A Danubian Narnia: Nostalgia, by Mircea Cartarescu, reviewed

Mircea Cartarescu likens his native Romania to a Latin American country stranded in eastern Europe. Certainly, his writing delivers not the pared-down parables and ironies of his self-exiled compatriot (and Nobel laureate) Herta Müller, but a rainbow-hued riot of fantasy, imagination and invention. The gender-switching narrator of ‘The Twins’ — one of five linked tales that make up Nostalgia — urges his lover to remember that ‘under the obscene rococo of our world and flesh, our bones are gothic and our spirit is gothic’. That feels about right, although Cartarescu fills his grotesque and hallucinatory scenes with tropical warmth, colour and light on top of the sepulchral chills of old

It’ll blow you away: Collective reviewed

When I recommend this documentary to people, telling them it follows the journalistic investigation into a fire that broke out in a Bucharest nightclub, killing 64, with the majority not dying of their injuries but later in hospital, their look says: ‘Not a chance.’ Their look says: ‘This film is not something I wish to see.’ I felt similarly, but trust me on this. It’s gripping. It’s electrifying. It’s explosive. It plays like a crime thriller yet with real consequences. There are revelations that will make you gasp. And it opens a can of worms. Literally. The fire broke out at Club Colectiv in 2015 when a band’s pyrotechnics ignited