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Review of "CHILD'S POSE"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014 Revised 18th May 2014 Revised 2nd January 2015
REVIEW: "CHILD'S POSE" by Jayne Waterford

Calin Peter Netzer's "CHILD'S POSE" (2013) is a difficult film about difficult, emotionally unhealthy people. I'm not sure if I wanted this experience. Pluses include:

  • brilliant performance
  • interesting camera work that tracks the action, which is interaction between the special people in the life of Barbu and his mother,

In short Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache) is a tool of a man who resents being inappropriately controlled by his mother. She ceases all opportunities to do so and is repulsed violently by him - sulky little shit.

It's unhealthy. It is also flawless performance. Calin Peter Netzer tracks grief as deeply as it has ever gone in his unsparing gaze at the loss of children in people's lives. It's a pity we don't like Neli (Luminita Gheorghiu), Barbu or Carmen (Ilinca Goia) very much. It's a pity their company isn't enjoyable and it's simple to assert the way they have become is a product of the corruption their lives are couched in. Living like that would be enough to burn anyone's joy in life.

But this is what I mean. Calin Peter Netzer's direction

of these superb actors, exquisitely realised in time and place by make-up artist Dana Roseanu and their interpretation of Razvan Radulescu precise and articulate script flays a culture, not even as a principle target. It strips how a small and corrupt society works showing everyone in everyone's immediate vicinity to be linked and jockeying for advantage. It's brutal in the uninhibited scope for control allowed to Cornelia (Luminita Gheorghiu) and how much she is hated by her son.

I found the characters obtuse and dead inside and the film exhausting. At one point I considered this material was so dark and despairing that it would normally be a comedy. 8/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Addendum 24th May 2014

The Romanian New Wave is freakin' serious cinema. We should see their cinema despite their dreary subject matter for to not see it is to miss out. It's like being asked where were you during the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake and answering I don't know.

Of the two Romanian dramas: Calin Peter Netzer's "CHILD'S POSE" (2013) and Cristian Mungiu's "BEYOND THE HILLS" (2012) I have seen so far what

seems to mark them is indubitable method acting, suspension of disbelief par excellence, fearlessness and total believability. They are unsparing of their subject matter and never stray beyond it, not for a second, not for a glance out a window, not for any reason on earth. If I were an aspiring actor I would go to Romania and participate in this experiment. At the very least I would hope to see as much as I could every year. 10/10

Another thing these two masterpieces share is their characters do not know any other way to be. They are living their lives ploughing head long into disaster without any idea it moves towards them.

I also love reviewing their cinema as these films threw me irresistibly into deep thought and complex ideas and their filmmaking is so masterful they seem not to mean to.

I am looking forward to Corneliu Porumboiu's "THE SECOND GAME" (2014) which will be screening at the 61st Sydney Film Festival beginning on the 4th June 2014. Porumboiu has two tough acts to follow.

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Calin Peter Netzer's
"CHILD'S POSE" (2013)
Release Date 15th May 2014
Category Drama
Running Time 112 minutes (1 hour, 52 minutes)
Rating M
Origin Romania
Awards WINNER Berlin Festival 2013, Golden Bear (Best Film)
Director Calin Peter Netzer
Producers Calin Peter Netzer & Ada Solomon
Stars Luminita Gheorghiu (Cornelia), Bogdan Dumitrache (Barbu), Ilinca Goia (Carmen), Natasa Raab (Olga Cerchez), Florin Zamfirescu (Aurelian Fagarasanu), Vlad Ivanov (Dinu Laurentiu)
Distributor PALACE FILMS & The 60th Sydney Film Festival 2013
Official Blurb "Calin Peter Netzer’s "CHILD’S POSE" is a riveting drama that centres on the vice-like grip of a mother’s twisted affection for her son, and the repercussions of her actions when his wellbeing is placed in jeopardy.

60-year-old Cornelia (the phenomenal Luminita Gheorghiu) leads a life of privilege, social power and abundant material wealth in contemporary Bucharest, but life is not perfect. More than anything in the world, she longs for her 34 year-old son Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache) to reciprocate her unreserved affections. But the pair barely speak, something the domineering Cornelia blames on Barbu’s live-in girlfriend, who has a child from a previous relationship.

The balance of power irrevocably shifts one cold evening when Barbu is involved in a tragic car accident and runs down a child on a highway, and Cornelia is thrust back into his life. Seeing her chance to regain control, she commences a frighteningly well-orchestrated campaign to save her son from prison. But the germaphobic, foul-mouthed Barbu, boiling with anger yet hopelessly emasculated and infantilised, refuses to play along…

Propelled by Gheorghui’s towering, tour-de-force performance and a razor-sharp attention to class and generational resentments, Netzer’s engrossing film

lays bare the moral bankruptcy of upper-class Romanian society and its institutions in expert fashion. Disquieting but also compassionate, this examination of guilt and the crippling effects of loss makes for a fascinating, unforgettable cinema experience.

"CHILD’S POSE" became a national talking point upon release in Romania earlier this year, breaking 20 yearold box office records." - PALACE FILMS PR

"DIRECTOR’S NOTE – Calin Peter Netzer

Child’s Pose is a film about a pathological mother-and-son relationship, about the children’s position relative to their parents and vice versa, about parents losing their children one way or another. Acamera-dependent film, I might say, that attempts to convey states of mind, feelings, smoldering conflicts, desperate outbursts, in a word: a slice of life almost as authentic as a documentary. The characters are analysed, or rather psychoanalysed, in an effort to help the viewer understand and perhaps even feel compassion towards this scarred family."

Director of "CHILD'S POSE" (2013): Calin Peter Netzer
Luminita Gheorghiu in Calin Peter Netzer's "CHILD'S POSE" (2013).
Luminita Gheorghiu in Calin Peter Netzer's "CHILD'S POSE" (2013).
"CHILD'S POSE" Natasa Raab &
Luminita Gheorghiu
Photo credit: Cos Aelenei