Love bites at TIFF with director Radu Mihaileanu

Oana Vasiliu 05/06/2017 | 14:33

One of the most expected movies from this 16th edition of TIFF is The History of Love (Povestea iubirii), directed by Radu Mihăileanu. The movie is the director’s first English-language feature, which will have its Romanian premiere tonight, in Unirii Square.

The organizers of TIFF decided to present two screenings of this movie: the giant outdoor screen projection in Unirii Square on June 5, and a screening in the village of Dâncu, the actual location where part of the film was shot. Starting with June 9, Transilvania Film will be distributing The History of Love nationwide.

Tickets for the Unirii Square screening are available from biletmaster.ro and the TIFF 2017 application. The special screening in ncu is free of charge.

Based on Nicole’s Krauss’s bestseller of the same title, which has been translated in over 35 languages, the film follows the love story of Leo and Alma, two young Polish Jews yanked apart by the horrors of the Second World War. In the film, The History of Love is the title of the book Leo Gursky (Derek Jacobi) writes for Alma Mereminski (Gemma Arterton). Mysteriously published years after the life paths of the two parted, the book connects characters across time and space.

“When I first read Nicole Krauss’s novel, I had the feeling that I know all the characters, that they have been with me, inside me, all this time. The feeling was so strong that I began to wonder how she managed to enter my mind without ever having met me and with, indeed, much more talent than I myself possess. The story encompasses all the themes I myself adore: the power of love, its capacity to cut across eras, continents, generations, wars, cultures, and also humor — whose living proof is our all being here, alive, today,” says Mihăileanu.

A special guest at Transilvania IFF this year, Sir Derek Jacobi is one of the most resounding names in British theater and film. An actor and a director himself, Jacobi played over 90 roles in cinema and television productions, including The Day of the Jackal (1973), Little Dorrit (1983), Dead Again (1991), Gladiator (2000), Gosford Park (2001), The Riddle (2007), and The King’s Speech (2010). He was twice awarded the prestigious Laurence Olivier distinction for his stage roles in Cyrano de Bergerac (1983) and Twelfth Night (2009), and a Tony award for Much Ado About Nothing (1984).  He is a founding member of the National Theater Company in London.

Another star featured in Mihăileanu’s film is Gemma Arterton, former “Bond girl’ (Quantum of Solace, 2008), protagonist of blockbusters such as Clash of the Titans (2010), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) and Byzantium (2013), and recipient of important theater honors. Alongside her are cast Sophie Nélisse (The Book Thief) and the well-known American actor Elliott Gould (M*A*S*H, the Ocean’s trilogy, and the Friends television sit-com), as well as Romanian actors orneliu Ulici, Mihai Călin, Miriam Rizea, Simona Maican, Claudiu Maier and Ovidiu Cuncea.

The History of Love is a French-Canadian-Belgian-Romanian co-production, which was shot in Cluj and in Bucharest, as well as in Montreal and in New York. Key scenes were shot in the village of Dâncu, which is part of the Aghireșu township in the county of Cluj, and in several locations in the city of Cluj: the synagogue on Horea Street, the National Theater, the Central Park, and the Chemistry College.

What’s on TIFF

Also, the competition of the 16th edition of the TIFF features directors on their first or second film and this year maps a veritable conflict zone: stories on the edge of a knife inspired by real events or personal experiences, challenging situations and daring approaches, moral fables that are either extreme or nuanced beyond clarity, all taken on by emerging directors taking the kinds of risks that will surely bring them recognition. Of the 12 titles competing for the Transilvania Trophy, 8 are feature debuts.

If you can’t come to Cluj Napoca to attend TIFF, don’t worry. Some of the movies are screened in Bucharest at Afi Palace.

Read also: Interview. Tudor Giurgiu: What to expect from TIFF 2017?

This year’s Romanian Days section (June 8-10) presents 27 titles— 13 features and 14 shorts — selected out of over 120 submissions. Five of this year’s features are world premieres. And, like every year, Transilvania IFF’s Romanian Days will bring together hundreds of industry figures from Romania and around the world.

The enigmatic rebel of French cinema, a European film icon, and one of the world’s most beloved actors, the legendary Alain Delon comes to Romania for the first time as a special guest of the 16th edition of the TIFF. The French star, who is often cited as one of the most beautiful men of all time, conquered the hearts and minds of the audiences during the golden age of European cinema. TIFF will award Alain Delon the Lifetime Achievement Award for exceptional artistic contribution. In his honor, on June 9, the Unirii Square will host a special screening of  Pour la peau d’un flic / For a Cop’s Hide (1981), a thriller directed by the great French actor and which also features Delon in the starring role.

Business Review will report daily from TIFF 2017.

Photo courtesy of TIFF.

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