Sergei Loznitsa, Cristi Puiu, Neil Young – Focus Sergei Loznitsa (panel discussion) (2014)

The 2014 Astra Film Festival’s Focus Loznitsa now presents his latest documentary Maidan, alongside three of his earlier works—The Train stop(2000), Landscape (2003) and Blockade (2005)—as well as a panel discussion related to the concept of “authorship” within film-making between Sergei Loznitsa and Cristi Puiu, moderated by Neil Young (film critic, UK).

Questions arising include:

* What happens when the texture of the film is composed of images recorded directly from the immediate mundanity of the world around us?
* What happens to the position of the filmaker as author engaged in an existential understanding of the world while, for example, shooting in the central square Kiev amid full revolutionary turmoil?
* Can the film-maker avoid or resist the direct expression of his/her own political stance?
* Cinema is established as a very strong medium and, throughout its history, has been misused as a dangerous means of mass manipulation, especially when the language of the film espouses and expresses a particular political position. What is the correct standpoint of a filmmaker as an author in this situation?
* What is the role of a filmmaker concerned with the controversies of a society undergoing dramatic transformation?

The panel discussion takes place after the screening of the film Maidan Continue reading

Cristi Puiu – Un cartus de kent si un pachet de cafea AKA Cigarettes and Coffee (2004)


In Jim Jarmush’s Coffee and Cigarettes, friends meet to romanticize about their love for two savory customs. Cristi Puiu’s Cigarettes and Coffee turns Jarmush’s film around. Neither Fiul (Mimi Branescu), a young man dressed in a suit, nor Tatal (Victor Rebengiuc), his poor looking father, smoke or drink coffee as they meet in a bar to talk business. Instead, they have water, beer, and apple pie. And unlike the character’s in Jarmush’s film, Fiul’s and Tatal’s conflict is not to come to terms about myths on tobacco and caffeine. The old man in Puiu’s film actually has a serious problem. Continue reading

Cristi Puiu – Aurora (2010)


Plot / Synopsis
An apartment kitchen: a man and a woman discuss Little Red Riding Hood, their voices hushed, mindful of waking the little girl sleeping next room. Waste land on the city outskirts: behind a line of abandoned trailers, the man silently watches what seems to be a family. The same city, the same man: driving through traffic with two hand-made firing pins for a hunting rifle. The man is 42 years old, his name – Viorel. Troubled by obscure thoughts, he drives across the city to a destination known only to him Continue reading