Monday, February 18, 2013

Cinematographer's Profile: Through the Eye of Oleg Mutu

By Olivia Maria Hărşan

Oleg Mutu is a cinematographer who is probably best known for his work on The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) by Cristi Puiu and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007) by Cristian Mungiu. Although the visual aspects are certainly comparable between these two films, Mutu's style pre-Death of Mr. Lazarescu is on a completely different level. His first professional encounter with Puiu was for his satiric short, Cigarettes and Coffee (2004) which proves to be an excellent preview for the artistic collaboration that was to flourish the following year. The dull colour pallet - grays and blues - are set against a crisp almost-documentary portrayal of corruption, thus giving new meaning to the term 'socialist realism', something I like to call 'Romanian realism'. 

Cristi Puiu (front) with Oleg Mutu on set.
Photo derived from altcine.