The first of a series of Porumboiu’s short films populated by characters demoralized and thwarted by a toxic—if comic and bittersweet—atmosphere; in this case a ubiquitous alcoholism. Choosing life on an oil rig over life in his village, the young student finds that even if he has never had a drink, he is still under the influence.
Constantin Dita’s quiet consternation once again inhabits Porumbiou’s second short and is once more joined by the more carefree antics of Ion Sapadaru. It is not just old world meeting new as the young teacher’s vain attempts to merely purchase a computer lead to unnecessary delays, political favors, bureaucratic conundrums, criminal activity and unexpected camaraderie. As as in his feature films to come, Porumboiu fills the screen with so much life and so many stories—while his characters still wait for something to happen.
The darkest and most complex of Porumboiu’s short films, Liviu’s Dream unfolds into more of a stifled nightmare which Liviu has come to bitterly tolerate. Born into a corrupt, disenchanted world, he makes a living by stealing and finds love by cheating on his best friend. Wanting to do things differently from his parents, Liviu blindly navigates through densely populated underworlds of waking and sleeping to finally reach that new world, the unknown.