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  goEast 2004


Time and again we encounter films that do not fit into the patterns we expect from cinema – films whose individual style may need some adjustment on the part of the viewer, but promise especially rewarding experiences. Signature is a section in which Swetlana Sikora, artistic director of goEast, presents a personal selection of films seemingly diametrically opposed to everything around them. Difficult although it is to reduce them to a common denominator, they have one thing in common: All of them are fascinating documents of an original and independent artistic approach.

Director: Rustam Chamdamov, 65 MIN
Cult director and fashion designer Rustam Chamdamov’s “film-concert” revives a genre vastly popular in the era of Stalin. His highly entertaining version offers a playfully surreal round of arias by Verdi, Puccini, Glinka and other composers, performed by former stars of Soviet opera in locations like an abandoned factory, a nomad’s hut, or somewhere in the Kazakh steppes. These operatic fragments are presented by mistress of ceremonies Renata Litvinova, the diva of New Russian Film – a post-Soviet Venus in Furs who makes melancholy comments about the decline of imperial grandeur. The film derives its magic from the ingenious interplay of light and colour, from absurd comedy and the extravagant costumes designed by the director himself.
Alpha: 06.04. / 2.00 pm

Director: Aleksej Fedorchenko, 75 MIN
PERVYE NA LUNE confronts the astonished viewer with a catalogue of evidence supposedly proving that a secret space-travel project was pursued in the USSR in the 1930s. Working mainly with film footage presented as never-before-seen archive material and backed up by statements from “eye witnesses”, an absurd competition begins in which detective work is played off against concealed traces. The resultant effect is surreal. With its ironic nods to various genres, Aleksej Fedorchenko’s directorial debut is as entertaining as it is subtle, and resounds with critical undertones questioning the memory function ascribed to visual media.
Alpha: 07.04. / 8.00 pm
In presence of Aleksej Fedorchenko

Russia 2005
Director: Evgenij Jufit, 93 MIN
A successful painter and his family move into an old country house seemingly swallowed up by the surrounding countryside. Nature delivers the only background noise in this exquisitely photographed black-and-white film. The cellar of the house contains skulls, laboratory drawings, and rolls of film – remnants of a secret project conducted in the period 1930-50 to produce a cross between Homo sapiens and primates, and so arrive at a new theory of the upright gait and, potentially, a kind of superman. As the artist sifts through the materials, he discovers more and more traces of his own history, and survivors of the experiments begin to come to light... Narrated against the backdrop of a claustrophobic family situation reminiscent of the films of Ingmar Bergman, Evgenij Yufit’s thoughtful tale also permanently reflects on the nature of the film medium.
Alpha: 08.04. / 4.00 pm

France / Switzerland 2004
Director: Jean-Luc Godard, 79 MIN
For Jean-Luc Godard sound in film has always been as important as the image. His collages amount to masterly tapestries which interweave visuals, text and music with a cohesion and referential intensity unparalleled in contemporary film. The same is true of his latest work, which he shot on video in Sarajevo. NOTRE MUSIQUE is a stream of ideas that takes the inner conflicts of the Balkan states as a basis for reflection upon the antagonism between perpetrators and victims. In its political acuteness and disdain for aesthetic compromise, his filmic triptych of the three “Kingdoms” (Hell, Purgatory, Paradise) of human inadequacy offered renewed confirmation of Godard’s status as Grand Old Man of Nouvelle Vague.
Alpha: 10.04. / 08.00 pm

Great Britain 2004
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski, 83 MIN
Driving a moped through the lanes of an English village, Mona meets up with Tamsin. They come from different worlds: One young woman is rich, educated, and experienced, the other an orphan who runs a pub with her brother (until he decides to turn it into a place of Christian encounter). Tamsin revels in intrigue, Mona could scarcely be more forthright than she already is. Nevertheless, they decide to spend the summer together, and fall in love. But their unconditional devotion to each other is fraught with pitfalls. Pawel Pawlikowski has drenched his film in light, keeping the camera trained on his impressive principal players for his detailed, shimmering depiction of a summer resonating both with elation and menace.
Alpha: 11.04. / 6.30 pm

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