Boogie

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Cannes, Directors' Fortnight

CANNES -- "Boogie" is the kind of long-take, slice-of-life movie that gives long-take, slice-of-life movies a bad name. One imagines that Romanian director Radu Muntean felt that he had embedded subtle but deep significance in this endless night out with the boys, but there's no there there, and what results is an excruciating exercise in audience alienation.

Obviously influenced by such recent Romanian masterpieces as "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu"and "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,""Boogie"shows what can happen when this particular aesthetic, which requires a superb sense of pregnant nuance, is taken up by someone with less talent.

The overworked but financially successful Bogdan (Boogie) is on holiday at the beach with his wife and young son when he runs into a couple of former high school chums who've not prospered. The rest of the film documents in painful detail their boyish horsing around and jejune conversations, which turn out to be even more boring on the screen than in real life.

Near the very end, there's the obligatory look at what they think might be deposed dictator Ceausescu's villa -- presumably inserted to provide some thematic heft about troubled post-Communist Romanian youth -- but it's much too little, much too late.

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