Under Electric Clouds

132 minutes 2015

This episodic Russian art film was written and directed by Aleksey German Jr. and shows the marked influence of his father’s work (My Friend Ivan Lapshin, Hard to Be a God) in its intricate tracking shots, immersive sound design, and opaque storytelling, dense with allusions to Russian art and history. The year is 2017—the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, a grave-sounding narrator intones—and the world is on the brink of war; much of the action takes place in and around an unfinished skyscraper in the middle of a barren field. The various Beckett-like characters include an honored scholar reduced to working as a tour guide, a real estate lawyer who has an elaborate dream placing him back in the late 1980s, and a Kyrgyz immigrant who witnesses a series of senseless crimes. In Russian with subtitles.

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