Revolutions in the cinema seldom need the masses. Four or five names usually suffice; they come together when the benevolent film god focusses on a particular place at a particular time and in a blinking of an eye the screen world is a new one. In the late fifties of the last century a few prominent French film critics decided to try out things behind the camera and bada bing, the Nouvelle Vague was born. In the mid-nineties a few boisterous Danes wrote a seemingly ascetic manifesto and suddenly all other films looked like they were under a thick layer of dust compared with the Dogma productions. For a decade now the clear, stringent language of a handful of German directors has challenged the ubiquitous noise cinema and by now they are happy to be counted as part of the prestigious “Berlin School”, a name they didn’t coin for themselves.
Sometimes it is a central aesthetic concept which unites these small groups of extreme individualists; sometimes it’s the weight of historical circumstance. The handful of Romanian directors who are now causing a stir in international auteur cinema, belong to a generation of 30 and 40-somethings who grew up under Ceaucescu but were not broken by him.
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