“The Death of Mister Lazarescu, the second feature by director Cristi Puiu, accomplishes no small feat: it invests the sad and pitiable moment-to-moment experiences of the ailing Mr. Lazarescu with the gravitas of an epic odyssey. Mr. Lazarescu calls the ambulance one night after vomiting and suffering headaches. Accompanied by medic Mioara, he is taken from overworked doctor to overworked doctor, crowded hospital to crowded hospital, as his life slowly drains away.
Shot in close to real time and described by Puiu as exhibiting a “typically Romanian slowness” that builds palpable suspense, the film is also punctuated by a dark humour familiar from other Eastern European cinema. The hand-held camera is observer rather than investigator, so our picture of Mr. Lazarescu is formed from surface details rather than through expository revelations: he has several cats, his apartment is a mess, the television is always on and a running gag implies that his breath reeks of alcohol. Veteran actor Ion Fiscuteanu completely carries the film in the title role, but the film is not so much a character study as it is a treatise on the human condition. Inspired by Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales, The Death of Mister Lazarescu is the first of Puiu's planned Six Stories from the Bucharest Suburbs. Filmed with bare-bones naturalism reminiscent of the tenets of the Dogme 95 manifesto, the brusque, aborted attempts at caring for our corpulent protagonist take place in cramped, claustrophobic interiors. Puiu is clearly disturbed by the absence of compassion within Romania's enfeebled health-care system. But this bureaucratic dehumanization is a global problem and, while The Death of Mister Lazarescu is undeniably rooted in its milieu, the story takes on the universal relevance of the works of Dante or Virgil, the namesakes of our tragic hero and his brother.”
Dimitri Eipides, Toronto IFF
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS -
DOM NA KINOTO - 20.00 часа
EURO CINEMA - 20.45 часа