January 20, 2008 11:43 PM   Subscribe

Kin-Dza-Dza! is a Soviet sci-fi cult classic that has managed to go largely unnoticed outside of Russia. Bizarre, funny, and at times surprisingly deep. Truly one of the unknown sci-fi greats. Part One. Part Two. [Google Video, with embedded English subtitles]

This is one of those movies that you either absolutely love or hate, by the way.
posted by pravit (14 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Excellent post comrade. I'm a sucker for Soviet-era cultural artifacts. If anyone's interested Village Voice Film Critic J. Hoberman wrote a book called "The Red Atlantis," that goes in depth on Communist Culture. The best chapter uses films from the USA and the Warsaw Pact countries to map the history of the cold war.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:02 AM on January 21, 2008

Seems pretty interesting so far. Its IMDB page puts it as released in 1986, which would be during the very beginnings of perestrioka in the Gorbachev years. I have, er, heard that the film is also available on the usual communist grey networks.
posted by whir at 12:45 AM on January 21, 2008

Also from the IMDB page (the icky part)

In comparison with Dune, one of my favourite films, I have to give this one a 0.05, it is as far of from entertainment as baked beans to a Wendys burger.

Based on this review, I can extrapolate that it's pretty damn good.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:13 AM on January 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

So *** gizmo worked... calm down, calm down. We have a sun, sand , and gravity. We are on Earth. Or...or? We'll assume we're on Earth, in some desert. [list of deserts.] We'll assume it's Kyzyl Kum. That means Ashbadi is [points] there. Let's go.

[camera moves up, pans down to show endless desert ahead]

...Do you remember the number he mentioned, the man who has my sock?


This is great!
posted by honest knave at 1:46 AM on January 21, 2008

"and just because you say what you don't think and think what you don't think, you sit in cages?"
posted by honest knave at 2:10 AM on January 21, 2008

Wow, a real sci-fi story, not the plot-hole-filled horror/fantasy shit that Hollywood calls sci-fi.

posted by D.C. at 6:17 AM on January 21, 2008

Yeah, that movie is a whole lot of fun. I discovered it when I read a Russian reference to the pepelatz and wanted to know what it came from.
posted by languagehat at 8:19 AM on January 21, 2008

posted by Duug at 10:21 AM on January 21, 2008

Fantastic. What a bizarre and wonderful film.
posted by gc at 11:19 AM on January 21, 2008

Great film!
posted by StrikeTheViol at 12:51 PM on January 21, 2008

I saw Bad Taste for the first time last night. Will this movie get the bad taste out of my eye sockets?
posted by ZachsMind at 1:55 PM on January 21, 2008

Thanks for posting this. Watched it last night and enjoyed it thoroughly. First time I saw it was years back, on a Japanese videotape release, with, yup, Japanese subtitles, which, of course, I couldn't read. So, even though I could tell it was a wonderful and agreeably eccentric film, I just couldn't stay with it. Now here it is with English subtitles! Yay! Once more, thanks for the post.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:06 PM on January 21, 2008

Wonderful! Amazing! Samuel Beckett meets Jodorowsky! To whom do we pray to to get a DVD with English subtitles?
posted by njohnson23 at 1:20 PM on January 22, 2008

Wow, and wow!! Criterion really needs to give this movie the treatment.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 6:55 PM on January 25, 2008

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