Metastasen. 16:01 min., b&w, 1984. By Igor and Gleb Aleinikov. Ubuweb's description:
The Brothers Igor and Gleb Aleinikov belonged to the first generation of independent filmmakers in the Soviet Union, who no longer worked within the studio system, but founded the 'Parallel Cinema'. Their films, like Western experimental film in the 60s, deliberately refused to conform to professional standards, and were thus rejected not only officially, but also by many filmmakers.I've been stuck on Metastasen for a while, totally unsure how to approach it. I've finally come to settle on "something to project onto the wall during your most outré parties." Really, how else can one get a foothold on such an accretion of found imagery? You've got bug-covered mules, cars and military processions in negative, bodies in the street, kids in school uniform saluting, aerobicize class, karate matches and an oddly Nick Bergian (though somewhat more realistic) sheep-beheading sequence. Much of it's taken from television by actually aiming a film camera at a TV screen and some of it's on damaged film, creating what academics might call a "distancing" effect.
Ultimately, I suppose this comes to one of those exercises in decontextualization and juxtaposition, and it turns out to work surprisingly well when viewed that way. The image and sound have nothing to do with each other at the beginning and drift farther and farther apart as the minutes pass. Not that any visuals could to justice to the mélange of tinny, beepy quasi-reggae beats topped with Planet-X operatic vocalizing and slowed-down, sped-up, reversed and turntable-scratched stern Russian speech. The dissonance grows nightmarish. Again, throwing a dissonant nightmare party? Here's your ambiance.