Written and Directed By: Cristi Puiu
Starring: Cristi Puiu
Director of Photography: Viorel Sergovici, Editor: Ion Ioachim Stroe
Rated: Unrated, but a brief shock of violence within three hours of otherwise nothing.
I counted three moments where the protagonist of Aurora, played by writer-director Cristi Puiu, seems to be staring back at the camera, almost with a menacing smile on his face. As this three hour epic drags on, Puiu seems to be mocking his audience. Go on, he dares, walk out on me. Of course, like any good film critic who trusts the director of the very funny The Death of Mr. Lazerescu, one of the harbingers of the Romanian New Wave, I waited, and waited, and waited for not just for something to happen, but to have something to have a stake in.
However, Puiu instead mocks us, almost with more contempt than Lars Von Trier at a press conference. Aurora might be hailed by some as the culmination of what Romanian filmmakers have been getting at with their neo-realistic approach that some have described as “slow cinema,” but it’s actually a major step in the wrong direction, where the style has become as pointless as its narrative.