- January 12, 1978
Love is a burden. Of about 80 tonnes.
80 tonnes, 600 kilometres, two men and a woman. „The Long Drive” is the first Romanian road movie and Mircea Daneliuc’s first feature, with a cast from the „golden generation”: Mircea Albulescu, Constantin Diplan, Tora Vasilescu.
Director: Mircea Daneliuc
Scriptwriters: Mircea Daneliuc, Timotei Ursu, after an idea by Petru Vintilă
Cast: Tora Vasilescu, Mircea Albulescu, Constantin Diplan
Produced by: Casa de filme 1
Cinematography by: Florin Mihăilescu
Film editing by: Yolanda Mîntulescu
Category: feature film
Genre: psychological drama
Duration: 96 minutes
116,424 – Cinepub viewers
Anghel and Panait, drivers for a heavy machinery factory, receive the task to transport a giant piece of machinery to a mine, over the mountains. On their way they meet young Maria, who is going to the same mine to meet her husband, a miner. Left without money and papers after a burglary, Maria continues her journey with Anghel and Panait. Both men will fall in love with her.
„The Long Drive” is an essential Romanian film in our cinematographic history. With this film, the career of the prolific and inspired Romanian director Mircea Danieliuc was launched. He says that, wanting to have his debut, he was struggling to open the doors of some production companies for himself while “he had a lot of projects and scripts up his sleeve”. He eventually managed to get the project written by Timotei Ursu, who had fallen into disgrace in the meantime. Daneliuc entirely rewrote the script, but he is not listed as a scriptwriter in the film credits. „The Long Drive” will also be the last film made by Daneliuc by someone else’s script. However, the fingerprint of the great filmmaker was clear and the road had opened ahead of him. „The Long Drive” was filmed in the summer of 1975 and was first screened in the same year, being well received by the public. It is also the debut for actress Tora Vasilescu, who will shortly become one of the director’s favourites.
The collaboration between the pair of professionals Mircea Daneliuc – Tora Vasilescu is at its peak in the film „Microphone Test”. Along with the young actress we discover Mircea Albulescu, playing a fabulous role of an „injured beast”, and Constantin Diplan. The latter seems to have gotten the part after Mitică Popescu, the director’s first choice (and the leading actor in Fox Hunting) was unable to accept because he was hired as an actor at Teatru Mic and the management rejected his collaboration request. In the film’s media files, actor Constantin Diplan expresses his regret: “For those who are here, in the cinema hall, and happen to read these lines, I have to say that the role I am playing can also be named Mitică Popescu!”
Mircea Daneliuc’s movie is one of those Romanian films in which characters suffer visible transformations by the end of the experience they lived. Both Maria and the two drivers will have changed their inner „landscapes” by the end of „the long drive”. But, most significantly, what changed them was not a major, definitive event, but the casualty of the drive itself.
The facts of the everyday life play a major role in Daneliuc’s films, who confessed that he wanted to make a kind of cinema more inclined towards the social, but the not the social promoted by the movies of the socialist realism, the social life of the living people whose existence was suffocated by the system. „The Long Drive” is a benchmark element in the collection of Romanian films online at Cinepub.ro.
“In The Long Drive (debut in 1975), a kind of “Knife in the Water” superposing, to the absurd, the structure of “Horror Salary”, Albulescu plays God, in a loud voice – until the cathartic finale: you have no idea whether he is crazy, a brute or a dead man walking (possibly all three in one).” (Andrei Crețulescu, www.aarc.ro )
„But the miracle of the film (because, ultimately, The Long Drive is a miracle film!) is precisely this one: it hits the road with certain people and reaches the destination with other people.” (Călin Căliman – www.istoriafilmuluiromanesc.ro )
“Apparently a topical film, The Long Drive attacks from the inside not only the genre, but also the visual, narrative and ideological codes of the time, imposing a realism with symbolic insertions, built up by shaping the world around its faltering, insecure lovesick and loneliness-sick heroes. To detach the story from the political indications and interdictions of the time, Daneliuc launches his characters on a long ride releasing them from the heavy geometry of the plant, from the Stakhanovite mouth-filling speeches, from the workers’ choir, as well as from the selective formula of the TV reportage”. (Ionuț Mareș, www.aarc.ro )
“We are witnessing the touching moment of departure! Stop!”
“This ride drives me crazy!
“Me too but for totally different reasons.”
“Listen, why don’t we split the donkey in three as well?”
“Stop fussing around. I am carrying 80 tones.”
“Don’t you cry or I’ll go nuts!”
- Beograd Film Festival – Yugoslavia, 1975
- Cairo Film Festival – Egypt, 1975
- Moscow Film Festival– URSS, 1975
- Transilvania International Film Festival –Mircea Daneliuc Retrospective – Romania, 2015
- Thessaloniki International Film Festival 2015 –Mircea Daneliuc Retrospective – Greece, 2015
- Making Waves Festival, New Romanian Cinema, New York –Micea Daneliuc Tribute – USA, 2015
- ACIN – “Prima Opera” Award; Best Cinematography (Florin Mihăilescu), Best Actress (Tora Vasilescu) – Romania, 1975
- Best Fiction Film and Best Actress (Tora Vasilescu) in Costinesti – Romania, 1977