Best of the Decade #18

by robbiefreeling
December 9, 2009 1:55 AM
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The eponymous hero of Cristi Puiu’s 2005 film The Death of Mr. Lazarescu is dwarfed by his epic name. This man, paunchy, disheveled, and suffering, is Dante Remus Lazarescu. Evoking Dante Alighieri, Lazarescu descends into an inferno where each circle of hell takes the form of a different hospital. He has no familiar guide to comfort him as he traverses this purgatory (his brother-in-law, Virgil, lives far away and is only good for a loan), and he is older and weaker than the literary legend who bears his name. Lazarescu’s second name conjures the disappointment of Romulus’s slain twin brother, who never founded Rome. For all of the deaths foretold in these names, there is redemption too: after all, Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead. And just as Dante’s Divine Comedy is a masterpiece of Italian literature, so does Puiu’s film deserve its place in the burgeoning Romanian cinematic canon. But Dante’s depiction of the Christian afterlife was not only for Italians, and Puiu’s film is hardly specifically Romanian: it’s a universal human parable of life, cowardice, kindness, and death. Read Lauren Kaminsky on The Death of Mr. Lazarescu.

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More: Decade's Best


  • Tom Anderson | December 20, 2009 3:18 AMReply

    Its my number one movie of the decade! God bless who made and financed this movie!

  • From Romania | December 14, 2009 9:17 AMReply

    Cristi Puiu had introduced the corruption in the Romanian Cinema.

    What you do not know about this movie? The movie was "produced" by Bobby Paunescu one of the weathiest people of Romania who is also one of the most corrupted one. In this sense please read ttp:// constantin paunescu&f=false and Paunescu had financed this movie in order to see her girlfriend Monica Baradeanu, a lingerie model published in playboy magazines as an actress in the movie.In fact she has a role of 10 minutes. I will never consider a movie good once it was done by corrupted money.