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Good Grief: Mimi Brănescu Measures Brain Waves in Cristi Puiu’s “Sierra-Nevada”

Cristi Puiu has reteamed with his The Death of Mr. Lazarescu actor Mimi Brănescu on the filmmaker’s fifth feature film currently filming in Bucharest until sometime in March. Filmneweurope reports that the film, repped by the Wild Bunch folks, is targeting a 2016 release. So definitely no Cannes this year. Mandragora’s Cristi & Anca Puiu are producing, while Studioul de Creaţie Cinematografică Romania’s Lucian Pintilie, 2006 d.o.o.’s Mirsad Purivatra and Sabina Branković, Spiritus Movens’ Zdenka Gold, Sisters and Brother Mitevski Production’s Labina Mitevska and Alcatraz Films’ Laurence Clerc and Olivier Thiery-Lapiney are all co-producing.

Gist: Back from a business trip in Paris, a neurologist (Brănescu) at the pinnacle of his career has to pick up his wife so that they can attend a family meal to commemorate his father, who passed away in the previous year. At his mother’s apartment, the guests are awaiting the arrival of the priest while arguing about all kinds of things connected and unconnected with the world’s events and wars.

Worth Noting: Puiu’s last film was a short that was among the Cannes selected Bridges of Sarajevo, where thirteen European directors explore the theme of the Bosnia and Herzegovina capital.

Do We Care?: Number 22 on our most anticipated list for 2015 – this could technically be a 2015 item if they are approched by Venice.  He wowed us in Tuesday, After Christmas (view our interview here) and in Calin Peter Netzer’s Child’s Pose, we’re glad to see Brănescu in this philosophically dividing dinner table dispute.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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