Synopsis

A movie that not only discusses the differences between classes in the communist regime, but mostly the anticipation of death and perishability of the human body. As a subject and genre, “The Mona Lisa Without a Smile” is a deeply lyrical and meditative road movie. The directions and categories are very clear in the film: the bourgeoisie means inadequacy, falsehood, failure, lack of action, procrastination, a man who “goes in one direction, with his head turned in the other”, impossible in his actions.

The Mona Lisa without a smile (1967) - by Malvina Urșianu - drama movie online on CINEPUB

Directed by: Malvina Urșianu
Script: Malvina Urșianu
Cast: Silvia Popovici, Ion Marinescu, Gheorghe Cozorici, Lucia Mureșan, Nicolae Radu, Maria Cumbari, Florian Pittiș, Costel Rădulescu, Eugenia Eftimie, Rodica Popescu Bitănescu, Dorin Dron, Adrian Moraru, Peter Paulhoffer, Ion Niciu, Camelia Zorlescu.
Producers: Dumitru Tofan, D. Solomon, Studioul Cinematografic București
Cinematography by: Nicolae Girardi
Edited by: Lucia Anton
Sound: Oscar Coman
Music: Richard Oschanitzky
Year: 1967
Category: Feature film
Genre: Drama, Romance
Duration: 96 minutes

5,929 – Cinepub viewers

PLOT SUMMARY

Three former classmates and friends, a woman and two men that loved her, all well and wealthy, meet again after a long time. Each one of them bears lots of emotional turmoil, accomplishments, failures, unfulfilled dreams and, last but not least, love.

CRITICAL REVIEWS:

”A film about failure. An individual failure of a well, accomplished character.”Radu Gabrea, aarc.ro

”A film about the nostalgia of love, happiness and fulfillment.”Silvia Popovici, aarc.ro

”The two protagonists – finely portrayed by actors Silvia Popovici and Ion Marinescu, (…) realise when it’s too late that their eroded emotions could not sustain such a relationship and the inevitability of loneliness becomes clear.”Călin Căliman, istoriafilmuluiromanesc.ro

TRIVIA

  • ”The Mona Lisa Without a Smile” is Malvina Urșianu’s first feature film (1967).
  • The director was highly interrogated by the socialist authorities, being accused of ”subversiveness and anti communism”. She was banned from theaters and film production studios for 8 years.
  • O noapte furtunoasă” (1943) by Jean Goergescu is the first film that inspired her to become a film director, a utopic idea for a woman at that time.
  • Malvina Urșianu attended the experimental film course by director Jean Georgescu. According to her, this privilege wasn’t for everybody, but for those who cultivated an impeccable moral standing.
  • The film was viewed by 543.127 spectators in Romanian theaters, according to studies by Romanian Film Centre.

LINES

”I’ve reached the age where the alchemical reactions of the soul appear to be just as evident as chemical reactions.” – Irina Dinu (Silvia Popovici)

”I forfeited everything. Around me is only chrome and glass.” – Irina Dinu (Silvia Popovici)

”Every generation has their version of Romeo and Juliet.” – Caius Bengescu (Ion Marinescu)

”Just like a surgeon, a writer should not dissect a loved one” – Caius Bengescu (Ion Marinescu)

ARTICLES

  • Romanian Theater and Film: „The Mona Lisa Without a Smile”, 2023 – agerpres.ro
  • Film director Malvina Urșianu has passed away, 2015 – cinemagia.ro

This premiere is part of a national archive project supported by the Romanian National Film Centre.
Special thanks goes to the Romanian Filmmakers Union and to the Romanian Film Archive.

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