Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (2021)

A schoolteacher and her circulating sex tape headline Radu Jude’s new sociopolitical experiment—a piercing satire on everything wrong with the world that is as savagely non-PC as it is hilarious.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review #2,137

Dir. Radu Jude
2021 | Romania | Comedy/Drama | 106 mins | 2.35:1 | Romanian & English
Not rated – will be banned in Singapore for pornographic scenes

Cast: Katia Pascariu, Claudia Ieremia, Olimpia Malai
Plot: Emi, a school teacher, finds her career and reputation under threat after a personal sex tape is leaked on the Internet. Forced to meet the parents demanding her dismissal, Emi refuses to surrender to their pressure.
Awards: Won Golden Bear (Berlinale)
International Sales: Heretic Outreach

Accessibility Index
Subject Matter: Mature
Narrative Style: Slightly Complex
Pace: Slightly Slow
Audience Type: General Arthouse

Viewed: Screener
Spoilers: No


Radu Jude follows up from the mixed bag that was Uppercase Print (2020) with one of his most provocative works, aptly titled Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn. Winning the Golden Bear at the Berlinale, Jude’s film is wild, confrontational and as savagely non-PC as it is hilarious.

Forget about it making its way to the Conservative Island of Singapore though as its pornographic opening minutes would attest—you’ll have a better chance flying to the moon than seeing this at a local festival.

Which is a pity because this is a terrific work about a schoolteacher whose private sex tape gets circulated on an adult website, to the absolute chagrin of the students’ parents. That’s the plot but it’s also not the plot as Jude experiments with cinematic form and structure, breaking his film into three parts and a zany epilogue.

“The act of teaching itself is a form of symbolic violence.”

The first part sees the teacher in question walking what seems like tens of miles (we get to see urban Romania like a tourist) to her school to defend herself in a teacher-parent conference, which makes up the film’s explosive third segment.

However, the bridging segment could be the most fascinating of all—a ‘dictionary’ of terms (some profane), rendered in a seemingly neverending montage of striking images and footage (some historical, some pornographic, but under Jude’s sleight-of-hand, they are all political).

A piercing sociopolitical satire that proves illuminating because it dares to be offensive and blunt about everything wrong with the world, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is surely one of the most stimulating screen experiences of 2021 so far.

Grade: A-


Trailer:

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