Monday, January 10, 2011
Lucian Pintilie - Duminica la ora 6 AKA Sunday at 6 O'Clock (1965)
With “Sunday at six o'clock” (1963), Pintilie debuted as director. Fresh, modern both visual and playwright, having in Dan Nutu and Irina Petrescu, two of the most uncanny protagonists of the history of Romanian cinema and with the intense contribution of Sergiu Huzum as operator, this is the only film of that made nervous the filmmakers and the public alike.
Anca (Irina Petrescu) and Radu (Dan Nuţu) manage to fall in love in spite of the Nazi occupation of Romania in this World War II romantic drama. Flashbacks are used but tend to blur the past, present, and future as a result. As their love grows, the war escalates and traps them, like millions of others, into the bloody conflict that they are helpless to avoid.
In his book 4 Decades, 3 Years and 2 Months with the Romanian Cinema the Romanian film critic Alex Leo Serban considers Duminica la ora 6 (Sunday at 6 o’clock) as an extreme case of difference between content and form – a story about the invented ‘heroic’ Communist past wrapped in the most modern means of expression of the cinema of the 60s. After having seen the film again many decades after its first viewings my feeling is different. I believe that Lucian Pintilie‘s first film is as daring in content and especially in its subliminal message as it is in its form which clearly shows already the hand of a skilled director, having learned and assimilated all the lessons of the French New Wave and placing them in the service of his cinematographic message.