Monday, August 14, 2023

Synecdoche, Bucharest

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (2021) - Jude Screen Shot 2023-08-13 at 10.56.35 AM Screen Shot 2023-08-13 at 11.00.11 AM Screen Shot 2023-08-13 at 11.24.05 AM Screen Shot 2023-08-13 at 11.00.40 AM Screen Shot 2023-08-13 at 11.33.25 AM Screen Shot 2023-08-13 at 12.08.55 PM Radu Jude's satire of modern Romania, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is both uproariously funny and biting in its criticism of the former Soviet Block country's checkered history. It starts with an explicit sex scene with a school history teacher, Emi (Patia Pascaríu) and her husband engaging in what appears to be a homemade sextape. Then somehow the whole thing ends up online for everyone to see.

After that, the whole movie is Emi walking around ugly, capitalist modern city of Bucharest, all stressed out for the consequences she has to face. Everything is hilarious, from Pascaíu's performance to Jude's aimless camera, often sidetracked by inanimate objects he pans to - a broken mannequin, a flower growing from the concrete floor, the McDonald sign, the political party posters, etc.

The middle part, titled as 'Collages', playfully goes through all the hypocracies in Romanian political history, vacuous modern culture and sexist stereotypes.

As Emi sits at the table in an impromptu PTA meeting outdoors (because of Covid), she tries to defend her actions as a private matter that somehow got out of hands and into kids' phones. As the meeting continues, the old conspiratorial, ignorant and racist tendencies from the parents reappear to the surface.

I mean, considering what's going on in Florida, what's happening in Bad Luck Banging is very much universal and on point. Jude's Ci(shit)ty Symphony movie of consumerist Bucharest and in-your-face satire exposing the society’s hypocrisy is, along with Triangle of Sadness and Barbie, one of the best comedies I’ve seen in years. Best Wonder Woman movie too where WW assaults everyone in the room with a dildo!

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