Russia's Underground Film Industry (Documentary | Part 2/3)

Uploaded by vice on Oct 9, 2012


SHANE SMITH: We met some crazy characters yesterday.
I think the reason why they are so eccentric is because
it's so oppressive here.
It's so stark and heavy, and they're worried about the
secret police, the FSB coming to get them, that they hide in
their eccentricities.
They're crazy guys with crazy hair and big long beards.
In America, it's like sort of Hollywood
and then indie films.
Here, it's crazy people making crazy films based on very
far-out intellectual theory.
We're here to shoot a film today.
And this is where we're going to shoot today, which is an
old style in this block of flats.
It's really stark, and cold, and gray, and oppressive.
It reeks vaguely of shit, people picking garbage.
And you say this is the most expensive city on Earth.



SHANE SMITH: I wanted to understand exactly how
Alcho-Cinema was a subset of Parallel Cinema, but they sort
of just grabbed me and threw me in the room.
What am I interviewing them about?
We were just, OK, here we go.


SHANE SMITH: OK, you're the leader.
How are you?
Nice to meet you.
Oh, thank you very much.
Oh, nice to meet you.
We came here to shoot an Alcho-Cinema film.
They brought all of the characters, set up the set.
They had a director.
They had a producer, everybody--
no cameras.
It's kind of amazing.

SHANE SMITH: What are you doing?
What are you protesting?
MALE SPEAKER: We here drink for the crisis.
Stop the crisis!
SHANE SMITH: Stop the crisis.
Stop the crisis.

MALE SPEAKER: We are against the crisis, and we don't want
it anymore.
Stop the crisis!
MALE SPEAKERS: Stop the crisis!
SHANE SMITH: Stop the crisis.
You have to drink vodka then pickle, vodka then pickle,
vodka then fish, which, by the way, made the room reek.
Because there's only pickled fish, some sort of meat,
smoked cheese, pickled garlic.
That with lots of booze, cigarettes, and the BO of
eight stinky men, it was like a wall.
And that's what Alcho-Cinema seems to be--
an excuse to get wasted.

I've had so much vodka in about 14 minutes that I'm
pouring with sweat right now.

SHANE SMITH: Capitalists.

SHANE SMITH: Death to the capitalists.
What's amazing about it is, it's not about communism, or
capitalism, or socialism, or anything else.
Because they don't know what it's about.
They don't know what a global crisis is.
Russia was closed for so long that this is all new to them.
It's like what the fuck is going on?
We don't know what's going on, but we're against it.
So we're going to protest it, because protesting leads to
social change.
I guess so.
Not where we're from.

SHANE SMITH: So the more and more people we met, the more
difficult we were finding pegging down Parallel Cinema
and what it was.
We knew there was a lot of booze involved.
There's a lot of crazy characters.
But everyone said oh, you have to go see Yvgeni Yufit.
He's still making films, and he was the founding father of
the St. Petersburg division of Parallel Cinema.
So we went to St. Petersburg to check
out what he was doing.
We're on an old Soviet train going towards St. Petersburg.
It's about 6:00 in the morning.
I'm very tired.
I've heard about Yvgeni's films and
they're pretty crazy.
I'm a little bit nervous.
Now where's this here?
Is that St. Petersburg?
MALE SPEAKER: Yeah, it's St. Petersburg.
SHANE SMITH: We're going here.

So we arrived at St. Petersburg, and it was a
really surrealistic scene because there were just Army
guys everywhere and packs of wild dogs roaming throughout
the train station.

We're here in St. Petersburg after the
long trip from Moscow.
Yvgeni's got an exhibition here at the Russian Museum of
And we're going to go meet him and check out some of his
artwork, and then, hopefully, make a film with him, which
means I have to lie down with thousands of naked bodies and
maybe have sex with them.
it's an old palace of Peter the Great's--
is this massive floor-to-ceiling, beautiful,
pink marble room, priceless room.

SHANE SMITH: Yvgeni Yufit?
SHANE SMITH: Pleasure to meet you.
YVGENI YUFIT: Nice to meet you.
SHANE SMITH: When we asked Yvgeni about his paintings, he
explained that they were inspired by a true event in
Russian history where the military experimented with
making super soldiers by breeding men with apes.
And if you think that sounds fucked up, wait
until you see his films.

Now, Yvgeni's sub-strata of Parallel Cinema is called
Now, during the socialist realism period, you couldn't
show death, you couldn't show bums, you couldn't show
So Yvgeni just puts all of that into his films.

Were you ever worried that you would get in trouble from the
state when you were making your films?

SHANE SMITH: So he asked us, actually, hey, do you want to
make a movie?
And we said we'd like to do that more than anything.

YVGENI YUFIT: OK, thank you.
SHANE SMITH: Where Yvgeni took us next was one of the most
amazing things I've ever seen.
It's the old headquarters of the Soviet Documentary
Filmmaking Union.
Looks like it's straight out of the '30s.
And it's just this huge old building with floor-to-ceiling
old stock, old footage, just racks of 35-mm cameras, and
nobody else, just Yvgeni.
He has the keys.
YVGENI YUFIT: Like machine gun.
SHANE SMITH: Yeah, it's the Kalashnikov of cameras.
MALE SPEAKER: That's a tradition.
Live Stoli!
SHANE SMITH: Hey, thanks.
MALE SPEAKER: Broken seal!

SHANE SMITH: This place is fucked for sending me here.
We're going down into the pit of hell here.