Anatoliy Karanovich & Sergei Yutkevich – Ilinskiy o Mayakovskom AKA Mayakovsky Laughs (1973)

This little-seen and little-discussed film combines animation with self-reflexive, live action segments to embody the anarchic, satiric spirit of the poet and playwright Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930). The film also showcases Sergei Yuktevich’s fondness for formal experimentation. It is nominally adapted from Mayakovsky’s play “The Bedbug” and his screenplay “Forget All About the Fireplace.” Read More »

Kirill Serebrennikov – Leto AKA Summer (2018)

Plot: A love triangle emerges around a rock and roll musician, his protege, and his wife in 1980s Russia.

The plot is based on little-known facts of Viktor Tsoi’s (Teo Yoo) life and unfolds in the summer of the early 1980s in Leningrad. The main storyline of the film tells the story of the relationship between the 19-year-old Tsoi, 26-year-old Mike Naumenko (Roman Bilyk), and his wife Natalia (Irina Starshenbaum), as well as the formation of the Leningrad Rock Club and the recording of Tsoi’s first album. Read More »

Vladimir Kobrin – KrotoSKobrizmus (1997)

Body in the past, the present and the future. Read More »

Vladimir Kobrin – GraviDance (2000)

The film is really very different from its predecessors.This is a diary written in a bright, imaginative, unique language, cipher invented by the author. Once, in the depth of ages, Leonardo da Vinci wrote his diary using languages known to mankind and his own encryption. The structure of the diary is clearly seen in the film. However, this is not ordinary, dry or memoir-nostalgic diary.
GraviDance is the philosophical poetry. To understand the principle of its construction can the image, persistently encountered by the viewer during the film. This image is already familiar to us – we return to where we started. Read More »

Vladimir Kobrin – Son Plyashuschih Chelovechkov AKA The Dream of the Little Dancing Men (1997)

Film is about communication. Kobrin pays homage to Vasili Nalimov, to his work and life. Nalimov was a mathematician and philosopher, but was also an eccentric anarchist with mystic tendencies who spent eighteen years in a concentration camp.
Nalimov’s philosophy relies on probabilistic methods in the natural and social sciences and applies them to the study of language and consciousness.
The film’s name Kobrin took from Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”. Read More »

Aleksei Fedorchenko – Ovsyanki aka Silent Souls (2010)

Two buntings—small, sparrow-like birds—sit in a cage on the back of a bike in the opening moments of Aleksai Fedorchenko’s Silent Souls. The man peddling the bike (and narrating the film from beyond the grave) is Aist (Igor Sergeyev), a factory worker and photographer who descends from the Finno-Ugric tribe known as the Meryans. After work one day, Aist agrees to help his boss and friend, Miron (Yuri Tsurilo), perform the last Meryan rites for Miron’s recently departed wife. The two buntings are brought along, flittering and chirping in their cage, on the duo’s trip, while Miron reminisces about the erotic moments with his wife and Aist drifts on to think about rituals he had once indulged in with his father. Read More »

Vladimir Kobrin – Seroe Vremya AKA Gloomy Time (1994)

The film is about the crisis in the Russian cinema, which occurred 100 years after the birth of cinema.
The title of the film reflected Kobrin’s feelings of this period, the collapse of the old order, pennilessness and uncertainty about the future.
In some respects, the film almost documents the life of the Kobrins House, a whole studio compressed within a small flat, children, computers, people working on computers, kitchen, guests, Kobrin himself – all this is filmed in the time-lapse mode.
The film is narrated by snippets from Vasily Nalimov’s “Spontaneity of consciousness”, intermixed with stories told by a rustic man. Read More »