When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism

Romanian new-wave director Corneliu Porumboiu follows his excellent cop drama Police, Adjective (2009) with a listless backstage romance in which a young film director (Bogdan Dumitrache of Child’s Pose) sleeps with his leading lady (Diana Avramut) even as he negotiates with her for a nude scene he wants in his movie. Their relationship is so boring that Porumboiu resorts to some meta-movie touches in hope of livening things up: the action begins with a shot out a car windshield as the director explains to the actress that a 35-millimeter film canister limits takes to 11 minutes; of course the movie that follows is a virtual succession of long takes (Porumboiu’s favorite is a symmetrical frame of two people facing each other over a table, and there are more windshield frames as well). This isn’t the most ponderous movie the new wave has ever produced—that would be Cristi Puiu’s three-hour Aurora (2010)—but it’s a close second. In Romanian with subtitles.