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Asphalt Tango (1996)

Asfalt Tango (1996)

98 min. - Road Movie - R 15 - 04.04.1997


Fifteen beautiful girls embark on a bus to Paris to take part in an itinerant show throughout France. Marion, a born and raised French woman, is both their artistic manager and their watch dog. Gigi, her Romanian partner who has taken care of recruiting the girls, hopes to get lucky with one of them. Meanwhile, the driver who is supposed to make sure they arrive safely to their destination is thinking with nostalgia about the “good old times”. 

Director: Nae Caranfil

Writer: Nae Caranfil

Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Mircea Diaconu, Florin Călinescu

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Asphalt Tango (1996) Charlotte Rampling Marion
Mircea Diaconu Andrei
Florin Călinescu Gigi
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Produced By

Les Films du Rivage
Domino Film
France 3 Cinéma
Les films de l'ouest, Comme des Cinémas, Canal +
Studioul Cinematografic “Bucureşti”, Sabina Product
Ministerul Culturii din Franţa
Cu sprijinul CNC


Production info

Regular screen width, colour.


Pro Video

Festivals, Awards

  1. 1996-1997 - UCIN - Best DIrector; Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Constantin Cotimanis, Florin Călinescu); Best Film Editing


Nabucco: Va! pensiero by Giuseppe Verdi


Charlotte Rampling about Nae Caranfil:
„I’ve seen Nae Caranfil’s first film (E pericoloso sporgersi) and I thought it was very good. He’s a sort of an Eastern Woody Allen, extravagant and serious at the same time”. 

Extracts from the French press:
"Picture adventures and quid pro quo situations, add finesse and gravity, and top everything with refined humor and you’ll get an idea about the film” (Canard enchaîné); "A rather charming, intelligent and efficient portrait of contemporary Romania" (Studio Magazine); "Asfalt Tango reaches out to undertones close to Italian comedies from the past. The film is, in fact, an insolent moral fable about the relations between men and women, between lust and marriage..." (Le Monde); "70% humour and rhythm, 5% violence and sex" (Cinemag); "The apparent lightness of the subject matter is doubled by a reflection on the disturbances a country halfway between totalitarianism and wild liberalism is undergoing. The road movie or the picaresque are but the pretext of a pessimistic X-ray (Les inrockuptibles); "... it resorts quite often to easy solutions, although it does offer enjoyable portraits. (...) A comedy whose ambition is of saying more than a political film would about its country in which women have become the most valuable capital (meaning that they’re the easiest to be transformed into money) (La croix); "A talented screenwriter who, despite his humorous dialogues, can’t manage to save the story from drowsiness. A possible reason might be that when this happens, Nae Caranfil aims at eliciting reflections on two ways of life, the archaic and the modern one." (Telerama); "The idea is initially exploited with malice – highlighting the contrast between the dreams of the innocent protagonists and reality, the opposition between Charlotte Rampling’s cynical elegance and the decomposition of the country they’re crossing over but, as they approach more and more the frontier, the director loses the hang of it and the comedy, which seemed vivid, turns out to be sentimental, just like the ending turns out to be lacking in courage. (Nouvel Observateur); "... an unlikely road movie which accumulates clichés and pseudo-dynamic moments of revitalization. Caranfil is a promising filmmaker from which we expect a new film that is controlled better than this one, a flop for which he mustn’t be ashamed of. (Positif); "A film under a bell jar, lacking in rhyme and meaning, representative of neither Romania nor France, which unskilfully projects the professional aspirations of the filmmaker. Without taking into consideration the current state of his country, he tries rather to convey his own attraction for the West by means of his characters. The idea of the bus as a sterile and self-sufficient micro cosmos is more likely a sign of creative laziness." (Cahiers du Cinema); "A serious contender for the title of the worst film of the year". (Liberation)

Asphalt Tango (1996) - Photo