Cancelled: Zerograd | Slavic Science Fiction Film Series
Fifth film screening of the Slavic Science Fiction Film Series this year and it’s in-person. Due to university event policy the in-person screening is only open to the Yale Community.
(Dir Karen Shakhnazarov, 1988) 1h 43m
Location: Auditorium, 53 Wall St
Register to attend the screenings (Yale Community Only): https://bit.ly/EventRegistration-REEESFilm
Open Only to the Yale Community due to current University event restrictions
“Part Kafka, part Agatha Christie and part Monty Python, director Karen Shakhnazarov’s surreal satire of Communism follows an Everyman engineer named Varakin (Leonid Filatov) who arrives in a remote city where nothing quite makes sense, but everyone acts as if it does. He’s quickly drawn into the investigation of the suicide (or possibly murder?) of a local restaurant chef, Nikolaev - who may (or may not) be Varakin’s missing father. The more complex and absurdist the mystery becomes, the more poignant and plaintive Varakin’s predicament - “I have to get back to Moscow,” he pleads to no avail. Along the way we’re treated to a bizarre and wonderful sideshow of non sequiturs out of a Wes Anderson film, including an underground museum filled with a thousand years of real and imagined Russian history (“Here’s the pistol with which Urusov shot the False Dimitry II.”) Frozen in time, frozen far beneath the surface, the waxwork figures are strangely beautiful and forlorn, like Shakhnazarov’s marvelous and enigmatic satire of Soviet bureaucracy. With music by the great Eduard Artemyev (SOLARIS, STALKER).”
As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on loftily laid university plans, we seek to imagine new futures where life is possible no matter the circumstances. Here at Yale Slavic, we wondered how we could expand traditional geographic and disciplinary bounds of our regional studies, proving their significance to world proceedings, and simultaneously provide fertile ground for new perspectives to help cope with our ongoing pandemic realities. The answer – to utilize the veritable treasure trove of wild and imaginary worlds concocted by the Soviets. We hope to establish the Slavic relevance for the genre of Science Fiction at large, and hold space to reflect on our own possible futures as we look at humans who not so long ago imagined theirs.
Sponsored by the generous support of the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund and the MacMillan Center’s European Studies Council and the Program on Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies