City Zero | Chicago Reader

City Zero

A wacky, absurdist 1988 Soviet satire by Karen Shakhnazarov, also known as Zerograd, about a Moscow engineer who finds himself trapped in a provincial town. Odd and irrational events take place around him—he meets a nude secretary when he visits an air-conditioning company, a chef commits suicide after he refuses to eat a cake modeled after his own head, and he is asked to assume the identity of the chef's son in a complex local intrigue involving the chef's reputation as a rock 'n' roll rebel many years earlier. None of this exactly goes anywhere, but Shakhnazarov manages to keep it amusing and watchable. This won a Gold Hugo at the Chicago Film Festival in 1989.

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