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12 April 2014

Casa Filmului Acin

Behind the Iron Curtain, there used to be an interesting film culture. The cinemas of Poland, Russia, East-Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia produced several film classics during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s that fared very well at international film festivals. East-Germany and Romania were the specialists in film postcards. Last Saturday, we had a post on VEB Progress Filmvertrieb from East-Germany. Today, we present you the wonderful world of Casa Filmului Acin from Romania.

Emmanuelle Béart
Emmanuelle Béart. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 43033.

Virna Lisi
Virna Lisi. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Retail price: 2 Lei. At the backside is written: Sylva Koscina (sic).

Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 568.

Sylvia Kristel
Sylvia Kristel. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Marie-France Pisier
Marie-France Pisier. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

ABBA and more ABBA


Do you feel a bit nostalgic and need a glimpse of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s? Surf to Flickr's new group, Casa Filmului Acin (Film House Acin).

You'll find hundreds of Romanian vintage postcards of pop artists, TV heroes and film stars, dating from the 1960s till 1989, the year Nicolae Ceaușescu's regime ended.

See ABBA, Boney M, Amanda Lear and more ABBA there - in their most eye-blinding, glittering seventies outfits.

Acin published several cards of Clint Eastwood in the Spaghetti Westerns by Sergio Leone, Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal in Love Story (Arthur Hiller, 1970) and one of Sharon Tate, Patty Duke and Barbara Parkins in Valley of the Dolls (Mark Robson, 1967).

American TV classics like McCloud, Charlie's Angels, Columbo and Dynasty are present as well, and the sex symbol of the early 1970s, Raquel Welch.

All these postcards were produced behind the Iron Curtain in communist Romania, and now these colourful and a bit odd postcards finally reach the rest of the world.

Louis de Funès
Louis de Funès. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 181. Retail price: 1,50 Lei.

Daniela Bianchi
Daniela Bianchi. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Photo: Publicity still for Missione speciale Lady Chaplin/Operation Lady Chaplin (Alberto De Martino, Sergio Grieco, 1966).

Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 5293, 1970.

Robert Hossein
Robert Hossein. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Publicity still for Indomptable Angelique/Untamable Angelique (Bernard Borderie, 1967).

Sylva Koscina
Sylva Koscina. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 217. Retail price: 1,50 Lei.

Immensely Popular


The Acin group at Flickr was founded by postcard collector Veronique3 from Bucharest.

Earlier she wrote at EFSP: "In the past, it used to be difficult to find these cards in my country. People bought them before we knew that they had arrived at the post office. A cousin of mine worked for the post office, so I could start my collection thanks to her."

Producer of the Acin cards was the C.P.C.S., a state owned company.

The eldest Acin cards I could trace must be from the mid-1960s, when Ceaușescu came to power.

These black and white postcards contain stills of sixties phenomena like the Eurospy films, Michèle Mercier and Robert Hossein in the sensual Angélique romances and the hilarious Louis de Funès farces.

The cards were cheaply made and cost only 1.50 lei (ca. 0.33 euro). Later, the Retail price of the colour cards - printed on thin paper and the tekst on the flip side is in blue ink - was 2 Lei (ca. 0.45 euro).

The colour procedure was not always optimal, but the result often has a special charm.

Veronique writes that the cards were also for sale at the news stands in Romania, but also at the kiosks the Acin cards were always quickly sold out.
You had to have a contact at C.P.C.S. or at one of the retail points to be able to collect them all.

Florin Piersic
Florin Piersic. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Anna Széles
Anna Széles. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Margareta Pislaru
Margareta Pislaru. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Gojko Mitic
Gojko Mitic. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 43079.

Florin Piersic, Anna Széles
Florin Piersic, Anna Széles. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 33 150.

Often Very Beautiful


Today the postcards of Casa Filmului Acin are vintage and can be bought at sites on the net. The prices are now a bit higher than the 2 Lei they used to cost forty years ago, but still affordable.

Many stars on the Acin postcards are of course Romanian. The two major pop divas were Angela Similea and Margareta Pislaru, who both also appeared in several films.

Then there was Florin Piersic, one of the most renowned Romanian film actors and a monster sacré of the National Theatre in Bucharest. During the Ceauşescu era he appeared in more than forty films, in which he often depicted heroic, masculine characters.

He was married for a while to the ravishing Anna Széles, who appeared as a princess in the popular East-European fairy tales of the 1970s.

Besides giving this unique view at the Romanian film and music culture of the Ceauşescu period, I think it is interesting that Acin continued to produce film star postcards in a period many other European publishers had stopped to do so.

Acin published dozens of postcards of French and Italian stars of the 1970s and 1980s, and their photos are often incredibly beautiful.

Who else published postcards of such actors as Dominique Sanda, Sylvia Kristel or Marc Porel?

Only Casa Filmului Acin!

Helmut Berger
Helmut Berger. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Marc Porel
Marc Porel. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 33132.

Happy birthday, Jean-Louis Trintignant!
Jean-Louis Trintignant. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Gérard Lanvin
Gérard Lanvin. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Francis Huster
Francis Huster. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Source: Veronique3 (Flickr).

3 comments:

Bunched Undies said...

These are great! Thanks for bringing them to our attention.

william charles said...

You've shared the cards, that's really wonderful.
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