Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Radu Jude, 2021, Romania/Luxembourg/Czech Republic/Croatia/Switzerland/UK)

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is the latest film by director Radu Jude. The film has been an immense critical success, winning accolades from critics worldwide as well as winning the Golden Bear at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival. Jude's prior films have mainly been either historical or concerning the role of Romanian history. His latest he describes as his "commercial" film, as the plot operates on a more basic level. Inspired by various news stories, the film on its surface tells the story of a teacher at a prestigious school in Bucharest, whose life is turned upside down when a sex tape with her husband is released onto the Internet. 

This premise hardly describes the actual content of the film, which is divided into three parts (if one doesn't count the opening, which is the porn film itself). The first part of the film involves our protagonist Emi (Katia Pascariu) in the aftermath of the discovery, mainly walking around Bucharest. The film was shot during the COVID-19 pandemic, and most of the characters are masked up for the entire film, which adds an interesting element. The film becomes more interesting in its second section, which is more a visual essay on various words that are related to Romanian history, often with a joking or sardonic, or highly critical tone.


The film's final act, however, is its best and the most fun. This involves Emi's trial in front of the faculty and parents at the school. Poking fun at various archetypes of Romanian society, this section has a truly anarchic and absurdist energy that culminates in three different potential endings, one of which is so bizarre that it has to be truly seen to be believed. Bad Luck Banging, while not perfect, is about as entertaining as modern art cinema can be. 


8/10

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