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Review: Tales from the Golden Age

Panorama of black-humor stories
By GERALD PEARY  |  November 29, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

The ironically titled film refers to the dreadful Alice-in-Wonderland years when Nicolae Ceausescu was the Communist strongman of Romania. For this panorama of black-humor stories, Romania's finest filmmaker, Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) gathered five directors, he among them, to dramatize his short screenplays. Who helmed what is intentionally fuzzy, but the mini-dramas make a coherent absurdist whole poking fun at a murderously nutty era. The very best shorts are Billy Wilder-funny, and also the most directly political, e.g., a tale of a sleepy, apolitical Romanian village going bananas with red flags, pageantry, and obsequious folk music because Communist leaders will be driving through. But all the stories have their merits, celebrating a people amusingly out of step with their stalwart, demented leaders.

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  Topics: Reviews , Music, five, romanian,  More more >
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