Catfight or how to calm your nerves

There are days when you’re overwhelmed by an anger steadily growing inside you like an ivy plant suffocating any other vegetation around it. It might be the city and its crazy energy and those human interactions like two boiling teapots fighting for the same stove. Sometimes you manage to calm down without yelling at friends, strangers or family members but quite often there’s a clear air of defeat.

From anger to actual physical violence can be a quick transition but our education and moral compass tells us to control those impulses. An act of violence will grow exponentially up to a total chaos. But when it’s a film, a comedy we leave reality norms for 2 hours aside. Thank God!  In “Catfight” the times when somebody stepped on your nerves so hard you imagined to punch them for a few seconds becomes part of the actual narrative. It’s funny and cathartic to a degree but most amusing are the witty, sarcastic dialogues between the two main characters. Sandra Oh and Anne Heche are a fantastic duo on screen and the art world and rich people are majestically and efficiently trashed through their characters. The world in “Catfight” is absurd and realistic to a degree and even scary. As if nightmares gain substance over night.The social critique feels relevant as well the “fart content” of the media and its brainwashing.

There are also hilarious scenes involving Alicia Silverstone character, a fake baby, a baby shower, some random tree caressing but you should discover all of that when you see “Catfight”. Don’t want to spoil your ride…

Not sure why there had to be almost identical consequences for their vicious fights but this detail didn’t affect my overall fun experience of “Catfight”. See it at Cinema Village this week! Thanks Onur Terkel for writing and directing this mad gem!



Best Documentaries of 2014

There are plenty of interesting documentaries that I’ve missed but thanks to DOC NYC I discovered “The Overnighters” and “Salt of the Earth” that will continue to haunt me for a while. It’s wonderful that “Citizenfour” can still be seen at IFC 2 months after its premiere and “Finding Vivian Maier” was a pleasant fixture at the same art cinema but otherwise… too often good documentaries have only a modest 1-2 weeks run in theaters. It feels like a never ending chase to watch them before they disappear. It’s unfair because frequently filmmakers invest several years of their life to shoot and edit their documentaries.

1. The Overnighters

2. The Salt of the Earth

3. Citizenfour

4. Finding Vivian Maier

5. Waiting for August

6. Jodorowsky’s Dune

7. The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

8. The Green Prince

9. National Gallery

10. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

11. 20.000 Days on Earth

12. Marmato

13. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

14. Inequality for All

15. Pulp: A Film about Life, Death& Supermarkets

16. Iris

17. Actress

18. Waiting for the Elephant

19. Evolution of a Criminal

20.Children 404

Best 30 Films of 2014

This top 30 consists of films that managed to differentiate themselves in 2014 through a very unique and consistent vision, a high level of overall quality, impeccable writing, choices that showcased courage and assumed creative risks, emotion, surprising choices and an interesting structure/concept. The order is not that relevant. I tried not to include titles that are predictable or emulate overused formulas created to please at all costs/artistic compromises. And I’ve left aside films like “Theory of Everything” and “The Imitation Game” because the screenwriting is often mediocre, boring, playing safe all the time. Both of them were made after the “awards (Academy) snatching recipe” and for me are forgettable and disappointing. An earlier version of this top was published in among other lists made by Romanian film critics.

  1. Birdman
  2. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
  3. Ida
  4. Starred Up
  5. Force Majeure
  6. Boyhood
  7. Hide Your Smiling Faces
  8. Jauja
  9. Winter Sleep
  10. Leviathan
  11. Foxcatcher
  12. Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
  13. Locke
  14. Two Days, One Night
  15. Rover
  16. Abuse of Weakness
  17. Calvary
  18. Whiplash
  19. The Double
  20. 71
  21. La Danza dela realidad
  22. Goodbye to Language 3D
  23. Love is Strange
  24. Under the Skin
  25. Frank
  26. Nightcrawler
  27. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her
  28. Mood Indigo
  29. Clouds of Sils Maria
  30. QED (Quot Erat Demonstrandum)


My interview with Andrew Dosunmu for Brio Pop

Interview with Andrew Dosunmu for Brio Pop
Page 40

Top films of 2013

1. Before Midnight
before midnight 2

2. Nebraska
3. Short Term 12
4. Stories We Tell
5. Her
6. Mother of George
7. Frances Ha
8. To The Wonder
9. The Act of Killing
10. 12 Years of Slave
11. Inside Llewyn Davis
12. Spring Breakers
13. Beyond the Hills
14. American Hustle
15. Prisonners
16. Spectacular Now
17. No
18. Hannah Arendt
19. Dallas Buyers Club
20. Mud
21. In the House
22. Blue Jasmine

A Question of Time

Time can’t be changed. Regrets can be felt as mountains on our shoulders. If we can’t forgive or let it go. And mysteriously it runs faster or slower for us as a kid playing tricks while laughing loud. At Governor’s Jazz Lawn at the end of this summer time was controlled and moved back to the 20s to a beautiful era. This lady looks like she’s praying while observing her son and in time she will remember this moment.

