Uppercase Print(RJ Retro)
Radu Jude has long professed his interest in appropriating existing texts and images for his work. With Uppercase Print, he has upped his ante by adapting a play based entirely on the secret police files of the hunt, interrogation and persecution of a teenager who sprayed protest graffiti on buildings in a small Romanian city in 1981. While reconstructing award-winning playwright Gianina Carbunariu’s stage production to a tee – with the cast delivering their lines in static shots on imaginatively-designed sound stages – Jude mixes things up by interspersing these performances with footage drawn from snippets of Romanian state television of the day. With this juxtaposition of the real (wire-tapped conversations between the ostracized schoolboy and his suffering mother, testimonies of teachers and schoolboys turning into snitches) and the fictional (newsreels, cooking shows and pop-music programmes propping up propaganda about a prosperous Romania), Uppercase Print is a devastating document about the way an authoritarian regime consolidates its power by bombarding its people with both violence and visual imagery.
Şerban Lazarovici, Bogdan Zamfir, Ioana Iacob, Şerban Pavlu