The Crime Season at the Romanian Cinematheque opens with 'a slow burn thriller taken to the extreme'

26/02/2015 @ RCI London

Every cinematheque has to have a crime season. And what film would proudly open our programme better than Cristi Puiu’s dark and disturbing 'Aurora'?

Aurora — that is, 'dawn' in Romanian — is the moment when night and day meet. 'Aurora' is the film that asks overwhelmingly difficult questions, taking the viewer in the most tenebrous zones of human psyche. A mesmerizing masterwork from one of the great innovators of the art of film that anyone should see! 


'Aurora' is the story of the fall of an ordinary man – an imperfect fall without glory. A recently divorced father of two young daughters, Viorel is an engineer. The film follows Viorel for two days as he wanders around Bucharest. Wherever he is, he feels the same strange nervousness, the same muffled anxiety and the same urge to end the instability that rules his life. He buys a rifle and ammunition, then goes back home to test his weapon...


This screening also celebrates 10 years from the release of 'The Death of Mr Lazarescu', Cristi Puiu’s award-winning film, considered by many critics the beginning of the Romanian New Wave.


The Romanian Cinemateque opens in 2015 with a Crime Season – follow this space for the next films in the series!


Romania/France/Switzerland/Germany 2010
Certificate 12A, 180m.  In Romanian with English subtitles.

Director: Cristi Puiu
Producers: Anca Puiu, Bobby Păunescu
Screenplay: Cristi Puiu
Director of Photography: Viorel Sergovici
Editor: Ioachim Stroe
Art Directors: Vali Ighigheanu, Andreea Popa
Sound: André Rigaut, François Musy, Cristian Tarnovețchi
Costumes: Ana Andrei, Monica Florescu

Gina: Clara Vodă
Pusa: Valeria Seciu
Mrs Rodica Livinski: Catrinel Dumitrescu
Mioara: Luminița Gheorghiu
Stoian: Valentin Popescu
Mr Livinski: Gelu Colceag
Viorel Ghenghea: Cristi Puiu


This screening is possible with the support of New Wave Films

Official UK trailer:

The quotation used in the title of this article - 'a slow burn thriller taken to the extreme' was taken from the INDIEWIRE review.


About the director:

Cristi Puiu - awarded with Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival

Cristi Puiu's debut as a director was in 2001 with the low budget road movie 'Stuff and Dough'. The film received several awards at international film festivals and competed in the Quinzaines des Realisateurs section of the Cannes Film Festival. Cristi continued with a short film, 'Cigarettes and Coffee' (2004), which was awarded the Golden Bear for best short film at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival.

His second full length feature, 'The Death of Mr. Lazarescu' (2005), features the drama of an old man who is carried by an ambulance from hospital to hospital all night long, as doctors keep refusing to treat him and send him away. The film was a critical success, being awarded with Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and numerous awards at other international film festivals (47 prizes in 2006).

His second film, Aurora (in which he also plays the main character), was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and at BFI London Film Festival, and at the New York, Karlovy Vary, Vancouver, and Rotterdam film festivals.


In the press:

'A compelling near-MASTERPIECE'


'THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU… was the first of the director’s six stories from the outskirts of Bucharest and Aurora is the second. It’s chilly mood and tact psychological explorations again mark out THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU director as a key filmmaker of the Romanian new wave.  The film is brilliantly shot and fastidious. It’s worth it.'


'In many ways a work of genius…'
'Bracing stuff'
Kate Muir, THE TIMES


'A Romanian thriller from Cristi Puiu, director of the powerful, THE DEATH OF LAZARESCU, is both horribly real and abstract as it follows an engineer (played by the director) as he prepares to commit murder… it’s a film with a brutal, post-Ceausescu dampness in it…'


When: Thursday 26 February, 7pm.
Where: Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X8PH

Admission is free, the seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please confirm your attendance at eventbrite or at