Russia

Yevgeny Yufit – Ubitye molniey aka Killed by Lightning (2002)

Quote:
The action of the film is unfolding not in the real world, but in subconsciousness of the heroine, professor of anthropology.
The woman-anthropologist researches roots of the human evolution. Psychic childhood trauma, caused by the death of her father, the captain of a submarine, in the W.W.II, periodically throws her out of balance. Phantoms of the prehistorical past and father’s violent death collide in the scientist’s subconsciousness and bring to life an unexpected theory of human evolution. Read More »

Svetlana Baskova – Zelyonyy slonik AKA The Green Elephant (1999)

The Green Elephant also known as Green Elephant Calf) is a 1999 Russian gore film directed by Svetlana Baskov. The film could not be distributed through the mainstream film circuit in Russia, due to its extremely violent images and obscene language. The International Film Festival Rotterdam programme commented that “Green Elephant is even more urgent because of the escalation of the war in Chechnya and growing criminality in the Russian army Read More »

Yevgeny Yufit – Pryamokhozhdenie AKA Bipedalism (2005)

Yufit continues themes from Silver Heads, this time featuring an artist who paints insects, and who discovers evidence of scientific experiments aimed at understanding and controlling the progress of man. Specifically, what caused man to stand upright, thus moving away from a more practical and natural lifestyle and into a modern, intellectual one. The experiments attempt to recreate this effect or fuse the advantages of both. He moves into an old house with his family, is haunted by strange visions and dreams, but when his children uncover a film archive documenting the experiments, and a strange old man disturbs his peace, he loses his simple pleasures and his mind regresses into a form of insanity. While he slowly unravels the truth, experimental bipedals (naked crouched men) roam and terrorize the countryside chased by the government. By far Yufit’s most conventional narrative, with odd, mildly interesting but simplistic meditations on humankind.

— The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Read More »

Vladimir Maslov & Yevgeny Yufit – Serebryanye golovy AKA Silver Heads (1999)

Synopsis:
Deep in the woods, in a secret bunker, a group of scientists is working on an experiment to crossbreed a human with a tree. In this low-tech science fiction film, experiments aimed to produce a better, purer human being appear as strange allusions to the films of David Cronenberg, with virtuality and cerebral dimension replaced by pure physicality. Machines stripped of any glamour and reduced to mere function resemble medieval torture chambers powered by electricity. With dark humor and raw visual aesthetic, Silver Heads is a major work from the Saint Petersburg underground art scene. Read More »

Roman Zhigalov – Les (2018)

IMDB:
In a small village lost in the middle of a boundless forest a teenager is in love with an older woman. He does not know how to strike up a conversation with her, much less how to tell her about his feelings. The boy’s father is pursuing the same woman and is ready to leave his family for her. The personal conflict between father and son is swept up in the turmoil of outside events which turn neighbor against neighbor, dividing them into ‘us’ and ‘them’. Every day those who are stronger show more and more disregard and contempt for the values of the weak, pushing everyone’s life towards a disaster. Read More »

Aleksandra Strelyanaya – Sukhodol AKA The Dry Valley (2011)

Quote:
The Dry Valley (Суходол) is the first full feature film by Alexandra Strelyanaya. The film is based on the famous novel written by Nobel Prize laureate Ivan Bunin.
This story unites the destinies of the landowners and their servants, and is considered to be one of the most complete portraits of the Russian life in the late XIX century. It takes place in Dry Valley, a village owned by the noble family of Khrushevs. The story tells about Natalia, a young and naive girl who serves in their country house. We see and experience her love, dedication to her masters, mysticism, exile, betrayal and faith, while the Dry Valley is falling to pieces, slowly but inevitably, as well as the lives of its inhabitants. Read More »

Vera Storozheva – Puteshestvie s domashnimi zhivotnymi AKA Travelling with Pets (2007)

Quote:
Natalie was 16, living in a foster home, when she was bought by a rough and unstable man. They lived at a remote station, and their loveless marriage lasted 19 years, until he died. Now free, Natalie is discovering her first love when she meets Sergei. Read More »