Late in Radu Jude’s “Do Not Count on Too A lot From the Finish of the World,” the film shifts tones. Our heroine, a humorous, foul-mouthed gofer who’s racking up miles driving in Bucharest, has simply informed her passenger a few street outdoors the town that has extra memorials edging it than it has kilometers. The film then cuts to at least one after one other roadside memorial — some stone, others metallic, some with photographs, others with flowers — for an astonishing 4 silent minutes, and this near-unclassifiable, typically comically ribald film turns right into a plaintive requiem.

The girl, Angela — the sneakily charismatic Ilinca Manolache — is a manufacturing assistant toiling for a overseas firm that’s making a office security video in Romania. Amongst her duties is interviewing women and men who’ve been injured on the job, the concept being that one will make a camera-friendly cautionary story for staff. As she modifies gears, and the film switches between black-and-white movie and coloration video, Angela flips off different drivers, acidly critiques all that she encounters, creates TikTok movies and successfully maps the geopolitical panorama of latest Romania. At one level, she meets the German director Uwe Boll, who’s identified to have trounced just a few of his critics in boxing matches.

I don’t suppose that Jude needs to beat up critics (even when the interlude with Boll, who’s taking pictures a “bug-killer movie,” is sort of endearing); amongst different issues, his motion pictures are usually well-received. Jude’s shaggy provocation “Dangerous Luck Banging or Loony Porn,” as an illustration, earned high praise in addition to high honors on the Berlin Movie Pageant in 2021. On the identical time, there’s a pushy, borderline abrasive side to how Jude strings out Angela’s time behind the wheel in “Do Not Count on Too A lot From the Finish of the World,” forcing you to share in her tedium. The film is overflowing with concepts — about historical past, capitalism, cinema, illustration — nevertheless it additionally checks your endurance earlier than amply rewarding it.

It’s nonetheless darkish when Angela stumbles away from bed one early morning, bare and cursing. (Certainly one of her favourite expletives is featured each within the first and last phrases within the film, a becoming bookending blurt that looks as if a cri de coeur and one of many film’s extra unambiguously authorial statements.) Earlier than lengthy, she’s dressed and out within the streets, making the primary in a sequence of TikToks during which she takes on the guise of her bald social-media avatar, a bro named Bobita, an extravagantly offensive vulgarian who brags about hanging out together with his pal Andrew Tate, the web influencer and self-anointed “king of poisonous masculinity.”



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