|8:10 p.m.||California Dreamin’ (Endless)|
Cristian Nemescu (Romania, 2007)
(California Dreamin’ (Nesfârşit)). Cristian Nemescu’s sharp-witted and timely allegory of corruption and international miscommunication won this year’s Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes. May 1999: a trainload of radar equipment sent to Romania to support the NATO mission in Kosovo, shepherded by American Captain Jones (Armand Assante), is stopped by small-town stationmaster Doiaru (Răzvan Vasilescu), who insists that the proper papers be presented before the urgent shipment can pass. So, while faxes fall unseen in far-off offices, the train sits for days in the station, closely watched by rival village factions. The mayor courts the Americans (“potential investors”) with a fake festival featuring a Romany Elvis impersonator; local girls, including Doiaru’s comely daughter (Maria Dinulescu), make their own attempts at cultural exchange; and Doiaru, who has been waiting his whole life to be rescued by U.S. forces, proudly guards his resentment like an unexploded bomb. The film is parenthetically labeled “Endless” because it will never be complete: twenty-seven-year-old Nemescu was killed in a car crash before the final edit.
• Written by Nemescu, Tudor Voican, Catherine Linstrum. Photographed by Liviu Marghidan. With Armand Assante, Jamie Elman, Răzvan Vasilescu, Maria Dinulescu. (155 mins, In English and Romanian with English subtitles, Color, ’Scope, 35mm, From Mediapro Distribution)