Cannes 2015: Romanian movie ‘Treasure’ by Corneliu Porumboiu wins ‘Un Certain Talent’ award

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The movie ‘Treasure’ by Corneliu Porumboiu has received on Saturday evening the prize ‘Un Certain Talent’ in the section ‘Un Certain Regard’ at this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

The section ‘Un Certain Regard’ is part of the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, taking place in parallel to the official competition.

‘Un Certain Regard’ jury was chaired this year by actress and director Isabella Rossellini.

According to variety.com director Corneliu Porumboiu was awarded the ‘Un Certain Talent’ for “bus narrative” of “Treasure”.

The project had received a RON 1.574 million financing from the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC) and is supported by HBO Romania and Arte France.

The film has an international distribution agent – Wildbunch – and will premiere in Romania on May 29.

‘Un Certain Regard’ was awarded to the film “Hrutar” (“Rams”) directed by Grimur Hakonarson, Jury Award went to the film “Zvizdan” (“The High Sun”) directed by Dalibor Matanic, the award for best director was won by Kiyoshi Kurosava for “Kishibe no tabi” (“Journey to the Shore”), while Promising future prize was awarded ex aequo to the productions “Masaan” – directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and “Nahid” – directed by Ida Panahandeh.

In his latest low-key tale, The Treasure (‘Comoara’), Porumboiu takes the childhood fantasy of searching for hidden family jewels and turns it into something much more curious: a subtle adventure of thwarted ambitions and hidden dreams – not to mention a brief recap of Romania’s revolutionary past – where finding the loot takes as long on screen as it does in real life. It’s not quite as powerful as Police, though more accessible than the director’s recent run of experimental narratives, and the ending will surely throw many viewers for a loop. But Treasure still confirms Porumboiu’s status as one of the more fascinating minds working in cinema today, hollywoodreporter.com reports.

With his typically minimalist approach to storytelling, the writer-director uses a series of scaled-down scenes to introduce real estate worker, Costi (Cuzin Toma), who lives with his wife (Cristina Toma) and son (Nicodim Toma) in a modest Bucharest apartment. One evening, Costi’s neighbour, Adrian (Adrian Purcarescu), asks to borrow some money. When Costi refuses, Adrian explains that he needs the cash to rent an expensive metal detector, which he wants to use to locate a treasure supposedly buried in the garden of his dead grandfather’s country house.

After some thought and discussions with his wife, Costi decides to help out, agreeing to split the proceeds 50/50 and hiring a professional treasure hunter (Corneliu Cozemi) to assist in the search. It’s then that things get complicated: Not only is it exceptionally laborious to scan an acre of property for traces of metal, but it’s soon made clear that even if the two ultimately wind up finding something, the government may declare it as state property and keep the majority of the proceeds.

Never one to rush the viewer, Porumboiu takes us through the whole tedious process of detecting objects underground and trying to dig them up. Like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre on sedatives, Costi’s quest is depicted in a highly mundane manner but still provides enough suspense to keep one guessing, while also delving into aspects of Romanian history related to Adrian’s family home – located nearby the site of pivotal events of the 1848 Wallachian liberal uprising. In some respects, digging the ground is a way for the two men to excavate their country’s troubled past.

Once Costi and Adrian uncover an object of potential value, Porumboiu takes the plot in some surprisingly literal directions, building to an upbeat finale that toes the line between reality and pure fairytale. It’s a twist that will definitely leave certain members of the audience either confused or let down, but it manages to address issues raised earlier on about Costi’s heroism in the eyes of his own son.

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