4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (4 LUNI, 3 SAPTAMÂNI SI 2 ZILE) (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Friday, June 17, 8:00, and Saturday, June 18, 2:00
Series runs through June 24
Tickets: $10, in person only, may be applied to museum admission within thirty days, same-day screenings free with museum admission, available at Film and Media Desk
Winner of the Palme D’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a harrowing look at personal freedom at the end of the Ceausescu regime in late-’80s Romania. Anamaria Marinca gives a powerful performance as Otilia, a young woman risking her own safety to help her best friend, Gabita (Laura Vasiliu), out of a difficult, dangerous situation. Their lives get even more complicated when they turn to Bebe (Vlad Ivanov) to take care of things. Cinematographer Oleg Mutu, who shot Cristi Puiu’s brilliant The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, keeps the camera relatively steady for long scenes, without cuts, pans, dollies, or zooms, as the actors walk in and out of view, giving the film a heightened level of believability without looking like a documentary. Set in a restrictive era with a burgeoning black market, 4 Months goes from mystery to psychological drama to thriller with remarkable ease — and the less you know about the plot, the better. Four Months is screening at MoMA on June 17 & 18 as part of the series “In Focus: IFC Films,” which continues with such films as Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park (2008), Lukas Moodysson’s Together (2001), Hirokazu Koreeda’s Nobody Knows (2004), and a sneak peek at Errol Morris’s Tabloid (2010).