Under Electric Clouds
Directed by Aleksey German Jr
Russia 2017. The world could be on the verge of a great war. People are anxious that things could fall apart. Evolving around an unfinished building, a diverse group of outsiders struggle to find their place in this rapidly changing society, making up the mosaic of existence that is life itself…
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★★★★ review by Arsaib Gilbert on Letterboxd
The vignette storytelling structure continues to be an ideal method for directors attempting to capture the soul and spirit of a place, a people, a nation, or the world itself. In narrative filmmaking, it provides them the means to create more characters, and thus more dramatic situations, in order to engender a variety of themes and topics required to accomplish the task. This method has its risks: due to the multitude of focal points, often times not enough attention gets paid on the micro level, which negatively affects the overarching concept(s).
To one degree or another, recent Russian films such as Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s 4 (2005), Aleksei Balabanov’s Cargo 200 (2007), and Vasili Sigarev’s Living (2012) have employed this technique to comment on that diverse and disparate nation, one permanently torn between Asia and Europe and perpetually suspended between its past and its future. Even though Aleksei German Jr.’s poetic and absorbing new film, Under Electric Clouds (Pod Elektricheskimi Oblakami), is primarily set in the post-apocalyptic “future” (2017, to be exact, the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution), it very much attempts to articulate the spiritual and existential malaise afflicting contemporary society.
★★★½ review by Filipe Furtado on Letterboxd
Midway through German Jr’s film, one of the characters tries to remember a melody to a Brazilian song and his experience mirrors mine as far as this is the sort of Russian fiction that feels so removed from my experience that I always take a huge effort to find its wavelength. That said, German’s eye is great, the film has a lot of inventiveness and the worl of hurt it carries on its shoulders is deeply felt.
★★★½ review by Thuy Hung Nguyen on Letterboxd
Like sort of a guilty pleasure. Sure, the film might not be very solid in terms of plot or argument, but the cinematography, the mood make it work wonderfully.
★★★★ review by Zach Nabors on Letterboxd
When a country, a people, are torn between the shame and pride of their past and the possible terror/hope of the future, so aimlessly walk in an unfinished, broken, unrealized purgatory of the present.
★★★★ review by A Lonely Grape on Letterboxd
One of the most wonderfully understated Sci-Fi FIlms of the decade? Yeah, maybe.
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