Sunday Cult film Corner: “Kin-Dza-Dza! (1986)”

20 Mar

Ahhh another lazy sunday is upon us. WE have eaten our fill and Mrs Sex Farm is busy wading her way through the 1st season of Gossip Girl (perhaps she may have a hidden drug or alcohol problem, as i can’t really think of any other reason for her to do this). As for me? well i try to spend Sundays watching weird movies that i know that you’ll love. and after the emotional caustic wash of last weeks cult film COME AND SEE, I’ve decided to go for a slightly different take on Russian film making with this weeks film KIN-DZA-DZA!

directed in 1986 by Georgi Daneliya , Kin-Dza-Dza is a dark  Sci-Fi satire on human society that tells of 2 Soviet men who are transported to another planet in a distant galaxy after accidentally coming across an alien teleportation device. The film is spent with their efforts to try to get back to Earth.

While on this planet they come across a primitive human-like society who are telepathic, only use two words of speech, (“Ku” and “Kyu”, the latter being a swear word), and use battered steampunk style technology. The planet has become a complete wasteland after all the water has been processed into fuel “Lutz” and people have degenerated into a barbaric dog-eat-dot society split into two classes, the Chatlanians who are the privileged class and Patsaks, the underclass. During the film we see the bizarre rituals and mores to perpetuate subordination and hierarchy of this alien society, which are  there to comment and satirize the soviet communist era as the two men flit between the 2 classes in their effort to get home.

KZZ has all the look of Mad Max two if it was played by the Monty Python Team (one of the character even has a passing resemblance to John Cleese), and with the bizarre technology and tools,  it has similarities to the dystopian weirdness of the likes of “Brazil” and “The 5th Element”, even though it’s slower and more deliberately paced than those two western efforts.. There are numerous puns and pratfalls mixed with some of the blackest humour this side of  an episode of the Aristocrats (example – even though they can communicate telepathically, the alien humans still lie to each other constantly).

I remember even seeing this picture once a very long time ago on Channel 4 in the UK which sort of confirms my last film post about how Channel 4 used to be so cool in showing lost classics of world cinema. But i’d completely forgotten about it, until the brazen witches over at Coilhouse magazine posted about the film on their blog. In fact, even though the film is a massive cult success in Russian and the former soviet countries, it has been virtually unnoticed outside of Russian, mostly due to it never having an official foreign DVD release with english subtitles. Luckily someone has uploaded the entire film with subtitles, for which they gain my eternal thanks.

so take some time out this evening to get some Russian post-future steampunk kicks with some quality filmmaking…

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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Film


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