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Volume 10 No. 25
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Film Review: Romanian Director's 'The Second Game' Runs 'Out Of Steam'

Romanian film director CORNELIU PORUMBOIU’s "formal experimentalism either flatlines or finds witty" new heights in “The Second Game,” which "may or may not be a film at all," according to Guy Lodge of VARIETY. Presenting the footage of a snow-hampered '88 Romanian football match in its original televised form, overlaid only with the reflective contempo commentary of the helmer and his father, Adrian -- the match’s original referee -- the pic "represents the improbable meeting point" of the Romanian New Wave, ESPN Classic and “Mystery Science Theater.” Amusing "to a point, the concept runs out of steam" as Porumboiu "saves his most interesting observations for the first half; as the match sputters to a goalless conclusion, so, too, in an admittedly self-aware way, does the film" (VARIETY, 3/31).