Cinema for me is…
Dora in 11 frames
1. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
I saw Rebels of the Neon God (Tsai Ming-liang, TW, 1992) when I was a teenager and after that there was no point of return. That film made me incredibly jealous at the time. How can someone just make something so good, I thought. It’s just so unfair. It made me want to make films myself.
2. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
Afire (Christian Petzold, DE, 2023)
Saint Omer (Alice Diop, FR, 2022)
You Have to Come and See It (Jonás Trueba, ES, 2022)
3. What does Europe mean to you?
I write a lot about Asian cinema, so a lot of people usually ask me why don’t I want to move there. Of course, it’d be easier for me to study Japanese cinema if I was in Japan, but the truth is that I feel inherently tied to Europe. It’s the place that I feel most compatible with – I feel profoundly European in my way of of life and thinking. Maybe it’s just because I’m coming from Romania and, historically, it’s been important for us to be connected with Europe, with the ‘Greater Europe’, but Europe to me is the place where I feel like I belong.
4. In 2024, I think it is important to vote in the European elections because:
It’s important to have a say in a common future, and to ensure that the EU is a healthy, stable and democratic entity. Vote in all the elections that concern you as a citizen – be it European or of your home country – I think we often forget how hard the right for all of us to vote was won.
5. What do you like the most about your country that makes it unique?
I’m not exactly fond of picking out things that make countries or nations unique.
6. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
I’ve been spending a lot of time in Reflet Médicis in Paris so that’s my favourite film theatre at the moment. The programming is a delight, and it’s hosting some great cineclubs. It’s also really cozy and intimate – small cinemas are the best. Unless it’s the Grand Hall from Thermal Hotel in Karlovy Vary. That’s the only big cinema screen that I like. I have a weird attachment to the Grand Hall, can’t really explain why. I wonder if it’s because I’m Eastern European.
7. What is your dream job in the film industry?
Film director & film critic.
8. Which film director would you like to be?
I could try to be clever and say something annoying like how I was trained in university as film director so I only want to be like myself! But I’m incredibly jealous of everything that Chris Marker (La Jetée, Sans soleil, …) has done. I wish I was him.
9. Which film character do you most identify with?
Blanche from L’ami de mon amie (Eric Rohmer, FR, 1987).
10. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
I’m not so sure about the film, even if I really love Enda Walsh, but the soundtrack to Disco Pigs (Kirsten Sheridan, IE, 2000) is absolutely legendary.
11. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
Oh, God, this is an awful question. I don’t know. Maybe Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai, HK, 1994) just to be able to live in a Hong Kong that doesn’t exist anymore? Wait, no. Make it Fallen Angels (Wong Kar-Wai, HK, 1995). I might as well live in the better film.