Metronom

Metronom is a film that in its form and shape that appears entirely like a film from the 70s, the era it is set in. Yet, its content and subversive tone makes it a film that could have been impossible to be made at the time in Romania.

Inspired by the radio programme Metronom, broadcast by the channel Free Europe (illegal in the eastern block) and that would allow secretly the teenagers of the communist regime to access the popular music of the west, the film can be best described as a coming-of-age film, centered around Ana, who participates a house party during which her friends dance and listen to Metronom. The coming-of-age genre set during the communist regimes is a rather common cinematic trope of east european film. Goth├ír's Time Stands Still is perhaps one of the most notable examples, but an example in romanian cinema  is How I Celebrated the End of the World by Catalin Mitulescu, or more recently even Radu Jude's Uppercase Print might be included in this sub-genre.

Director Alexandru Belc stated in an interview that the production of the film was also reminiscent of the techniques of the time, with the abscence of a pre-existing script and a progressive storybuilding based on the actors. Incidentally, the casting choice not only works harmoniously, but also seems to construct an unintentional dialogue with other recent films: Serban Lazarovici has a role that is the literal opposite of his debut role in Uppercase Print, Vlad Ivanov returns to a role very similar to his previous ones, especially Ivan Ostrochovsky's Servants, but with a slightly more ferocious and intimidating take, if that seems possible.

Despite its relations to pre-existing cinema, Metronom is a very distinct work from the contemporary romanian cinematic scape. Its use of the long take differs from the more traditionally Mungiu-derivate films, its lack of satyre and seriousness is not comparable to Jude. Metronom finds innovation in an innate archaism, which allows it to shed light on a very common situation in communist era east Europe, turning it into a surprising and entertaining, unique film.

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