San Jose’s Cinequest festival continues today with ‘Medal of Honor,’ by the Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer, and ‘The Glass Slipper,’ by local director Jarrod Whaley—a couple of films that would make a good double bill. That’s according to Richard von Busack, who shares his best bets list here.
Check back daily on SanJose.com during Cinequest for the Smith Brothers interviews with filmmakers, directors and writers, and Richard von Busack’s Best Bets. And check out this Cinequest Guide, with capsule reviews of many of the films being shown at Cinequest.
We’re back for today’s Cinequest highlights. Wednesday, March 9: Fans of foreign films know how big the new Romanian cinema is: a wave of dry, skeptical and brutal comedies about the aftermath of living in a totalitarian society. The Romanian film Four Months, Three Weeks Two Days was my pick for best film of 2007, for example.
There’s a very good Romanian film tonight: Medal of Honor at 7 at Camera 12. Calin Peter Netzer’s film is a parody of the uses today’s politicians make of the Greatest Generation. It’s 1995: Ion I. Ion (Radu Beligan) gets a gold-plated medal commemorating his valor in the Big War 50 years previously. Age and vodka have dimmed the memory of what it was he did. Detective work shows that he once took a potshot at retreating Germans. The honor ruins a life that’s already strained: he’s broke, his son hates him…and his wife has been giving him the silent treatment as long as he can remember.
Medal of Honor would make a nice double bill with The Glass Slipper playing 9:30 at the San Jose Rep. The Glass Slipper is the newest by rising Palo Alto director Jared Whaley, of Hell Is Other People. It’s about a weasel among weasels, played by the non-pro actor Vahee Katros. Whaley’s sly yet gentle comedy drama, based loosely on Flaubert’s “A Simple Heart,” would do credit to a Romanian director.