Mircea Daneliuc, Romania, 1981
Fiction, colour, 121'
Romanian with English subtitles


Tora Vasilescu
Nicolae Albani
Paul Lavric
Mircea Daneliuc
Maria Gligor
Adriana Schiopu

Friday 11 April 2008
8.50 pm
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The Cruise

Political mobilisation, romance and dead-pan comedy on the river Danube.

The Cruise

A group of youngsters are offered a free cruise on the Danube as a reward for talent and work discipline proven in fields ranging from creative writing to 'work-place maintenance'. A series of adventures will unfold during the trip, putting in perspective the clash between the youthful spirit of the travellers and the restrictive context created by the organisers and by society in general. A witty political satire of collapsing authority, The Cruise combines travelogue, love intrigue and political innuendo, to capture the growing gap between the official log-book of the cruise and the actual events occurring on the way. One of the funniest, and yet to be discovered, gems of Eastern European cinema.

The Cruise

Mircea Daneliuc

Today's 'New Romanian Cinema' didn't grow out of thin air or just from Lucian Pintilie's overcoat. Mircea Daneliuc, one of the iconic film-makers of the 1970s/1980s, has always been the enfant terrible of Romanian cinema, carrying an anti-establishment aura and a gusto for the spoken language which have been his assets from the very beginning of his career. In the mid-1980s, he gave up his Communist Party membership to avoid the cutting of one of his films (Glissando, 1984) and, for several years, made a living out of knitting cardigans after having fallen out of grace with the political elite. Rumour has it that he even found a way to interweave his signature in the knits - a witty transfer of authorship at a time when he was banned from making films, which was also the mark of his enduring sense of humour, in spite of the crippling reality of Ceausescu's Romania.

In the early 1990s, after the change of political regime in Romania, Daneliuc added to his repertoire of subversive acts a free public premiere of one of his films (Conjugal Bed, 1993) when only 61.5 % of the film was screened - corresponding to the percentage of votes received by the presidential candidate of the time, who was elected with a landslide in spite of having been exposed as a stalwart of Ceausescu's regime.

Daneliuc's Microphone Test (1980), Cruise (1981) and Jacob (1988) have achieved an iconic status among Romanian audiences but his most recent work failed to score significantly at the box office. Today it is still hard to decide whether Daneliuc is one of those who - in the words of Slovakian writer Slavenka Drakulic - 'survived communism and even laughed' or, whether his career could be described more accurately through the joke about the Eastern European intellectual who, when asked how he survived communism, replied: “Did I”?

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