Tuesday, 14 February 2012
#29 Georgia — Kin-Dza-Dza! (1986)
Ku. Ku; ku. Ku. Ku? Ku! If we were on the planet Pluke in the Kin-Dza-Dza galaxy, I could have just said nearly anything, so long as it didn't involve matches or bells that hang from one's nose.
If the above paragraph made absolutely no sense, but you found it kind of amusing, then Kin-Dza-Dza! is the film for you. It starts on Earth, where a man named Vladimir Nikolaevich is told to get some groceries. On his way, he gets sidetracked by a man professing to be an alien who doesn't know where he his. Vladimir accidentally gets teleported to the planet Pluke alongside a violin-carrying passer-by and they must both figure out what the hell is going on.
The world of Pluke is excellently crafted. We learn of its language (mainly consisting of the word "ku"), its class system (decided by which light turns on when a device is pointed at you and what colour trousers you wear) and customs. All of these are wildly imaginative and very funny.
The film isn't just all laughs either. There's a wealth of subtext about social divides, cultural differences, racism, life philosophy etc. These don't bog things down though; the film still keeps most of the emphasis on the surreal sci-fi and absurdist comedy elements.
Most of the technical aspects of the film are simply average. The editing and cinematography are passable, but nothing special. The acting is similarly bland and the cgi is plain awful. The art direction, however is inspired. The pseudo-cyberpunk ships and locations are very well crafted and lend the world a lot of character. The music is also great, it's quirky and bouncy, and compliments the tone of the film perfectly.
Kin-Dza-Dza! will appeal to both those looking for some light sci-fi, and those who want a heady comedy. Allegedly it has a huge cult following in the post-soviet states and I can see why; the dialogue is frequently hilarious and quotable, and the world is very vivid. I would certainly recommend this film to anyone who likes their films with a big splash of absurdity, regardless of genre tastes.
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