Sunday, 9 May at 4 pm.
Vladimir Kobrin is one of the leading popular-science filmmakers in Russia. Together with his collaborators, Valerii Vasil'ev and Mikhail Kamionskii, Kobrin has made a number of educational films on subjects like "the scientific and philosophical problems of bio-science," which slowly stray further and further away from being formal, merely didactic illustrations until they become interactive works that involve the spectator in the process of understanding the fundamental bases of being itself.
In his films, Kobrin elaborates a special, metaphoric style that is "a fully achieved work of imaginative filmmaking, in which special effects, pixilation, and reverse or speed-up motion abound, a philosophical avant-garde film, entirely unexpected in terms of its country of origin.
"The cinema I'm engaged in can be called 'phychedelic puppet action,' where the characters-both the live and the lifeless-behave according to the laws of a cosmic theater . . . To my mind, an artist is a person whose mission is to close the space between Earth and the Cosmos. Otherwise he can't be called an artist. That is why I see my task as a film director to consist of wiping off the mirror in which man and mankind as a whole look, and to show that this world (this performance without God, that is, without the point where all our puppet threads come together) is senseless and deserves no sympathy or pity." (Vladimir Kobrin, program notes, "HomoParadoxum V Kobrin," ArtWorkshop).
Aleksandr Molodkin and Vitaly Bashmolkin have worked together for several years. In 1991 they organized "Path," a creative workshop in Moscow, in which they jointly made several 8-mm films. They started to work with video in 1994.
In their video experiments, Molodkin and Bashmolkin go beyond a simple juxtaposition of brief shots linked by narration. Their technique can be compared to Stan Brakhage's way of creating his films (scratching and hand-painting images, step- or double- frame printing). Their use of music, especially Japanese folk music and sounds of ceremonies conducted by Buddhist monks, gives their work an unusual rhythmic and spatial depth, which brings their films closer to a kind of meditation than is usually encounted in films.
Until recently they made no use of computer graphics or special effects in their films. In their last two films, Prolapsus Temporis and Trip to Nowhere, they relied on one simple mechanical effect to experiment with video. They have started work on a new film about their trip to Japan.
Total running time: 145 min