortly after revolution deposed (and […]

KOLJA (Jan Svěrák, 1996)

Interruption is the main motif of Kolja, from the Czech Republic; the idea of discontinuity provides the film, written by and starring Zdenek Svěrák and directed by his son, Jan, with its principal continuity. There are numerous instances of interruption in 55-year-old František Louka’s life—for instance: the boot he gets from the state orchestra in […]

LIFE IS A BED OF ROSES (Alain Resnais, 1983)

Three time-frames infiltrate one another; three stories interlock—and a fourth, medieval story is contained in the contemporary story as an expression of children’s imagination. Alain Resnais’s La vie est un roman—literally, Life Is a Romance, but in the States, Life Is a Bed of Roses—is all about imagination: imagining a royal estate, imagining a utopian […]