December 10, 2010

Amza Pellea, the Magnificent Actor

There are people who wear the mantle of magnificence ever; real titans, who were born with a big heart and open mind.  Strong personalities who give others the fullness of their soul and fill people's hearts with joy and happiness. Powerful and complex spirits who attract  around them fame, greatness and love. Your whole existence will be influenced beneficial if you have the privilege to meet such a man. 
This happened to me when I met Amza Pellea (April 7th, 1931 - December 12th, 1983), the brilliant  actor who filled Romanian's hearts with emotion, no matter what role he played (and I'll always be grateful for that) 

"I believe that there is no difference between a drama and comedy / Eu consider ca nu exista nici  o deosebire intre drama si comedie." Amza Pellea


Amza Pellea, the Magnificent Actor
Amza Pellea, the Magnificent Actor

The "Happy moments" with  Nea Marin (a comical and ingenious character that portrays an amazing archetypal Oltenian peasant) cheered up my childhood. 

"It's a trait of character of the Romanian people to make fun by themselves, sometimes even in trouble. / E o trasatura specifica poporului roman de a face haz, cateodata chiar de necaz"Amza Pellea

Amza Pellea aka Nea Marin
Amza Pellea aka Nea Marin

He was teaching us that lies in our power to see life friendly and to choose a cheerful and open way when tell a story  "I am convinced that any event may be told to squeeze tears or laughter /  Sunt convins ca orice intamplare poate fi povestita in asa fel incat sa stoarca si lacrimi si hohote de ras" Amza Pellea


I grew up between his magnificent jokes, quotes and his film/theater acting (comedy, drama, historical films - all were magnificent interpreted).
 
Amza Pellea, Decebal
Amza Pellea / Decebal

He was a genius who left his mark on Romanian culture and cinematography and will be forever associated with great Romanian leaders because of how passionately acted as Decebal, Dacian King  in "The Dacians/ Dacii" movie (1966) or Voivode Basarab from "The big Tailors of Wallachia / Croitorii cei mari din Valahia"  or Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia in "Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul" (1970).



He loved with passion theater, acting with outstanding performances in any TV, theater or film productions, succeeding so finely to capture human behave, walk and talk.

An actor should have "An open heart, perpetual sensitivity able to register any pain and human suffering, as a highest precision seismograph / Un suflet deschis, o sensibilitate vesnica in stare de alerta, in stare sa inregistreze ca un seismograf de cea mai mare precizie orice durere si suferinta omeneasca." Amza Pellea

Amza Pellea, The immortals/ Nemuritorii
Amza Pellea, The immortals/ Nemuritorii

During his life he played at the Craiova Theatre, Small Theatre, Nottara Theatre, Comedy Theatre and the National Theatre Bucharest, being also a professor at the Academy of Theatre and Film in Bucharest.  Other movies in which he played: Tudor (1963), "Catfish/ Pisica de mare" (1964) , "The outlaws / Haiducii" (1966) , "Sunday Father/ Tata de duminica" (1975), "Impossible love/ Imposibila iubire" (1983) (many of them having Sergiu Nicolaescu as a movie director).   In 1977 he won the "Best actor" prize at the Moscow International Film Festival - for the role played in "The Doom / Osanda" movie (1976).

In "Then I Sentenced Them All to Death/ Atunci i-am condamnat pe toti la moarte" movie (1971) he played disarming the role Ipu (the village idiot), who lives with simplicity the last days of the German occupation.

Amza Pellea, Ipu
Amza Pellea, Ipu

The" Michael The Brave/ Mihai Viteazul " movie is one of the most viewed Romanian movie, distributed worldwide by Columbia Pictures. This film was nominated for Golden Award at the Moscow International Film Festival in 1971 and at the Beaume Historic Film Festival in 1974.

Amza Pellea, Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul
Amza Pellea, Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul
HBO had to broadcast this film on December 1st, 2000.  Amza Pellea was outstanding  playing the main character - Michael the Brave, the king who united Romanian Provinces into the country of Romania in the 17th century.


Amza Pellea, Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul movie
Amza Pellea, Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul movie

In 1981, with "Uncle Marin, the Billionaire / Nea Marin miliardar" he proved that he can played any role. In this most known Romanian comedy he played 2 characters: a comical authentic peasant  "Nea Marin Juvete" who calmly resolve things like in his village  and an American billionaire "Mr. Juvet" who cames in Romania and has to do with press, luxury life and with "bad guys" who kidnapped his daughter.

Amza Pellea, Uncle Marin, the Billionaire / Nea Marin miliardar
Amza Pellea." Uncle Marin, the Billionaire / Nea Marin miliardar"


"An actor should play any role and be credible as a ruler or a peasant, as a weak man or a strong man, as a thief or a judge. / Un actor trebuie sa joace orice si sa fie credibil si intr-un voievod, si intr-un taran, si intr-un om slab, si intr-un om puternic, si intr-un borfas si intr-un jurist" Amza Pellea

Amza Pellea, Nea Marin Juvete & Mr. Juvet, the Billionaire
Amza Pellea, Nea Marin Juvete & Mr. Juvet, the Billionaire

His biggest desire (the one thing he has wanted all his life), was to transform his hometown "Bailesti" into "The Romanian Capital of Satire and Humor". His dream has been accomplished with the support of the Bailesti City leaders at that time (Marin Ciuca, Tiberiu Grebla and Ion Teaca) by organizing in 1979, 1980 and 1982 tree successive editions of  The Humor and Satire Festival "From a joke to another joke"/ Festivalul de Satira si Umor De la o gluma la alta".  After his death, the name of this festival was changed in "The Amza Pellea Humor Festival / Festivalul de Umor Amza Pellea".
I did not forget the naturalness and simplicity of how he felt on his knees and prayed for gratitude for people gathered in Bailesti at the first edition of this Festival: " I kneeling before this great audience. Part of my heart will always love my native land and the people with whom I grew up. / Ingenunchez in fata acestui public minunat. O parte din inima mea va iubi intotdeauna pamanturile natale si oamenii langa care am copilarit" Amza Pellea

 Amza Pellea, Nea Marin, the Oltenian

And he really loved these people without limits and without reservation, beyond personal sacrifice
"A love that will lead to acting beyond any personal sacrifice, because once you entered in this profession, no longer belong to yourself / O dragoste de meserie care sa duca pana dincolo de orice sacrificiu personal, pentru ca odata intrat in aceasta meserie, nu-ti mai apartii" Amza Pellea.


This love lasts over time in his native town from Oltenia region, and those who remained after him (his humorous definition about them was "The Oltenians are like pepper in food  / C-asa e olteanul, ca piperul in mancare") remember with love for both: the Man and the Actor.  Two years ago was inaugurated "The memorial house Amza Pellea" and his statue stands in front of the Cultural House from Bailesti named in his honor "Amza Pellea House of Culture / Casa de cultura Amza Pellea".


Amza Pellea statue - Bailesti, Romania
Amza Pellea statue - Bailesti, Romania
Strangely,  my soul is divided in two:  part of me is sad because tomorrow will commemorate 27 years since his death (December 12th, 1983), and the other part will be forever grateful for the spiritual wealth left  as legacy over the centuries by this Magnificent Actor.

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