TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE - Los Angeles Premiere

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September 15, 2011, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Cinematheque108 and IFC Films invite you and a guest to the Los Angeles Premiere of

Tales From the Golden Age

 
Directed by Ioana Uricaru, Hanno Höfer, Razvan Marculescu, Constantin Popescu and Cristian Mungiu
 
Followed by a Q&A with SCA Alumna Ioana Uricaru

7:00 P.M. on Thursday, September 15th, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
 
OFFICIAL SELECTION -- TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2009
 

About Tales From the Golden Age

The final 15 years of the Ceausescu regime were the worst in Romania's history. Nonetheless, the propaganda machine of that time referred without fail to that period as “The Golden Age”...

Tales From the Golden Age adapts for the screen the most popular urban myths of the period. Comic, bizarre, surprising myths abounded, myths that drew on the often surreal events of everyday life under the communist regime. Humor is what kept Romanians alive, and Tales From the Golden Age aims to re-capture that mood, portraying the survival of a nation having to face every day the twisted logic of a dictatorship.

On the occasion of Ceausescu's working visits, countryside mayors ended up hanging fruit in trees to make sure their villages would be noticed, obeying even the strangest orders from the ferocious Party activists. Communist Party secret regulations stated that in official pictures President Ceausescu couldn't take his hat off in front of the representatives of the rotten capitalistic world, President d'Estaing included. A professional driver decides to open his sealed truck for the first time in his career and discovers the connection between eggs, Easter and marital love. A policeman gets a live pig as gift before Christmas and decides that gas poisoning would be the best way to kill the animal silently amongst his hungry neighbors. In the 80s Romania, Bughi and Crina play Bonnie and Clyde, robbing people of bottled air.

Tales From the Golden Age combines several true stories to portray an era during which food was more important than money, freedom more important than love and survival more important than principles.

Provided courtesy of IFC Films. Not Rated. Running time: 155 minutes. In Romanian with English subtitles.

To learn more about the film, click here.

 

About the Guest

IOANA URICARU was born and raised in Romania during the country's communist totalitarian regime. She moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to pursue an MFA degree at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Her thesis film The Sun and the Moon was selected in several international festivals, including AFI Fest. In 2008 she was invited to be one of the five Romanian directors who collaborated on the omnibus Tales From the Golden Age, which premiered in the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. Ioana was a resident of the Cinefondation in Paris (Cannes' program for emerging filmmakers) in 2009-2010. In 2010 she directed the shorts Stopover (Sundance Film Festival 2011) and The Witness (sponsored by the Sloan Foundation, now in postproduction), and she received the Sundance Institute's Sloan Commissioning Grant for the project Paperclip. She currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Critical Studies department at USC.

About the Production: Notes from Cristian Mungiu

ABOUT THE CONCEPT

Tales From the Golden Age aims to provide an unconventional subjective history of the late Communist times in Romania, told through its urban myths from the perspective of ordinary people. Romanians consider urban legends to be true stories that were passed from mouth to mouth. They were the main topic of gossip and debate in the long cues for food.

The project re-creates in a nostalgic and evocative way the times of our youth during the eighties, through music, language, objects and stereotypes of that age. The film offers an overview of the survival of a nation having to face every day the particular logic of a dictatorship – revealing the comic aspects of a dictatorship that was taking itself too seriously.

STRUCTURE

Tales From the Golden Age is composed of several stories connected by the mood, narrative pattern and the details of the historical period: the only car you can see on the streets is DACIA, the local version of Renault 12; the daily TV program is just two hours long; everybody steals from the State; food is more important than money; you have to obey party orders no matter how illogical. The people wear a grim expression yet still, deep inside, they are alive, they aim to love and to be loved.

CREATIVE APPROACH

After a screening of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, a spectator told me he has the feeling we are more and more making films for the festivals and less and less for the audience and asked me if we can do anything to change this. I said yes. I decided to open up the rest of the project Tales From the Golden Age to different Romanian directors, enlisting filmmakers old enough to remember the period. I chose the stories, wrote the screenplays, got involved in the casting and editing, ensuring that finally there is just one film, but each director was free to use his own cinematic language.

Waiting in line during communist times, you never knew what you were going to get. We transferred the principle to the film: different screenings of Tales from the Golden Age will feature a different combination of episodes. So if you talk to somebody who has seen a different episode than you, think of what we experienced staying in line.

Tales From the Golden Age has for me the feeling of the Italian films of the sixties or seventies, popular, direct and funny, revisiting cinema as a popular art.

About Cinematheque108

Cinematheque108 is an alternative screening series sponsored by the Critical Studies Department at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. The series offers a rare selection of events that highlight noteworthy experimental, documentary, and/or foreign films, many of which can not be seen anywhere else. Cinematheque108 is an educational forum that aims to expand understanding of alternative film and media. All screenings are free of charge and open to the pubic.

About Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu