Possible Sounds of Early Cinema

The Outlaws

1929, silent film, adventure, runtime: 113 minutes
music: Dragoș Mărgineanu

“The Outlaws” is the first and, so far, the sole Romanian feature film included in the program of the most important archive film festival in the world, “Il Cinema Ritrovato” in Bologna (1996). Directing and screenplay by Horia Igiroşanu, cinematography by Iosif Bertock, film editing by Iva Dugan.

The film features the midpoint episode of a trilogy of adventures which predate by almost four decades the series of local films with outlaw heroes of the ’60s-’70s; unfortunately, the other two films, “Iancu Jianu” and “Ciocoii” (pejorative word for the country parvenu upper-class, later appropriated by the Communist regime), were not preserved.

None of the peculiarities of traditional Romanian films, on the contrary: a perfect cinematography, a montage rich in details, full of rhythm and life, a confident acting, an appropriate staging with good artistic sense, light effects that you cannot witness but in a few foreign films (…). (Marcel Blossoms, “Cinema”, 25.12.1929)

Horia Igiroşanu (1896-1960), sculptor, producer, filmmaker, publicist (director of the publications Clipa and Clipa cinematografică, 1923-1927). Founder of the Association Friends of Cinema (1925) and of the Clipa-Film Studio (1927). He set up the Free Art Academy (1923) and the Mimodrama (Mime-drama) Academy (1926), that were meant to prepare specialized personnel for film production. An important figure of the cinematic life in the ’20s-’30s, he is the author of the first Romanian adventure film with a historical-folkloric background (the film with outlaws being considered the first local genre of Balkan cinema) and the one who introduced the practice of serial film, never used before in Romania. (Bujor T. Rîpeanu, “The Cinematographers 2345”, Meronia Publishing House, 2013)