Friday December 2nd 2016
Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Avenue
Livia Ungur & Sherng-Lee Huang, USA/Romania, 2016, 75 min.
The American soap opera Dallas became a hit in 1980s Romania, providing a rare window to the West for viewers living under a brutal communist regime. Among those watching were Ilie and his daughter Livia. He’s a small-time criminal who craves the lavish lifestyle he sees on TV; she’s in love with Dallas hunk Patrick Duffy, who plays Bobby Ewing. After communism falls, Ilie builds the Hotel Dallas, a replica of the show’s mansion. Livia, now a filmmaker, recruits Duffy to star in a bizarre Romanian version of Dallas, haunted by the ghosts of the country’s past. Hotel Dallas is a surreal mix of fiction, documentary, musical and fairy tale.
Ungur & Huang is wife-and-husband artist duo Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang. Based in New York, they make films as well as sculptures and installations. Their 2015 short film Prodigal premiered at the Black Maria Film Festival, screened at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. and won festival jury awards at Montreal Underground, FIVA and Leiria. Their next film, the feature Hotel Dallas, premiered at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival. They were included in Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”