It’s been a long five years since “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.” The Cristian Mungiu-directed drama took the Cannes Film Festival by storm in 2007, winning the coveted Palme d’Or prize and the FIPRESCI Award and essentially ushered in the Romanian New Wave (which depending on who you are, may or may not have lived up to its promise). While Mungiu did contribute to the 2009 Romanian omnibus picture “Tales from the Golden Age,” a proper feature-length follow-up hasn’t materialized.
Until now. According to Deadline, Mungiu has an untitled genre picture in the works that’s set in an Orthodox convent in Romania, and centers on a young woman’s descent into madness, her subsequent exorcism and the police investigation it sparks. There was once a Mungiu follow-up project called “Temporary,” and it’s unclear if they are the same picture (doubtful), but a little digging reveals this genre picture was once called “Provizoriu” (the direct translation of “provisionally”). Whether it’s keeping that title is unknown, but Wild Bunch, who financed everything Mungiu’s worked on thus far, is also on board once again.
Apparently the picture will have some of the elements of ‘4 Months’ — an eerie and striking naturalism one assumes — but with an intense genre twist. The harrowing “4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days,” was a drama about a student who assists her friend to arrange an illegal abortion in 1980’s Romania. It’s an arresting piece of work that New York Times critic A.O. Scott placed as his #1 movie of the year (the old school Playlist site listed it as #5), so it will be intriguing to see how Mungiu tackles a genre film. ‘4 Months’ is haunting in its own right, so perhaps the Romanian helmer tackling genre isn’t as strange as it initially sounds. Either way, count us in.