This excellent eastern European take on the road movie is the re-released debut feature from Cristi Puiu (director of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu).
Stuff and Dough is a masterclass in fresh film-making, resonating with several genres to great effect (disaffected youth, grimy realism, thriller) to create something unique yet wonderfully familiar; while keeping up a sprightly, light tone throughout. Now, you definitely can’t say the latter about Puiu’s follow-up films.
Listless teenager Ovidian (Papadopol) agrees to deliver a suspicious package to an address in Bucharest – and he has four hours to make it from door to door. The trouble is, his loudmouth chum Vali (Bucur) invites himself and his new girlfriend, Bety (Flora) along for the ride. Plus, a red SUV starts following them as soon as they start out. When the SUV speeds up to overtake Ovidian, he sees a baseball bat in the passenger’s hand, while Bety spies a gun holster.
Watching Stuff and Dough I kept on thinking of Spielberg’s Duel and Monte Hellman’s Two Lane Blacktop – there’s something about the deadzone tone of the latter film here. Which in my opinion makes this a must see.
Second Run present Stuff and Dough from a brand new HD restoration, and the DVD also includes Cristi Puiu’s award-winning 2004 short film Cigarettes and Coffee.
Review by Colin Dibben
Stuff and Dough is out now on DVD.