Serious boffin Ivan (Fedor Lavrov) arrives in unnamed town from Novosibirsk to take up a post at institute run by Sergey Sergeyevich (Pavel Lubimtsev) and is immediately put in charge of Unit 7 where the particle flux experiments are taking place. Maximum reading a subject can produce is 977, hence title, and fetching waif Rita (Klavdia Korshunova) does just that, but seems to disappear mysteriously from the sealed observation rooms every time the experiment is conducted. Overtones of Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” and “Stalker” are bolstered by hints, so subtle those just reading the subtitles won’t get them, that action takes place in the ’70s.
Willfully obscure pic featuring sci-fi elements and long takes, “Nine Seven Seven” reps evidence of grandmaster Andrei Tarkovsky’s continuing, not always necessarily healthy, influence on the Russian arthouse scene. Helming debut by Nikolay Khomeriki posits an institute where scientists measure the mean constant value of individual subjects’ “particle flux” when they’re in various emotional states, resulting in bad vibes all round. Fests may take further readings of this, but B.O. even at home will be infinitesimal.
Subtitles:English, French and Russian (vobsub)