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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Marfa si banii" )

 

directed by Cristi Puiu
Romania 2001

 

Looking to raise money to buy his own stall, twenty-something Ovidiu (Alexandru Papadopol, OCCIDENT) agrees to transport some "medicine" from his home village of Constanta to Bucharest under a tight deadline for Mr. Ivanov (Razvan Vasilescu, CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'), a former co-worker with his father (Constantin Draganescu, SUNDAYS ON LEAVE) at the closed-down plant who has become a well-to-do thug. Almost immediately, Ovidiu fails to follow Ivanov's strict instructions, inviting along for the ride buddy Vali (Dragos Bucur, POLICE, ADJECTIVE) - who in turn invites sullen girlfriend Bety (Ioana Flora, OUTBOUND) - departs late due to his mother's (Luminita Gheorghiu, TIME OF THE WOLF) hospitality, agrees to pick up supplies from Bucharest for his mother's own home-front shop, and generally being defiantly casual in the face of Ivanov's urgency and justified doubt about his ability to follow instructions. Not long after the trio hit the road, they realize that they are being trailed by a red Rover that does not seem to want to overtake them. Hotheaded Vali stops the car for a confrontation only for he and Ovidiu to be attacked by the driver and his passenger. Getting back on the road, the three are unsure whether the incident has to do with their cargo (which they have guessed are actually drugs) or an episode of road rage. As they continue on down the road and take a lonely detour as instructed by Ivanov, Ovidiu starts to realize that he may be in way over his head. STUFF AND DOUGH, the feature debut of Cristi Puiu (AURORA), is a realist road movie that deftly underlines its more mundane aspects with black humor and suspense. Utilizing a fairly naturalistic photographic style with camera movement and editing seemingly motivated by the rhythms of the humorous or panicked back-and-forth dialogue among the van's trio, Puiu soon has the viewer even more so than the characters looking out for a sign of the red van (and picking out the color red within any part of the seemingly casually composed frame. The sorry state of the Romania post-Ceaușescu for the working class is expressed not just in the mise-en-scene but in the somewhat unfeasible ideas of success Ovidiu dreams up in contrast to the state of his parents' business, their blasť attitudes about bribing traffic cops, and casual xenophobia. The film preceded international attention of the new wave of Romanian cinema that came about four years later when Cannes awarded the "Un Certain Regard" prize to Puiu's next feature THE DEATH OF MISTER LAZARESCU.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 10 June 2004 (Hungary)

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DVD Review: Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:30:03 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.27 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Romanian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
� Interview with director Cristi Puiu (16:9; 24:29)
� Cristi Puiu's short film 'Cigarettes and Coffee' (16:9; 12:41)
� Booklet by critic Carmen Gray

DVD Release Date: May 27th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Second Run's dual-layer DVD debuts a brand director-approved HD master in a high-bitrate encode that looks strong. As with several of their other titles, the back case identifies the Dolby Digital 2.0 track as stereo even when they are monophonic, and the film does not seem to have much in the way of stereo separations. The optional English subtitles keep up with the rapid dialogue.

The disc also features Puiu's 2004 shoot "Coffee and Cigarettes" as well as a brand new interview with the director in which he recalls his beginnings as a painter (he studied at a school in Geneva but would end up abandoning painting for cinema in the second year), his exposure to the works of Bunuel, Tony Richardson, and Nikita Mikhalkov, as well as his contention that he is still an observer as a director unconcerned with the mechanism of cinema. Carmen Gray also provides an essay on the film in the included booklet.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

 

 


 


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