Peter C. Baker in The National:
Readers, you all know where I stand: mainstream Transylvanian cinema is hands down the most vibrant in the world today. I’m not talking about the so-called independent fare that gets drooled over by left-wing academics in the Cluj-Napoca Times, the so-called “paper of record”, but never plays in cinemas where you and I live. I’m not talking about “experimental” shorts that consist of nothing but close-ups of necks. And I’m definitely not talking about black-and-white “mumblecore” films where a bunch of overprivileged slackers sit around being lazy, and never even show their fangs.
Foreign film? Thanks but no thanks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: what do far-flung elites know about the daily concerns – the hungers, the fears, the desires – of real Transylvanians? The only thing worse than a foreign film, to be perfectly honest, is a foreign film made by humans. Liviu Vlaicu at the Cluj-Napoca Times can say whatever he wants: 90 minutes with no bloodsucking just doesn’t add up to entertainment. Don’t be tricked into thinking otherwise by the pimply 108-year old at your local video store – and don’t be fooled by the titles, either. Beware, readers, of Reality Bites, There Will Be Blood and Red Dawn: none are what they seem.
Last year, when I first heard that a human movie was doing big box office here in Transylvania, I wrote it off to the enthusiasm of self-hating city slickers like Liviu Vlaicu who drink organic blood from bottles (if they drink real blood at all). But as the weeks wore on and Twilight steadily conquered our multiplexes, I became worried and curious. I went to the movie’s website, and here is what I found: this movie selling out theatres across Transylvania – written by a human, directed by a human, starring humans, based on a book by a human – claims to be about vampires.