Sunday, March 9, 2014

Not Your Yoga Child's Pose --- Day 3/57

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (Child's Pose), Dosa Indian Restaurant
Distance: 2 miles
Today's Cinema Club offering, Child's Pose, was a Romanian film and that country's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film. The acting is brilliant and Ciwt thought she pretty much grasped the film. Essentially a frightening and ambiguous portrayal of obsessive motherly 'love' - a la Freud. As the movie's circumstances move along, the well-coiffed, well-connected, possibly sympathetic mother reveals herself as someone quite different.  In one scene the 60-year old mother gives her 30 something son a backrub/massage that is so chilling and suspenseful Ciwt could barely breathe.

Well done psychological study Ciwt thought as the Romanian end credits scrolled down the screen.
Ciwt had noticed the Cinema Club would have a special guest speaker, a Romanian woman with a Ph D in Theater from Stanford who teaches Classical Dramatic Literature as well as Acting at two Bay Area universities.  Thinking the film was quite straight forward, this seemed like information overkill to Ciwt.  Really, what more was there to say?

Well, of course, the more to say was nearly the entire movie. Or at least half of it.  Since the 1980's there has been a Romanian New Wave of austere, realist films that delve into the ways Romania's transition from Communism to free market capitalism and democracy have shaped modern-day Romanian society. Everything in Child's Pose- from the clothes, cars, influence peddling, son's passivity and lack of direction -  is fraught with Romanian socio-political meaning.

But, the intense murky dynamic between mother and son explored in Child's Pose is universally understood. So, Ciwt did 'get' that much of the highly intelligent, suspenseful, superbly acted movie.  But there was so much more - an educational opening into some to the complexities of  life in modern Bucharest -  that would have gone right by her without the guest speaker.  Actually, without Cinema Club she probably would never have seen Child's Pose at all.

Luminita Gheorghiu as Cornelia in Child's Pose

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