On „Carlos” and „The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu”

I have a new article in Bright Lights Film Journal: „History Moving, Reshaping the Landscape: The Representation of Historical Processes in Carlos and The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu:

Olivier Assayas’s Carlos and Andrei Ujică’s The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu had their first public screenings in May 2010, at the Cannes Film Festival, on consecutive days. For all the obvious differences in their aesthetics – Ujică’s “autobiography” of the Romanian dictator is a found-footage documentary, while Assayas’s biopic-cum-procedural on the international terrorist is a work of reconstruction and thrillerish immediacy – they were immediately paired by some critics as 21st-century autopsies of communist bogeyman figures from the late Cold War era. J. Hoberman, for example, wrote that in a way they were both “outrageous political gangster film[s]” sharing a grand geopolitical sweep – we watch their “criminal megalomaniac” protagonists traverse the decades as they keep being “enabled by all manner of regimes.”Indian critic Srikanth Srinivasan went further, writing on his blog that Ujică deals with Ceaușescu “more or less like Assayas deals with Carlos,” showing “the Jackal” as a man who gets “stuck in a time capsule, adhering to his beliefs and illusions when the world has moved beyond him.”

My article can be read here.