THE DEATH OF MISTER LAZARESCU

Contemporary World Cinema
Romania / 2005 / Romanian dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 154 minutes
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Synopsis

Dante Lazerescu (Ion Fiscuteanu) feels unwell and calls for an ambulance. As he waits for it to arrive, his neighbors try to help him and then the paramedic (Luminta Gheorghiu) and her driver begin an exhausting night of trying to find a hospital that can operate on him. This is not a happy subject, nor perhaps an ideal choice for the unadventurous in terms of film language, but Puiu here delivers an extraordinary example of cinematic naturalism, pared down to the barest essentials to trace powerfully Lazarescu's dehumanizing journey to his end. It screened at Cannes this year in "Un Certain Regard", was described by <I>Variety</I>magazine as "unexpectedly mesmerizing" and has some wonderfully sardonic running jokes - definitely a film for those seeking something different and challenging.

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