World Cinema Showcase: Paramount April 8,10
Alluring gypsy dances and heartfelt Hungarian serenades are just one of the features in Transylvania that indulge viewers’ senses and make it a film worth watching in this year’s World Cinema Showcase.
The film follows a French urbanite, Zingarina (the lovely Asia Argento), through Transylvania as she searches for her lost love in this mysterious and intoxicating land. She encounters many delightful characters – notably a nomad merchant named Tchangalo (Birol Ünel) – in her travels around the country. When she finally finds her lover, he rejects her and she spirals into insanity. She runs off with an orphan child and dons gypsy garb; those who don’t know her think she’s gypsy scum. On one particularly overcast day Tchangalo finds a broken Zingarina shuffling through a barren road and takes her with him on his travels.
Documentary-like in its cinematography, Transylvania captures the song, dance, and lives of the cultures living in this area – Hungarians, Romanians, and Gypsies. I forgot I was watching a film, as the windswept landscapes and sumptuously detailed costumes are nothing short of breathtaking.
The script is sometimes humorous, sometimes unsympathetic, but well-written throughout.
Aside from the many endearing country folk with their song and dance that capture viewers, it is Asia Argento who carries the film with grace and panache. Transylvania is a definite must-see film for those who are in the mood for a little sensual cinema.