The 2005 Romanian drama "Moartea Domnului Lazarescu" (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu), directed by Cristi Puiu, is one of the best films of the 21st century, according to a list drawn up by film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott and published by The New York Times.
The Romanian film is fifth on the list, after "There Will Be Blood" (2007) directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, "Spirited Away" (2002) directed by Japanese anime master Hayao Miyazaki, "Million Dollar Baby" (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, and "A Touch of Sin" (2013) directed by Chinese Jia Zhangke.
“The title is a spoiler. When we first meet Dante Lazarescu, a retired Bucharest resident in his early 60s (though he looks older), he is complaining of stomach pains. A little more than two and a half hours later – more or less in real time – he has left this world, unmourned and all but unnoticed. Why should we care? That is the question – not at all rhetorical – posed by Cristi Puiu’s bleak, gripping, weirdly funny second feature. At the Cannes Film Festival, “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” was a word-of-mouth sensation. <
“And that’s still true. Mr. Puiu’s film was an early sign of the flowering of Romanian cinema that would bring international acclaim to young auteurs like Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) and Corneliu Porumboiu (Police, Adjective). Like his colleagues (and sometime rivals), Mr. Puiu uses long takes and minimal camera movement to create a sense of lived reality that is absorbing almost to the point of claustrophobia. He zeroes in remorselessly on the petty absurdities and large iniquities that define life in Romania more than a decade after the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist dictatorship.”
The top ten is completed by movies "Yi Yi" (2000) directed by Edward Yang, "Inside Out" (2015) directed by Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, Richard Linklater’s 2014 movie "Boyhood", Olivier Assayas’ "Summer Hours" (2009), and the 2009 film "The Hurt Locker" directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
Find the entire list here.
Source: Romanian Insider