Turbidus Film #24, Walden And Fylkingen presents Nicolas Rey’s Les Soviets plus l'électricité (2001) on 16mm. Les Soviets plus l'électricité is a cinematic and epic journey across Russia that ends deep in Siberia at the port town of Magadan, a city famous in Soviet times for being synonymous with deportation. Based on excerpts from his acoustic diary, documentary footage and some autobiographical insights given on the way, the roving reporter searches for imaginary roots and its historical and political implications.
As Boris Lehman writes, “The final product is a three-stage, three-hour cinematic journey on the trail of condemned prisoners dragged to the furthest ends of Siberia…. Nicolas not only realizes his dream and undertakes this impossible, unimaginable journey. He also captures it cinematically as images and sounds, movement, light, color, black leaders, and intertitles.”
18:30 Doors open
19:00 Les Soviets plus l'électricité (with two short breaks)
- Les Soviets Plus L'électricité (2001, super 8 to 16mm, color, sound, 24fps, French with English subtitles, 175'00)
A cinetrip to a defunct country. Super-self-production in Sviemacolor. Wandering through Russia as if through someone else's house. "Day two is the worst. It was the same in the train: on the second day, I stamped my feet impatiently. Then, from the third day on, it gets better. You get used to the slowness, to the monotonous landscape, to a life made up of short sleep-eat-wait cycles having absolutely nothing to do with the usual timing of a day." Advertisements for linoleum as if it were some precious stone, and entire cities - built on gold mines - left abandoned. There is no such thing as Russian chaos. Just "Europe" stretching all the way to the Pacific Ocean, and no longer merely to the ghostly Oural Mountains.
16mm film copy from LightCone, Paris
Production: TURBIDUS FILM, WALDEN and FYLKINGEN
60 SEK (card is the queen)
Nicolas Rey is a French filmmaker, born in 1968 (do not confuse with Nicolas Ray, American director). Since 1993, Rey usually shoots on expired Super-8 or 16mm films. In 1995, he contributed to the founding of the L'Abominable, a collective workshop in Paris, a place to develop and edit films. His first two films, the short Terminus for You (1996) and Opera Mundi or the Time of Outerwear (1999), are 16mm in black and white. The third film The Soviets More Electricity, directed in 2001, which is Super-8 swelled to 16mm and his first full length feature (170 min.) and there he retraces his father communist, Nicolas Rey shot in colour. According to Christa Blümlinger, cinema and contemporary art critic, Rey "renews thus the artistic and artisanal traditions of cinema, finding in ancient techniques and materials the opportunity of a plastic renewal, this film finds itself making a kind of reconciliation of the two avant-gardes, separated for a long time and ignoring each other mutually: the one of the experimental cinema, originated in fine arts environment and coming from New York, and the other which shaped itself in Europe, as a result of post-war modernist cinema, which we could call essayist." Then Nicolas Rey was interested by the economic decline of the industry and showed Schuss! (2005), set in the Alps. His last movie Differently, Molussia (2012), from adapted Günter Anders' tales about fascism, has been paid attention several times: it was selected in the Berlinale (Forum Expanded), it took the Grand Prix in the festival Cinema of the Real in Paris, it entered in competition in Brussels for the Prix de l'Âge d'or (Golden Age Prize).