Cross roads of love

You don’t love somebody expecting or asking to be loved back in the same way. It’s not a market transaction when the quantity it’s placed on scale and reduced to a fixed value with interest like a heart loan. The sacrifices and feelings you pour in front of your partner shouldn’t be used as a currency and pressure to get the same thing back. The moment when you ask to be loved because of what you did and went through for somebody breaks an untouchable magic and makes God angry. All that purity and beauty of love turns rotten and poisonous. Dark clouds are rushing over the relationship and that special connection is gone. The hell begins to build itself with confidence.

Ryan Gosling ‘s character in Blue Valentine expects to be showered with warm affection from his busy stressed wife and demands it as if it’s the easiest thing to do. But love comes and go. When it starts to step back you have to dig hard to discover why and then to work building its main structure again.  But not all of us have reached maturity and wisdom in love matters. Experience helps you understand things but the lack of it might doom your love. How should two people communicate and find a common ground. By avoiding to be too selfish, listen well your half and find a common talking channel.

Love is crazy, foolish and it’s not directed by mind and ruled by intellect. You can’t control it choose the time it comes and who’s the person that the arrow will find. But context and timing can affect it in a difficult way and that’s the case with our couple from “Blue Valentine”. They’re both lost and in denial and they start to really see and understand each other in the last scene of the film in the kitchen. The ending can be perceived in two ways: either they’ ll start to respect each other more and reshape their marriage or just get a divorce. But there’s hope… and you can smell that perfume.

A Complex, Rare Vision

I’m not what some would call an avid fashion consumer and I refuse to follow the latest fashion trend just for the sake  of being up to date or “cool”. I’m choosing what represents me whether it’s 2011, 60s or 90s and I believe a well cut black dress can be timeless. Different materials, patterns with transparencies or intricate elements can win me over because it involves an attention to details and a vision about how to transform/present/change women’ bodies. Nevertheless I’m fascinated with art and people who seek to be original and inventive.

Staying at the line to get tickets for “Savage Beauty” Alexander McQueen‘s exhibition at MET I was telling this old lady near me how it’s sad that people get really enamored with an artist after its death and how come we don’t see a similar crazy interest over a painting exhibition for instance. At that point I was a little bit familiar with McQueen’s work but looking back it was just a quick glimpse into his world.

McQueen was not just a huge talented fashion designer he was a complex artist and innovator, a smart cultivated creature and a sensitive and humble human being. Reading  some of his quotes it feels like you attend an intense class swallowing essential things that sometimes are skipped even in prestigious art colleges or an entire existence on Earth. McQueen poured his love, interest and knowledge of history, nationalism, various cultures, soul,  fear, poetry, film into his garments making them unique in every way. Each collection has a name that represents a theme that it’s explored with passion exposing the roots and combining it with surprising elements and personal  interpretation. It’s like a poem but actually you’re driving through “100 years of Solitude” …

What McQueen created is art at its best and some of his dresses are so surreal and perfect you can’t stop staring at them. It’s a celebration of beauty in all forms and actually he teaches us to discover beauty in the most unexpected places. What we usually perceive as mundane or repulsive can be stripped to core and shown in a way that’s truly beautiful. But a great quality of McQueen art is its blunt honesty and extreme personal touch whether that means diving  into dark demons or embrace playfulness or usual taboos.

McQueen forces us to open our minds, expand our horizon, swim inside our heart,  accept our nightmares, use our imagination and take risks. His broad knowledge  added complexity  to his craft and while you admire mesmerized his creations you wanna read all those books that had a relevant impact on him, refining his approach on art. His art is full of  emotion,  originality, wisdom and inspires one greatly. Experiencing it enriched me in such a deep way and the hours I’ve waited in line were totally worth it. “Savage Beauty” it’s one of the best art exhibitions I’ve seen in my life.

Before daring to change anything significant in clothes McQueen learned to be a perfect and inventive tailor adapting to any situation. Once he mastered that he jumped from using leather or balsa wood to velvet with complicate manual embroidery to organza silk, tulle, lace. McQueen made dresses out of dead flowers, shells, exotic feathers playing with a dress from XIV century and expressing his own political views&opinions and then transporting us in the dark Victorian goth period and then into a fusion of Japanese art and Western consumption culture. His accessories are mind blowing they feel like contemporary magic  props/sculptures that make you push yourself outside the usual barriers. Step out of the box now.

Films to see Saturday 6th of August-Thursday 11th of August

1. “Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a  Tribe Called Quest”

2. “The Future”

3. “The Double Hour”

4. “Incendies”

5. “Passione”

6. “Bill Cunningham New York”

Inspiring place

Wood, glass, cement, paint in different colors, elongated light bulbs all mixed together so well that Nunu cafe becomes your house for a few hours. Even more it’s your oasis. You’ve escaped the familiar things and somehow you feel liberated. That’s why you can’t stop taking pictures, writing or just…day dreaming.