Sonic Fictions

Romanian Independence (1912)

Photo credits: The National Film Archive

silent film, historical film, runtime: 75 minutes
music: Iancu Dumitrescu

Director: Grigore Brezeanu (or Aristide Demetriade?)
Screenplay: Petre Liciu, Constantin I. Nottara, Aristide Demetriade
Cinematography: Frank Daniau?, Alphonse Chagny?
Assistant camera operator: Nicolae Barbelian, Gheorghe Ionescu
Actors: Constantin Nottara, Aurel Athanasescu, Aristizza Romanescu
Production company: Leon Popescu Art Film

Accounts on Romanian Independence (1912) pile up from one generation to the next. Nothing more natural; as filmologists’ need to bring back into discussion the first Romanian fictional feature mainly bears on its time of conception, about which we know so little that, over the years, one could even speculate on how much of this debut-debut was truly directed by the meteoric Grigore Brezeanu. Otherwise, the national proto-epic about the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 also garners consensus – herein, the reenactment of battles, which, despite benefitting from directions provided by veterans, seem entirely out of hand. But I have an inkling that they insisted on it all too much. Alright, Romanian Independence isn’t a masterpiece of the silent film, and it’s fair to say that there’s been much protochronism all over, but far be it from me to be tempted to deny Brezeanu’s compositional verve. A little over a decade after the “postcards” of Romanian operators came the heyday of the tableaux vivants; it’s easy to see it in the documentary, and Independence is the sole testament to the factual side of fiction. (Călin Boto)

Iancu Dumitrescu (b. 1944, Sibiu) is a Romanian composer, musicologist and conductor, one of the pioneers of contemporary music. He is one of the most important representatives of the spectral music, also the most important representative of hyper-spectralism and of computer-assisted music. He graduated from the University of Music in Bucharest in 1968. He studied phenomenology and conducted with Sergiu Celibidache (University of Trier, Germany, 1978), who led him in the footsteps of Edmund Husserl, whose phenomenological principles he applied in music. Director, founder and conductor of the Hyperion Ensemble, with whom he toured in France (Radio France), England (Royal Festival Hall), the United States (Spark Festival, Minneapolis), etc., which he describes as “a multimedia group dedicated to experimental music”. His work has been interpreted by famous ensembles on five continents such as London Sinfonietta (London), Kronos Quartet (San Francisco), iO String Quartet (New York), Fedrnando Grillo etc. and it is published on 24 CDs by EDITION MODERN (London – Paris).

As a consequence of the contractual requirements imposed by the Romanian Film Center we separated the video and the audio sources. The developed automatic system synchronizing the applications used may cause small delays due to your internet provider and devices (desktop, phone, etc.).
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