Zeitgeist Films has tabbed May 27 as the domestic DVD debut date for Romanian filmmaker Calin Peter Netzer’s award-winning film, Child’s Pose (the Golden Bear winner at the Berlin International Film Festival).
The ARR is 95 days and ticket sales from the film’s limited arthouse run currently stand at $71,761.
After World War II the British spawned a sub-category of dramas that were dubbed “Kitchen Sink Realism,” which were basically films about class distinctions — ordinary Brits fought the war and were now being asked (persuaded, shoved, pushed … pick one) into going back to the pre-war social order. These were angry films … they touched a nerve.
The Romanians, in the wake of the fall of Soviet-style communism (and particularly after Nicolae Ceaușescu’s departure) seem to be developing their own sense of film, which some in the media have dubbed the Romanian New Wave.
Class distinction — as with their Kitchen Sink cousins — plays a role, but with an interesting twist. Among some there is a desire for the social order and perks (and the certainty) that went with the all-powerful central state government of the past. If you were connected, things of consequence could simply be put aside.
Netzer hits this class “warfare” hard with the introduction of Cornelia Keneres (Luminita Gheorghiu), a woman of wealth and connections, who works very hard at trying to control (dominate) her son, Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache). He’s a slacker, born of privilege by Romanian standards (hint: Eurotrash), who lives off his mother’s largess, but does little to show his gratitude.
She spies on him (by use of the cleaning lady) and can’t stand his latest choice in women, Carmen (Ilinca Goia), who, in her own way, is nearly as delusional as Barbu’s mother.
With these introductions safely tucked away, Netzer launches into the core of the story with a drunken Barbu mowing down a young peasant with his car in some backwater town on the outskirts of Bucharest. Mom to the rescue, where you get hammered with the notion that if things were the way they were, this could be simply dealt with … a bribe here, a favor there and the “issue” would go away.
It is frustrating for her that so much work has to go into fixing such a little thing. Corruption, while still there, just isn’t what it should be.
It many ways, especially in the light of the Russian Bear stirring of late, Cornelia is something of a representation of someone being rooted in the past (the order of things). This desire seems to be once again growing in power, while her son — the future of Romania — counters with little to offer but depression, a sense of hopelessness and a metaphor for a generation that could be ripe for the picking.
Child’s Pose is a provocative film, presented in Romanian with optional English subtitles and complete with bonus goodies that include deleted scenes and a making-of documentary.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report