THE ALEXANDRU SAHIA STUDIO: OLDIES, GOLDIES

STUDIOUL ALEXANDRU SAHIA: OLDIES, GOLDIES


Romania, 88'
Alexandru Boiangiu, Doru si Paula Segal, Laurentiu Damian, Ovidiu Bose Pastina

ORIGINAL TITLE

STUDIOUL ALEXANDRU SAHIA: OLDIES, GOLDIES


CATEGORY

25 years after

SYNOPSIS

One day, a man goes to a vet and says, “Doc, I have these geese and they keep dying, what should I do?” The doctor thinks for a while and advises the right medication. A couple of days later, the man returns. “Doc, my geese keep dying, what should I do?” The doctor then advises some different medication. Several days later, the man is back. Yet again, he goes away with a different prescription. The story goes on like this until, finally, he stops going to the doctor. Sometime later, the vet bumps into the man on the street: “How are your geese doing? Do you need any more advice?” “Well, doc” - replies the man – “I would really appreciate some further advice from you, but only if you don’t mind me not having any living geese available for experimentation: they’ve all long been dead and buried”.

I heard the fable of the dying geese in 2004, on my first visit to the Sahia Studio, as told by its then director, Ioan Carmazan. Needless to say, the fable touched on the studio itself, as the agonising goose of the domestic film industry, and on the directors appointed, as tentative ‘medication’, since 1989. Ten years and four more directors later, the fable still holds: the studio at 106 Aviatorilor still looks ‘dead and buried’. But, as time goes by and the films enter their vintage years, they gain new meanings.  

This year we continue our archaeology of the Sahia Studio output with a sample of works produced between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s. We start with two of Alexandru Boiangiu’s investigation documentaries – a unique brand within Romanian cinema, albeit permeated by the social engineering project of the socialist regime. We continue with a letter addressed by the Segal family to Bucharest’s future residents in the 21st Century – a playful, but no less symptomatic for its time, survey of new models of habitation in the city, grown on the scars left by the rapid urbanization. We finish with two gems from the so-called ‘generation 1980s’ at Sahia: Laurentiu Damian’s remarkable debut film about the human landscape at a construction-extraction site and Ovidiu Bose Pastina’s industrial health-and-safety commission turned aesthetic exercise. You may want to consider this program together with our Marcel Lozinski retrospective: an opportunity to reflect on what was, documentary-wise, possible in Romania and in Poland, and, subsequently, on the disciplining power of two distinct national communisms from the region. 

As homework before the screening, guess the title of the film which contains the following poetic tribute. We dedicate it to Mr. Ion Iliescu, in the light of his recent declarations regarding the ‘anarchy’ in Ukraine, 2014 vs. the ‘risk of anarchy’ in Piața Universității, 1990: 

“The miners are also this country’s politicians

Working on the inside and on the outside 

Even when galactic brakes dig deeper into their souls

They remain the loyal children of the clay mountain”.


Films:  

Our House Like a Flower (Alexandru Boiangiu, 1963, 20’) 

The D Case (Alexandru Boiangiu, 1966, 29’) 

For Our Heirs, More Stories about Bucharest… (Doru & Paula Segal, 1980, 14’) 
- Click here for interview excerpts

The Roads I have Wandered (Laurentiu Damian, 1982, 16’) 
- Click here for an interview excerpt

People Telling Stories (Ovidiu Bose Paștina, 1983, 10’)
- Interview here

FULL PROGRAM

20 March, 16:00, Cinema Elvire Popesco

23 March, 14:00, Cinema Studio

VO

Romanian

SUBTITLES

PRODUCER

Studioul Alexandru Sahia

AWARDS AND FESTIVALS

SOCIAL NETWORKS