Review: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, December 1st, 2021  

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn

Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Radu Jude

Sep 29, 2021 Web Exclusive
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Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is a dark satirical comedy that addresses a broad spectrum of ideas including privacy, sexual freedom, and gender politics. Helmed by Romanian director Radu Jude, the film is this year’s winner of the Berlin International Film Festival’s Golden Bear Grand Jury Prize.

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn has a simple premise. Filmed and set during the Coronavirus pandemic, the film follows a history teacher named Emi (Katia Pascariu) whose sex tape gets leaked on the internet. Armed with nothing except suspicions of who may have uploaded the video, she is forced to meet with the parents of her students, who are demanding that she be stripped of her position.

The film is divided into three parts with distinct tones and structures. The first part follows Emi as she wanders around the chaotic streets of Bucharest, running errands and talking with the people close to her about her situation, both in-person (and masked) or on the phone. Jude’s direction is most interesting here, as the camera constantly pans away from Emi, even when she’s talking to others, to picture the bustling streets and happenings of the city around her.

The second part is best described as a montage-like interlude. A series of images, subtitles and dialogues deliver quick quips about a variety of different topics. These include broad subjects such as Romanian history, the church and even cinema itself. While it may initially feel out of place, it ends up being the perfect connector between the calmness of the first act and the manic energy of the third act.

The final act captures the film’s main event: the meeting between Emi and the angry parents. Here, Jude’s sharp screenwriting skills provide the rapid-fire dialogue that stitches all of the film’s themes together in just under 45 minutes. The final act also delivers three different endings, giving the viewer the choice to decide which one they prefer.

From start to finish, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is a sensory overload. The film opens with an extremely graphic, not-safe-for-work sex scene. Things get calmer from that extreme, but the film never fully chills out. Even in the scenes where Emi is minding her own business, there’s often something out-of-place happening on-screen that doesn’t even involve her. These occurrences range from simple things like other people’s random conversations to more grotesque things, such as two supermarket customers screaming at one another or an elderly market shopper quite literally cursing into the camera. These peripheral scenes illustrate how extreme the complexity of her situation is, so much so that she doesn’t notice anything around her. This concept feels tiring during the film itself, but after witnessing how the parts build on one another, it becomes rewarding and unique.

While the film is billed as a comedy, the humor of Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is often deadpan and dark, filled with jokes that require a specific type of personality to truly enjoy. Additionally, the starkness and unexpected nature of the film’s three acts initially feel unwarranted and aimless. At its best, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is a stark reminder of just how much our societal issues and backwards politics have persisted through time. It takes patience on the part of the viewer to get to those realizations, but in the long run, there is more to take away from the film than what initially is perceived. (www.filmlinc.org/nyff2021/films/bad-luck-banging-or-loony-porn/)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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