Comedy Cluj Opening Gala We left our backpacks to rest for the day and we joined the biggest event in town: Comedy Cluj Opening Gala. We walked on the Red Carpet of Florin Piersic’s cinema to be part of the frenzy brought by the festival. We got cozy in our seats and listened to what I thought it was a fairly short introduction of the festival; long enough for my American friend with little knowledge of Romanian to eat half of his popcorn bag though.
Ashby ( USA, 2015, dir. Tony McNamara, 100 min) was the chosen title for the official start of the next ten days of humour. The story of a curious friendship between a teenager and a terminally ill contract killer. It infused two serious life dilemmas: the coming of age and the end of life. The film followed the saying “haz de necaz” (to make the best out of a bad job) in the form of a perpetual oscillation between drama and comedy. The heavily moral scenes were sprinkled with some much appreciated amusement, tangled like a tape of an old music cassette.
With a full house, the seventh edition of Comedy Cluj enjoyed a warm welcome this Friday night. An interesting choice for the opening screening, we’ll keep an open mind and wait to see what are they going to bring next.
Find out more about the Comedy Cluj festival here
We asked our guest to write short reviews about the film, so there they are:
“Ashby offers you what you expect of an American comedy, so it may be good to find it in an international comedy movie festival. You’re glad to find some familiar faces and all the codes of the American comedy but do not expect more. The teenager arriving in a new town, the usual football time, the nice girl and a story line around emotion, relationships, and crimes. Good for a break during the day, this movie will not give you a headache.” Marie, France
“Ashby was the standard American film that tried to do something different by adding an element of dark humour, however the dark humour was not consistent enough to call Ashby a dark comedy and it ended up walking the line between comedy, black comedy and drama unsuccessfully. Ashby managed to hit every cliche in the coming of age category and felt like watching any American football movie. Mickey Rourke’s acting was good but the other acting felt forced and unbelievable.” Brody, Canada
“A coming of age movie that made me nostalgic for my youth and excited to start shooting strangers in the head. I’m a little concerned based on movies like this, that the rest of the world may come to the conclusion that Americans solve their problems through football or violence. They’re mostly half-right.” Vito, USA
Keep you posted.