While there are multiple film festivals identified by the abbreviation TIFF, the Transilvania International Film Festival is the only one to have hired fellow countryman Cristi Puiu to shape its visual advertising. Earlier this year, Puiu was given the task of creating 20 promotional spots to get the word out on TIFF (Romania's first international film festival), which was preparing for its 12th edition. With renowned Romanian actress Luminița Gheorghiu on board, Puiu got to work proving that a cohesive whole could be just as strong as its individual parts.
Upon viewing this series of trailers, it grows eminently clear that they should be viewed as two distinct stories. The first 10, free of dialogue, portray a woman (Gheorghiu) going about her life as an acute observer of her environment. Whether she be trying on multiple wigs in a public bathroom (as a discrete man with a bloodied nose runs in to wash his face) or waiting in the cold for a bus that may or may not arrive, the woman is going about her life with multiple responsibilities and a lot weighing on her mind. This later escalates as we see her outside what appears to be a prison, waiting rather patiently for her significant other. They dine at a fancy restaurant, spend a few hours in a hotel room and eventually part ways back at the prison, its giant doors opening and closing as if for the final time. Calmly morose and quietly humorous — the final segment features the woman stuck on a train platform next to a bearded man enamored with chewing an unhealthy amount of bubble gum — this 10-part story feels complete while still casting its net wide with surmounting complexities.
The second series of trailers takes place on a highway in Bucharest, the camera placed in the backseat of a car behind a male driver and his female passenger (Gheorghiu again). The woman listens to the man's life-story, from his struggles with his ex-wife to his love for his daughter who he rarely sees anymore (“How can you build a relationship with a child in two hours every two weeks? “) and recounts her recent sleepwalking accidents, which greatly concern him. Wordplay and the joy of intimate conversation reign supreme here, the woman, not quite a stranger nor a friend, always inquiring with more questions. As the man discusses his upbringing, college experiences and current career — before concluding with a back-and-forth about the origin of their favorite foods—this extended conversation deepens as it continues forward.
Even if you've come across one or two of these brief trailers on the internet, Making Waves' free program, playing twice in our Amphitheater, offers a chance to properly view them in consecutive order. A narrative emerges as you watch, begging for your full attention and willingness to consume them all.